‘Chicken For Linda!’ Wins Animation Is Film Festival’s Grand Prize

Indie feature Chicken For Linda!, directed by Chiara Malta and Sébastien Laudenbach, claimed the grand prize and audience award for the sixth edition of the Animation Is Film Festival, which wrapped last weekend in Hollywood.

Also announced on Wednesday, Robot Dreams, which will be released by Neon, took home the special jury prize. For the shorts section, Letter to a Pig won the Grand Prize and Wild Summon earned the Special Jury Prize.

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From indie distributor GKIDS, Chicken for Linda! tells the story of Paulette, who feels guilty after unjustly punishing her daughter Linda. When her daughter then asks for a meal of chicken, the request quickly leads to an outrageous series of events.

“With Chicken for Linda, Sébastien Laudenbach and Chiara Malta honor the challenges and rewards of being a single parent in a hectic world, employing a visually original artistic style through which lively brush strokes and daubs of color bring relatable human characters — and one very flustered chicken — to vibrant life,” said the jury in a released statement.

Of Robot Dreams, the jury said, “In a poignant mix of humor and pathos, director Pablo Berger adapts Sara Varon’s graphic novel, showing how people and places shape our lives, while paying homage to New York City in the 1980s. That he conveys this through pantomime and animation, without using dialogue, is all the more remarkable.”

In Tal Kantor’s Letter to a Pig, a Holocaust survivor writes a thank-you note to a pig that saved his life. After his testimony in a classroom, a young student dreams a tragic version of his story. “Utilizing a unique blend of hand-drawn animation, paint on paper and footage segments, Tal Kantor has crafted an extraordinary portrait of trauma and how its aftermath can span generations,” said the shorts jury in a statement. “It is, in a word: genius.”

Wild Summon follows the life cycle of the wild salmon in human form. Said the jury, “Karni Arieli and Saul Freed’s Wild Summon is a provocative and creative reimagining of a nature documentary that left us speechless.”

AIF opened with The Boy and the Heron and its closing night film was Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget; both were not eligible for juried or audience prizes.

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