'Stitchup Showdown' wins top honors

TORONTO — A seven-member jury including Oscar-winning scribe Paul Haggis (“Crash”) handed top kudos to U.K. animation director Oli Hyatt’s sock-puppet short “Stitchup Showdown” (Blue-Zoo/Nickelodeon) when Filminute, the international one-minute fest, announced its prizes Sunday at the Orange Concept Store in Bucharest.

People’s Choice prize went to Hungarian Pici Papai’s “Quick,” while Romania/U.K. animated co-production “Immerse” was the top-rated pic, marking the second win for helmer Anton Groves, who won in 2006.

This year’s winners were chosen from 25 films among 16 countries, shortlisted after a review of more than 1,500 submitted films, animation and mashups. This year’s jury included Haggis, ad agency Wieden and Kennedy’s David Kennedy, critic Andrea Dittgen, novelist Francisco Goldman, editor of Japan’s Shift magazine Taketo Oguchi and Filminute co-founders John Ketchum and Sabaa Quao.

Filminute’s 2008 edition saw viewers from 94 countries log in to the fest’s website and catch quickie pics on other broadband publishers, European TV specials, at installations and screenings, and via mobile downloads. Content delivery was provided by Limelight Networks, which streamed NBC’s Olympic Games coverage. Organizers claim 3 million views of the films and fest’s related content: 55% from Europe, 31% from North America and 12% from Asia. Tuesday was the most popular viewing day.

Filminute has satellite offices in Bucharest, London, Toronto and Vancouver.

The winning films and the complete Filminute shortlist can be viewed at filminute.com. Filminute’s fourth edition will be held Sept. 1-30. The submission deadline is Aug. 20.

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