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Gus Wins in Monaco!

“Gus” won Best Short Animation Film and Best Script for a Short Film at the Angel Film Awards at the Monaco International Film Festival last week!


I attended the festival with my parents. The 30-hour journey and 9 hour time difference made a mess of our body clocks, and with only one night to recover before the festival started, it was never going to be easy.

After squeezing in a little tourist time in the morning, the first day of the festival started with afternoon welcome drinks and the donation of our teddy bears to the Cinema Angels Give a Toy charity. I have little doubt my FLATOUTbear Koala will become a child’s much-loved companion.

Each afternoon and evening was filled with back-to-back screenings of both short and feature films. This isn’t an easy watch at the best of times, but in our condition was quite a challenge. Some of the films were excellent, so I felt quite bad for struggling to stay awake through them. After “Gus” screened, which got a wonderful response from the audience, I was invited to the stage for a quick chat with the festival’s MC, Babita Sharma (BBC World News). I’d prepared answers for what I thought would be the most likely questions asked, but on the topic of how I came up with the idea for the film, Babita asked if I suffer from a similar problem to Gus. I hadn’t prepared an answer for such a question, so I simply denied having any such condition. I’m not sure I was convincing…

Each night ended with a party, one of which was held at the Hotel Hermitage’s Salle Belle Epoque. I’ve never been in an environment where wearing a tuxedo felt so right. It was quite an opulent scene and I must thank Zenetti for my attire. Many people approached me to congratulate me on my film. It felt great knowing people enjoyed it and had so many wonderful things to say about it. Questions of sequels and features came up a lot. For anyone wondering, no, I have no plans for any more “Gus” films.

The final night of the festival was the Angel Film Awards ceremony. “Gus” was awarded Best Script for a Short Film, which I’m told caused heated discussions amongst the judges. I must thank Babita Sharma and Melissa Papel for their votes! “Gus” was also awarded Best Animation Short Film. The stand out film of the festival, however, and my favourite, was Kono Kishi No Koto, directed by Bunji Sotoyama. I’d like to congratulate Bunji on creating such an exceptional film. It was very deserving of all the awards it received and I encourage everyone to see it if they get the opportunity.

When we weren’t watching films or sleeping, we were wandering around Monaco site seeing. It’s a beautiful city, and small enough to be able to walk everywhere. We visited the Monte Carlo Casino, the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, the Saint Nicholas Cathedral, iconic sections of the F1 circuit and enjoyed local cuisines by La Condamine harbour, which was filled with some very expensive yachts.

As the final days were upon us, our body clocks finally adjusted to Monaco time. It was too late to be of much help, and the common cold decided to make an appearance. Suffice it to say our return journey was a bit uncomfortable, and the recovery longer than expected!

It’s all over now and life is back to normal, but I met many interesting people. Some were very generous and willing to offer me their advice and support to help further my career. It was a great experience and one I will never forget.

I’d like to thank my parents for coming along. It meant a great deal to me having them there and I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.

Until next time... keep creating!


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