U.K. shorts take three nominations

BARCELONA — Underscoring the vibrancy of Britain’s short-format animation scene, the U.K. has snagged three of the five nominations for Europe’s Cartoon d’Or award.

The Cartoon d’Or, Europe’s top short toonpic plaudit, will be presented at a ceremony Sept. 21 in the Catalan city of Gerona. The kudofest coincides with this year’s Cartoon Forum TV toon series co-production event, which runs Sept.19-22 in Gerona.

One of the shortlist contenders plays to considerable length: Suzie Templeton’s puppet piece “Peter and the Wolf,” where a boy turns the tables on a marauding wolf, lasts 32 minutes.

The competition highlights the plethora of animation techniques open to young toonmakers.

Further British nominees are Luis Cook’s bleak humored “The Pearce Sisters,” produced by Aardman Animations, and made in 2D CGI, while “t.o.m.” by Daniel Grey and Tom Brown, about a boy’s journey, mixes traditional 2D and 3D with painted backgrounds.

Another competitor, the 2D computer generated “Life Line,” helmed by Tomek Ducki, riffs on computer games.

Finnish Ami Lindhom’s “The Irresistible Smile” is a pencil-on-paper 2D skit on the travails of an air hostess.

The vibrancy of British animation short film production is powered principally by the U.K.’s large number of animation schools or dedicated training initiatives, such as the Aardman-financed Bristol School of Animation.

“t.o.m.” is a graduation short from the animation department of the University of Wales.

Eligibility for the Cartoon d’Or is limited to toon shorts that have reaped kudos at one of the award’s 10 Euro fest partners. These include well-known toon events such as the Annecy Intl. Animation Film Festival, which nominated “Peter” and “Pearce Sisters.”

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