Georgian illustrator and filmmaker Ana Chubinidze’s animation film The Pocket Man has claimed its first international award after it claimed two prizes at the Montreal International Children’s Film Festival in Canada last weekend.
Chubinidze’s newly released work screened among animation productions from across the world at the festival that ran from March 4-12.
Promoted as "a kind of Cannes, Berlin or Sundance for young people”, the event featured professional and children’s jury teams.
The Montreal festival is an annual event focusing on young audiences. Photo: Dina Berrada/Safi Photography.
Chubinidze’s film impressed both jury panels enough to receive awards from each category. The director announced the results earlier today in a social media post, saying she was "very happy” and expressed gratitude to members of her production team.
The Pocket Man was named Best Short Film by the professional judges for "improbable friendship [story], for the fertile imagination and the loving humor that emerge from it”.
The young juries awarded the French-Georgian-Swiss co-production their Special Mention prize for "its simple and touching story, wonderfully illustrated”.
The animated film debuted at the New York International Children’s Film Festival earlier this month.
The Georgian illustrator first began her preparation of the project in 2013 with financial support from the Georgian National Film Centre (GNFC).
The Pocket Man was featured in a workshop organised by the GNFC in cooperation with the International Animation Film Festival Nikozi in Georgia and led by French producer Olivier Catherin.
Chubinidze’s work was announced the winning project of the workshop, with the filmmaker receiving an opportunity to present a demonstration of The Pocket Man at the 2015 Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France.
The prestigious festival was attended by cinema professionals from the well-known French studio Folimage, with Chubinidze’s film preview drawing their attention at the event.
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.