19th Animation Division New Face Award
Deux Amis (Two Friends)
Animated short film
Natalia CHERNYSHEVA [Russia]
Big misunderstandings can occur between inhabitants of different worlds, even when they are close friends. In this work, a caterpillar has a narrow escape when it is rescued by a tadpole after falling into a pond. Following this sudden encounter the two creatures become friends, but the tadpole transforms into a frog, and the caterpillar into a butterfly. . . An ending neither had anticipated was awaiting them. The method of drawing a concise story without dialogue and only a minimum of color is something CHERNYSHEVA’s previous works also share, but in this her third animated short film she has attempted clearer and more simplified drawings. Combining simple points and lines with backgrounds that resemble handwriting, her expressive style was inspired by works of Japanese artists KATSUSHIKA Hokusai and UTAGAWA Hiroshige.
Reason for Award
From her directorial debut Snowflake to this graduation work of hers at La Poudrière, CHERNYSHEVA has created stunning animated works. With this piece in particular, an outstanding graphic sense and effortless character design provide strong support. Each screenshot resembles a page of a superbly illustrated book. In addition, the storytelling attains a level of skill seemingly incongruous with the age of the creator. Exquisitely weaving together visuals, narrative, and animation into one work, she has seemingly attained the mastery of her craft at a young age. We can truly say she is a new face with real ability. (KOIDE Masashi)