Top Animated Shorts Win Viewster Online Film Fest (#VOFF) Animation Edition

Israeli director Ira Elshansky wins top prize for her claymation film Warm Snow

Zurich – April 02, 2015 – Viewster (, the only online video service with its own film festival, today announced the winners of the animation edition of the Viewster Online Film Fest, #VOFF5: Animated Worlds.

#VOFF5 had over 140 short films from 37 countries, all of which were selected on the merits of production quality and for their imaginative scope, and the final winners have all won a share of the festival’s $50,000 USD prize fund – the biggest prize fund in the world to reward purely animation talent.

The winning films were chosen by the jury from a shortlist, following the public voting period when fans watched, discussed, shared and voted for their favourite entries. The #VOFF5 jury was specially chosen for its production expertise, and comprised of:

  • BAFTA-nominated animator Michael Schlingmann (Corpse Bride, Paranorman, Alice in Wonderland)
  • Samantha Youssef (Toronto International Film Festival award-winner for La Fuga Grande; animation credits for Disney, Ubisoft and Filmax International)
  • Two-Time Emmy winning animator Christophe Vacher (credits include work on Transformers: Prime, Despicable Me, 9, Enchanted, Fantasia / 2000, Hercules and Beauty and the Beast)
  • Athena Yvette Portillo (Lucas Film producer of Star Wars Rebels and line producer on Clone Wars)
  • Prolific voice-actor Yuri Lowenthal (Sasuke Uchiha in Naruto, Ben Tennyson in Ben 10)

voff5First place and the top prize of $30,000 was awarded to Ira Elshansky of Israel for Warm Snow, a surrealist claymation short about a father and daughter’s relationship, set in a domestic setting.

Ira said about making her film: “I’ve been working with clay since I was a child and for me it is the material where I can express myself the best. It is a very honest material and people have been using it for centuries. Warm Snow is a very personal movie; I’m sure many of us have this feeling of being not fair to our parents, and this was my way to apologise and to show them my love.“

Samantha Youseff said about winning film, that “all the jury loved it; it tells about the relationship between a father and daughter in a clear and honest context. We felt it spoke to the heart and the medium, and techniques were handled with beautiful craftsmanship.“

Second place and $15,000 was awarded to Mehdi Alibeygi of Iran for Changeover, a film about a bird on a badminton pitch that mistakes a shuttlecock for another bird – with a surprising twist at the end.

Michael Schlingmann said about Changeover that ‘it is impeccably timed and beautifully animated.’

Kevin Parry, who was assistant animator on recent animated features The Boxtrolls and Justin Time, of Canada has won third place for The Arctic Circle, which is a stop-motion film about an Arctic inhabitant who is fascinated by the sudden appearance of a mysterious box.

Yuri Lowenthal said about the film that ‘it was whimsical, it was fantastical, and it showed us a little something about the human spirit.’

Kai Henniges, CEO, Viewster, said: “We are incredibly proud of this edition of #VOFF, which has championed some of the finest in animation filmmaking, a medium that doesn’t always get the attention and praise that it deserves. The standard of the films was incredibly high and, by connecting filmmakers directly to their audience and getting them in front of our impressive jury, #VOFF continues to give a voice to filmmakers who would otherwise go unheard.”


About Viewster

Viewster ( is a worldwide online video service connecting passionate audiences. We are the first stop destination for anime lovers, featuring an ever-growing line up of the latest shows directly from Japan. Our wider catalogue brings the best of specialist shows and movies, with more than ten thousand titles across anime, thriller, sci-fi, and fantasy. Viewster is free, supported by advertising and available to stream on desktop, mobile and smart TV apps.

The Viewster Online Film Fest brings millions of visitors together with the creators. Each festival we feature the best up and coming filmmakers and invite our online community to help select the finalists. But we don’t stop there. We believe so much in fan culture, that we have created a global platform for fans to interact with each other, and we invite anime enthusiasts to join our translation community to create subtitles on a professional level. Meet with us – both online and at international conventions throughout the year.

Viewster, and its network of partner sites, serves an 18-24 year old audience of more than 20 million unique users per month across the U.S., U.K., Germany and Australia alone – the ideal advertising platform for all brands looking to bring cool stuff to awesome people.

*According to comScore and AGOF:
Find Viewster on, in iTunes or Google Play