Portuguese film “Ice Merchants” wins Annie Award

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Ice Merchants won in the Best Short Film category. The Annie Awards also honored Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio in the categories of Best Character Animation, Best Directing, Best Music and Best Production Design.

Portuguese director João Gonzalez’s Ice Merchants won the Annie Award, the “Oscar of animation,” in the Best Short Film category, while Netflix’s Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio won Best Picture.

The 50th Annie Awards, the most important awards for animated film in the United States, took place on Saturday night (early Sunday morning in Europe) in Los Angeles, California, and honored Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio in the categories of Best Character Animation, Best Directing, Best Music and Best Production Design.

Ice Merchants was nominated in the Best Short Film category along with Amok by Hungarian Balázs Turai, Black Slide by Israeli Uri Lotan, Love, Dad by Czech Diana Cam Van Nguyen, and The Flying Sailor by Canadians Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby.

João Gonzalez’s film is also in the running for the Oscars, to be awarded on March 12, and is nominated for Best Animated Short Film, an unprecedented nomination for a Portuguese production.

Ice Merchants, João Gonzalez’s third film, is about loss and family ties, between a father and a son, and takes as its starting point the image of a house on a mountain leaning over a cliff.

Told without a narrator or dialogue, only through drawn images and music, this short film was co-produced by Cola Animation with the UK and France.

Ice Merchants had its world premiere in 2022 at the Critics’ Week in Cannes, France, where it won an award. Since then, it has won several other festival awards.

The film is currently playing in Portuguese cinemas.

Considered the “Oscars” of animation, the Annie Awards honor short and feature-length animated productions and are presented annually by the International Animated Film Society.

In the Best Picture category, in addition to the winner, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, nominees included Pixar Studios’ Turning Red — Strangely Red, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish from Dreamworks, The Sea Beast from Netflix, and Wendell & Wild, a Monkeypaw and Gotham production for Netflix.

Also among the winners in the 32 categories of the 50th Annie Awards are Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (Marcel the Movie LLC) as Best Independent Film and The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse (NoneMore and Bad Robot) as Best Special Production.

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