'Rio 2096' Takes Top Prize at Annecy Animation Festival

"Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury" poster

Oscar-winning director Chris Landreth and viral hit "Dumb Ways to Die" were also honored.

PARIS – Annecy jurors fell in love with Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury, giving the Brazilian film the animation festival’s top prize at its closing ceremony Saturday night. Director Luiz Bolognesi will be taking home the Cristal Award for best feature for the fantastical love story, which follows a couple for six centuries as they survive several tumultuous time periods of Brazil’s history and into an imagined future where the country is at war over water.

The Cristal for best short film went to Oscar winner Chris Landreth (Ryan) for Subconscious Password. The 3D comedy inspired by the game show Password explores the inner workings of the brain as it tries in vain to remember a long-forgotten name. The main character is prompted by several celebrity guests that make an appearance in his mind game.

FILM REVIEW: 'Despicable Me 2' 

Australia’s Julian Frost took home the trophy for best commissioned film for Dumb Ways to Die. The three-minute short for Metro Trains Melbourne was a viral sensation when it was released in 2012, and the accompanying song shot to No. 1 on iTunes. The video shows animated characters accidentally killing themselves in increasingly ridiculous ways, a seemingly simple plot that caused controversy and resulted in the video being banned in Russia. The Russian government objected to the video, saying the examples were “an incitement to commit those acts.” The popular campaign has now spawned an iPhone app and game.

In the television category, Great Britain’s Jan Lachauer and Max Lang were given the Cristal for the Room on the Broom, an animated film of the popular children’s book that aired on BBC1 as a Christmas special in 2012. The characters were voiced by Simon PeggGillian Anderson and Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins.

A special distinction was given to My Mommy is in America, and She Met Buffalo Bill, directed by France’s Marc Boreal and Thibaut Chatel. The hand-drawn feature is based on the 2009 children’s book of the same name.

The audience award went to Spain’s O Apostolo, the stop-motion thriller about an escaped convict who lives in a mysterious village from director Fernando Cortizo Rodriguez.

This year’s festival was the first under the direction of Marcel Jean and saw a handful of special sneak previews, with both Monsters University and Despicable Me 2 showing before their U.S. premieres. 

The winners were chosen from 236 films in competition, selected from a total of 2,460 entries.