Annecy Winners

Annecy Winners

The Annecy International Animated Film Festival is underway in France, taking place June 12 to 17 this year. NFB films have won many awards at this important event – one of the most prestigious animation festivals in the world. Enjoy this rich playlist of some NFB shorts that have been honoured at Annecy over the years.

Albert Ohayon

Having viewed over 7,500 films, Albert Ohayon is our resident collections expert. He studied film production and journalism at Concordia University in Montreal and has been working at the National Film Board since 1984.

  • Bus Story
    2014|10 min

    Jury Mention 2014 & Junior Jury Award for a short film 2014

    This funny short animation was written and created by Tali (At Home with Mrs. Hen) and is inspired by the filmmaker’s misadventures as a school bus driver in the Eastern Townships. Our protagonist dreams of becoming a bus driver in order to cruise down quiet country lanes and connect with nature, her young charges and their parents. But her idyllic view of her new job is sorely tested after she meets her surly boss, named Killer, and discovers that winding roads can prove treacherous in winter, especially with a faulty clutch. Through her cheeky humour and oblique look at the reality of people living in the Quebec countryside, Tali delivers a film that is unique, witty and touching.

  • Subconscious Password
    2013|10 min

    The Cristal for Best Short 2013

    In this short animation, Oscar®-winning director Chris Landreth (Ryan, 2004) uses a common social gaffe—forgetting somebody’s name—as the starting point for a mind-bending romp through the unconscious. Inspired by the classic TV game show Password, the film features a wealth of animated celebrity guests who try to prompt our beleaguered protagonist to remember his old pal's name. Finally, he realizes he must surrender to his predicament and jump head-first into his subconscious to find the answer.

  • Gloria Victoria
    2012|6 min

    FIPRESCI Award 2013

    Recycling elements of surrealism and cubism, this animated short by Theodore Ushev focuses on the relationship between art and war. Propelled by the exalting “invasion” theme from Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony (No. 7), the film presents imagery of combat fronts and massacres, leading us from Dresden to Guernica, from the Spanish Civil War to Star Wars. It is at once a symphony that serves the war machine, that stirs the masses, and art that mourns the dead, voices its outrage and calls for peace.

  • Runaway
    2009|9 min

    Special Jury Award 2009

    Cordell Barker, director of the Oscar®-nominated films The Cat Came Back and Strange Invaders, is back with Runaway. Set to the rousing music of Ben Charest (Triplets of Belleville), this animated short takes you on a journey that is both funny and disastrous.

  • Tragic Story with Happy Ending
    2005|7 min

    The Annecy Cristal Award 2006 & TPS Cineculte Award for short Film 2006

    A little girl finds acceptance in embracing her own difference. This lyrical animated film has the timeless charm of an old fable - one whose subject is difference and self-affirmation. Through images evoking the rich texture of a woodblock print, the filmmaker has created a world of contrasts complemented by a lively soundtrack with a rhythmic beat. Technique: photocopies with images scratched into India ink on glossy paper.

  • Ryan
    2004|13 min

    Special Jury Award 2004

    This Oscar®-winning animated short from Chris Landreth is based on the life of Ryan Larkin, a Canadian animator who produced some of the most influential animated films of his time. Ryan is living every artist's worst nightmare - succumbing to addiction, panhandling on the streets to make ends meet. Through computer-generated characters, Landreth interviews his friend to shed light on his downward spiral. Some strong language. Viewer discretion is advised.

  • Village of Idiots

    Special Jury Award 2000

    Based on a Jewish folk tale adapted by playwright John Lazarus, this animated short tells the story of Shmendrik, a simpleton living in a small Polish village. Weary of daily life in his native Chelm, Shmendrik sets out on a quest for knowledge that brings him to a new Chelm, a place eerily reminiscent of his old Chelm. An amusing take on our tendency to romanticize what we don't have.

  • The Hat
    1999|6 min

    Special Mention FIPRESCI award 2000

    A young woman works as an exotic dancer in a bar. She recalls an incident from her childhood in which she was physically abused by a male visitor. This inner journey brings back painful memories, including the obsessive image of a hat. Black-ink drawings, spare and rapidly executed, flow together in a succession of troubling and striking metamorphoses. The Hat is a tough, visceral experience. With naked honesty, animator Michèle Cournoyer invites the audience to share in the pain of a woman whose body is on display and whose soul is forever soiled. A film without words.

  • When the Day Breaks
    1999|9 min

    FIPRESCI Award - International Film Critics 1999 & Grand Prix for best animated short film 1999

    In this animated short, Ruby the pig seeks affirmation in the city around her after witnessing the accidental death of a stranger… and finds it in surprising places. With deft humour and finely rendered detail, When the Day Breaks illuminates the links that connect our urban lives, while evoking the promise and fragility of a new day. Winner of over 40 prizes from around the world, the film also features singer Martha Wainwright.

  • Bob's Birthday
    1993|12 min

    Short Film Award 1995

    This film took home an Oscar® for Best Animated Short Film. When Margaret plans a celebration for her husband Bob, she underestimates the sudden impact of middle age on his mood. A witty, offbeat animated portrait of a frustrated dentist wrestling with the fundamental issues of life proves that birthdays (and surprise parties) can be very tricky indeed.

  • Two Sisters
    1991|10 min

    Best Film Award - Category: Fiction, Short Film 1991

    This animated short, etched directly onto tinted 70 mm film, depicts the story of two sisters: Viola, who writes novels in a dark room, and Marie, her only companion. Disfigured, Viola counts on her sister to take care of her and shelter her from the outside world. But when an unexpected stranger turns up on their front door, the sisters' quiet lives are disrupted and their routine turns to chaos.

  • Strings
    1991|10 min

    Press Prize awarded by the journalists present in Annecy 1991

    This animated film paints a vivid portrait of two strangers intimately linked by the shared ceilings, floors and plumbing of their apartments. When an unexpected problem arises, these comfortable connections are compromised. Wendy Tilby uses a painstaking animation process involving painting on glass and stop-action filming. Strings is a film as beautiful as it is haunting. Without words.

  • Paradise
    1984|15 min

    Special Jury Award 1985

    In this short animation film, a magnificent bird performs for the Emperor inside a glittering palace. Its plumage is a blaze of colour. A blackbird, watching enviously, strives to acquire what he so desperately covets, only to discover that a golden cage can’t compete with the open skies.

  • The Big Snit
    1985|9 min

    FIPRESCI Award - International Film Critics 1985

    This poignant and hilarious animated film perfectly captures the intersection of a domestic quarrel and a global nuclear war. An Oscar® nominee enjoyed by millions of fans, this film is a classic example of Richard Condie's off-the-wall humour.

  • The Sand Castle
    1977|13 min

    Grand Prize of the Festival Category: Short Films 1977

    This short animated film features the sandman and the creatures he sculpts out of sand. These lively creatures build a castle and celebrate the completion of their new home, only to be interrupted by an uninvited guest. Cleverly constructed with nuance, the film leaves interpretation open to the viewer. The film took home an Oscar® for Best Animated Short Film.

  • Synchromy
    1971|7 min

    Special Jury Mention - Category: Short Films 1971

    This animated short by Norman McLaren features synchronization of image and sound in the truest sense of the word. To make this film, McLaren employed novel optical techniques to compose the piano rhythms of the sound track, which he then moved, in multicolor, onto the picture area of the screen so that, in effect, you see what you hear.