Melbourne animator crowned monkey king
Press release from Feather Films
Melbourne-based director and animator, Michael Hill will be enjoying his bananas more these days after his film ‘The Not-So-Great Eugene Green’ won China’s most prestigious short animation award, the ‘Monkey King Award’ for the Best Foreign Short Animated Film Great Prize'
Michael’s animated dark comedy beat off tough competition to win the award at the recent 2010 China International Cartoon and Animation Festival (CICAF) held annually in Hangzhou, near Shanghai. CICAF is China’s largest and most important animation festival. According to statistics released by the festival, approximately 900,000 visitors attended this year’s event.
The multi-award winning director and animator stated that although he had high hopes for the reception of his film at the Chinese festival, the news of his success came “as an amazing, and simply wonderful surprise.” “I was in Europe, traveling with the film, when my producer, Melanie, rang and
told me of the win. I was absolutely floored. It is a great thrill and honour for my Australian short film to take out such an important international prize.”
Funded by Screen Australia and produced by Melanie Brunt at Feather Films, ‘The Not-So-Great Eugene Green’ is a 13-minute hand drawn 2D animation. Michael and his award-winning film are representing Australian talent on a global stage, with numerous screenings at renowned international film festivals, most recently at the second largest animation festival in the world – the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film.
The film has also enjoyed a strong presence at local Australian film awards and festivals, including a nomination at last year’s Australian Film
Institute (AFI) Awards for Best Short Animation, as well as screenings at the recent St Kilda Film Festival, Dungog Film Festival and the touring Flickerfest International Short Film Festival.
Since entering the tumultuous and exciting world of film making just three years ago, Michael’s unique style and humour has not only succeeded in showing the absurdities of life but also invokes a level of melancholy in his art, whilst constantly focusing on the oft forgotten virtues of character depth and strong narrative storytelling.
Following a short professional career as a veterinarian, Michael graduated with a Masters of Creative Media from the RMIT Animation and Interactive
Multimedia (AIM) course in 2007. Michael was recently nominated as a finalist in the 2009 Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards.
Michael commences pre-production on his next short animation ‘The Orchestra’, also funded by Screen Australia, later this month.