Young filmmaker Ana Chubinidze was unveiled among winning directors of Cyprus' official animation film festival after her debut work The Pocket Man claimed the best children's film award at the Countryside Animafest Cyprus.
The short film was distinguished with the award of the Children's Film Competition section that screened 11 works by European directors, with the festival running from June 24-30.
The French-Swiss-Georgian co-production was praised by the judges for its story as well as technical accomplishment, serving as basis for their selection.
[The Pocket Man is a] fun and original story with a tight, cohesive story and structure. It is visually and technically well executed with a nice moral we can all relate to: Never rush to conclusions and the judgement of others! Visual storytelling at it's best", said the summary of the award.
Chubinidze's animation follows a small man who lives in an old suitcase and strikes up a friendship with an elder, blind man after their chance encounter in a big city.
The author and illustrator saw her work premiere at New York International Children’s Film Festival in February, before it collected the Best Short Film award at this year's Montreal International Children’s Film Festival in Canada.
Chubinidze first began her work on the project in 2013, when The Pocket Man was featured in a workshop organised by the Georgian National Film Centre in cooperation with Georgia's International Animation Film Festival Nikozi and led by French producer Olivier Catherin.
Announced as the winning project of the workshop, the filmmaker received an opportunity to present its demonstration at the 2015 edition of the prestigious Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France.
The French event was attended by cinema professionals from the well-known studio Folimage, with Chubinidze’s film preview drawing their attention.
She was then invited by the studio to continue the work on the film with teams in France and Georgia, with the final project co-produced by Folimage and Tbilisi-based Kvali XXI studio.