“Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary,” the hand-drawn biopic about Martha (Calamity) Jane’s empowering journey West in 1863, from French director Rémi Chayé, won the Cristal Award at the Annecy 2020 Online animation festival. North American theatrical distribution has not been announced but leading contenders include GKids and Shout! Factory, which handled Chayé’s acclaimed Arctic adventure, “Long Way North.”
The Jury Award and Jury Distinction Award went to “The Nose or the Conspiracy of Mavericks,” an experimental drama about Stalin’s reign of terror from Russian director Andrey Khrzhanovsky, and” Kill It and Leave This Town” (Poland), a black-and-white hybrid dystopian drama about a despairing guy who hides in his memories, directed by Mariusz Wilczynski; and the Contrechamp Award and Contrechamp Distinction Award were bestowed on “My Favorite War” (Latvia, Norway), a personal story from director Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen about growing up during the Cold War using cut-outs, and “The Shaman Sorceress” (South Korea), a hybrid drama from Jae-huun Ahn about a family that must confront mixed religious beliefs.
The Annecy Festival
The critically acclaimed Canadian short, “The Physics of Sorrow,” from director Theodore Ushev, about a mournful reflection of a life experienced without meaning, animated through the ancient technique of encaustic painting (melting pigmented beeswax), won the coveted Cristal for a Short Film. And the Jury Award went to “Homeless Home,” Spanish director Alberto Vázquez’s harrowing black-and-white allegory about the inability to escape one’s roots.
The First Film Award went to “The Town” (China), director Yifan Bao’s account of a family’s struggle to break out of social conformity, and the Jury Distinction Award was shared by director Soetkin Verstegen’s “Freeze Frame” (Belgium), the black-and-white stop-motion absurdity of repeating the same technique over and over, and “Serial Parallels” (France), from director Max Hattler about Hong Kong’s high-rise urban environment.