The Grand Competition jury consisted of: Priit Pärn, triple Animafest Grand Prix winner and Lifetime Achievement Award winner from Estonia; David O’Reilly, Irish animation director and 2010 Golden Zagreb Award winner; Dennis Tuicoff, Austrialian screenwriter, director, producer and animator; Mirna Belina, one of the founder and programmers of the International Festival of Experimental Film and Video 25 FPS from Croatia; and Lea Zagury, co-founder and director of Anima Mundi festival from Brazil.
The Grand Prix went to Oh Willy... by Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels. The film is a Belgian-French-Dutch co-production, a charming story about chubby Willy who returns in his fifties to a nudist colony where he grew up, to take care of his dying mother. The film was made of outstanding puppets of wool and other natural materials. The award explanation says: “The film plot is impressive and human, warm and absurd. The film is directed well, funny and full of surprises”. Oh Willy... also won the Audience Award Mr M. what makes it a double winner of the Animafest 2012.
Golden Zagreb Award went to It’s Such a Beautiful Day by Don Hertzfeldt from USA, “a magnificently beautiful film using different techniques and simple means to masterfully express complex emotions”. Latvian film Ursus by Reinis Pētersons won the Zlatko Grgić Award for best debut film. Films: About Killing the Pig by Simone Massi, The Great Rabbit by Atsushi Wada, Romance by Georges Schwizgebel, Beluga by Shin Hashimoto and Bobby Yeah by Robert Morgan won the jury’s special mentions.
The three-member Student Competition and Commissioned Film Competition jury consisting of Andreas Hykade (German director, 2010 Golden Zagreb award winner and 2010 and Animafest 2010 jury special mention winner), Marc Bertrand (Canadian NFB producer) and Margit Antauer (1992-2006 Animafest director and producer from Croatia) decided to present the Dušan Vukotić Award to the Finnish film Swarming by Joni Männistö from Turku Arts Academy, the winner of this year’s Animafest Best School Award. The jury was impressed by the magnificent portrayal of a nightmare about life and... insects. The special mentions were awarded to The Making of Longbird by Will Anderson from UK for its intelligent portrayal of the battle between the maker and the making, Gum Boy by Japanese filmmaker Masaki Okuda for its “energetic rhythm and bubbly design” and Twins by Peter Budinski from Slovakia for its raw and humorous portrayal of physical and moral duality. For its “humour and efficiency in transferring a direct and clear information”, the jury proclaimed Pete Bishop’s Oil Story the best commissioned film at Animafest 2012.
Films for Children Competition jury, consisting of: Nina Čorak (18, Karlovac Film Club), Iva Šobak (15, Varaždin Animated Film Studio), David Dokoza (13, Dubrava School of Animation), Lucija Majnarić (13, Zaprešić Photo Video Club) and Niko Milić (8), chose their favourites. The main award went to Second Hand by Isaac King from Canada, with the explanation that “this current story equally attracts children and adults, offers many answers and asks even more questions”, praising the demanding and impressive animation. The special mentions went to Who’s there? By Vanda Raýmanová from Slovakia and The Light by Yuta Sukegawa from Japan.