18th Animation Division Excellence Award

The Sense of touch

Animated short film

Jean-Charles MBOTTI MALOLO [France]


Chloe and Louis are deaf and mute. They are secretly in love but they don’t admit it. Their gestures are a substitute for words. They dance, and each word is choreography. One evening, Louis decides to invite her for dinner. But when she arrives, he realizes that she has brought two lost kittens. He chooses to ignore his extreme allergy to cats, but it is very difficult for him to relax. The dinner reveals his darker side. He hates his own rigidity, and Chloe’s carefreeness pushes him to his own limits. The pace of the ballet is changing, and Louis, completely transformed and bloated by the allergy, shows Chloe to the door… This film tells a complex and touching story with humor and elegance. Animation techniques are applied in a highly elaborate manner, opening up the world of silence of the two protagonists to share with the viewer.

Reason for Award

This masterly animated short deftly depicts the love and psychology of a man and a woman. It is made by the French Folimage Studio. Through just an intro and handful of shots, the viewer clearly understands the milieu and what the film is about. The exactness of the design amazes. Its sensitivity is also first-rate, bringing out the personalities of the characters and their everyday life, the light and shadows, all by the slightest movements in the situations. The premise is firm, the mental estrangement and fraternizing of the lovers superbly depicted abstractly without a single word. In particular, the dance scene is a sight to see. Not simply a rotoscope tracing the choreography, it is a perfect piece of animation completed by the power of drawing. Their vividly drawn movements stirs, each and every gesture timed to match the theme. The scenario, direction, animation, and art are visionary. The love for the work and all the things depicted in it is unlimited. And this then reminds us that what is embedded in an artwork is tenderness itself. (WADA Toshikatsu)