The five-minute film was created by Marion Philippe, Kayu Leung, Jean-Geraud Blanc, and Theo Jamin of MoPA in Arles, France, in their last year as students. The film follows a young boy with autism introducing himself to classmates at his new school. Jury members lauded the film for its unique voice. “We don’t look at ‘Louis’ from the outside; we enter his mind as he shares the particular way in which he sees his world.” Jurors called the film “staggeringly humanizing, fresh, innovative and entertaining all the way through.”
Other celebrated films include Jury Award winners “Les Larmes de la Seine (The Seine’s Tears)” and “Yallah,” which each shine a light on events from recent history.
“Les Larmes de la Seine” depicts events in Paris on Oct. 17, 1961, when a protest by Algerian workers turned deadly. “In this remarkable student film, we follow two friends who join the demonstration,” the jury wrote. “Viewers experience the friends’ determination, confusion and terror in this frightening story. The consistent beautiful craftsmanship, great design and animation, and interesting camera point-of-view gives the film power beyond the actual horrific event.” The film was made by fifth-year Pole school students Yanis Belaid, Eliott Bernard, Nicolas Mayeur, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot Philippine Singer and Alice Letailleus.
“Yallah” follows a middle-aged man trying to flee a devastating civil war who encounters a teen boy as he drives through the ruins of his city. He follows the boy to a swimming pool hit by mortars. “The story becomes one of perseverance, survival and imagination; the story of a man inspired by a child in a world of war,” the jury said. “It reminds us that a destroyed city was once beautiful. The jurors were enchanted by the use of comedy to tell a serious story, the great art direction, the stunning color-filled style, the camera and the lighting.” “Yallah” is a graduation short made by Nayla Nassar, Edouard Pitula, Renaud de Saint Albin, Cecile Adant, Anais Sassatelli and Candice Behague of the Rubika School.
Special achievement awards were given to “Only a Child,” which was just named to the shortlist of films being considered for an Oscar nomination, and “Cat and Moth.” Simone Giampaolo brought together more than 20 animators to create “Only a Child,” which uses the speech by Severn Cullis-Suzuki, representing the Environmental Children’s Organization, before the United Nations in 1992 to illustrate her plea to combat climate change. India Barnardo put a new twist on an oft-used plot in animation in “Cat and Moth,” which the jury appreciated for its “many inspired moments of absolute brilliance.”
The jury included VIEW Conference director Maria Elena Gutierrez, journalist Barbara Robertson, Escape’s Anita Gribble, Pixar director of photography Kim White, PDI co-founder Glenn Entis, filmmaker David de Rooij and student Davide de Rosa.
“I am so proud to announce the 2021 VIEW AWARD winners this year and to recognize the incredible students and professionals who created these outstanding films,” said Gutierrez. “In addition to being works of art, four of our award winners send strong messages: An intimate look at autism, a reminder of the horrifying result of a street protest, an imaginative antidote to war and a call to action from a child. The fifth winner is pure animation joy. Congratulations to all.”