Japan ruled the awards at this year’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival, taking both of the jury awards.
Masaaki Yuasa’s Lu Over the Wall (夜明け告げるルーのうた) took the Cristal Award for a feature film – the first Japanese film to take the award since Isao Takahata’s Pom Poko (平成狸合戦ぽんぽこ) in 1995. Based on an original story, the fantasy is about a boy in a fishing town who befriends a mermaid. Made with Flash Animation, the film was released theatrically in Japan last month.
Following news of the win, Yuasa posted an illustration (above) on the film’s official website thanking his staff, his cast, and supporters of the film.
The Jury Award, meanwhile, went to Sunao Katabuchi’s In This Corner of the World (この世界の片隅に). A depiction of everyday life during World War Two in a naval port town, the film was a critic’s darling in Japan, topping Kinema Junpo’s 2016 best ten list and snagging a slew of awards.
Sawako Kabuki’s music video Natsu no Gero wa Fuyu no Sakana (夏のゲロは冬の肴) also won the jury award in the graduation film category.
Meanwhile, the audience award went to Loving Vincent, which tells the story of Vincent Van Gogh’s life through his paintings.
Named the official guest country this year (despite one film in competition that was reportedly pulled due to pressure from the Chinese government), China walked away empty-handed.