Asif Awards 2012
Written by: Ayelet Dekel
The Asif Awards Ceremony was the festive closing event for Animix 2012, with screenings of all the films participating in the competition.
The Gross Prize for Excellence in Animation 2012 was awarded to animator Sharon Gazit, founder and creative director of Pil Animation, for the unique style, intelligence and humor expressed in the full range of his work, from commercial to independent animation. Donated by Sandra and Yoram Gross (a pioneer of Israeli animation), the prize is intended to encourage and enable the recipient to create animated films and thus supports and promotes Israeli animation.
Gazit’s work can be often be seen on the small screen, as in the light-hearted and brilliantly colored “How A Song is Born” project, with animated films created for the children’s poems of Jonathan Geffen. One of my favorite Gazit films is “Eyes to Toes” an independent film in black and white, with a painterly quality, a paen to music and movement. Yet above and beyond any single film, when viewing Gazit’s work, I am most struck by the pleasure of surprise, the feeling these animated films inspire regardless of genre (independent, made for children, etc) – that sense that I am seeing and thinking about something differently, through the animation.
The jury found it hard to choose among the many films, and having attended last night’s screening, it is easy to identify with their dilemma. In two categories, Independent and Student Films, the choice was made to share the prize between two films/creators.
The Asif Award for Best Independent Film was awarded jointly to the duos of Mashko (Mysh Rozonov and Oren Mashovski) and Nir Ve Gali (Nir Graber & Gali Edelbaum). The prize was awarded to these creators for their body of work and creative venture, rather than for a specific film, and for good reason. Both pairs are prolific and wonderfully creative, and I feel the jury made an excellent choice in applauding their work as a whole.
If the lines are wavering and the letters jumping about as you read this, it is because I am still shaking with laughter after seeing Hag Sameach by Nir & Gali, with the very chill prophet Elijah making a Passover visit to Itzik. They capture something quintessentially Israeli (and maybe Telavivian) with their understated, loose-limbed figures making their idiosyncratic way through a weird, yet oddly ordinary world – from the enraged dog and his enlightened owner confronting a city official in the park, to ghostly apparitions in an otherwise unremarkable urban apartment, their short films and witty, wise and hilariously funny. Consumer warning: once you go to their YouTube channel and see one of these shorts, you will want to see them all. Just give in to that feeling & subscribe now.
Mashko’s Mechonat Israel (the Israeli machine) is a lively, funny, provocative political commentary on life in Israel-neck speed, running at under 2 minutes. No Hebrew necessary to understand this film:
Mashko’s Miflatzonei HaKnesset (The Knesset Mini-Monsters – my rough translation) was also screened last night, making use of the classic form of children’s cartoon superheroes to make a political point. Mashko’s YouTube channel is accessible to all – Subscribe!
An Honorable Mention in this category was awarded to the film Bad RenRo, by Mira Lapidot & Roma Butman.
The Asif Award for Best Student Film was jointly awarded to two films:
BePeh Paur veOznayim Atzumot (With Open Mouth and Closed Ears) – A day in the life of a young woman who lives a life of silence and loneliness with her friend the fish. Director: Emli Noy and Tom Madar, Sapir; Animation: Em-li Noy; Design: Em-li Noy; Soundtrack: Dror Shiman; Screenplay: Tom Madar; Photography: Tom Madar.
Meshum Makom (Out of Nowhere) – An aging lifeguard cares for an empty, abandoned pool. An encounter with a chicken leads him to re-examine his life. Director & Animation: Maayan Tzuriel & Isca Mayo, Bezalel; Soundtrack: Yehu Yaron; Soundtrack Design: Yoav Brill; Recording & Mix: Shay Levinstein; Voice: Gil Naamati.
A prize for Second Place was awarded to the film Nyosha by Liran Kapel and Yael Dekel (Sapir College), and an Honorable Mention to Alteneuland by Sariel Keslasi (Bezalel).
The Asif Award for Best Commerical Film was awarded to the film Shikun uBinui – NADLAN by Eli Sverladov, Snowball Studios.
The Asif Award for Best Animation for Children was awarded to Sharon Gazit for the How A Song is Born project, from which the films Uncle Efraim, How I Wanted A Dog, and The 16th Sheep, were screened. An Honorable Mention was awarded to Ori Naor for the film The Scent of Chocolate (also based on a poem by Jonathan Geffen); and to Nir Mulad for the series Gogy and Magogy.
The Rabinovich Fund award for development was awarded to Ariel Blinco and Michael Faust for the film HaNes HaNistar (The Hidden Miracle).
Hot news from ASIFA Israel – International Animation Day will take place on October 28, 2012. An open call for ideas & initiatives (now is the time to organize that special screening you’ve always dreamed of – at your studio, school, community center or local pub) – write to firstname.lastname@example.org.