Winner: Best Animated Film award at the 2022 Tokyo Sensei Filmfest

Nana korobi, Ya oki , a short animated film with original music and story by Glenna Burmer, won the Best Animated Film award at the 2022 Tokyo Sensei FIlmfest this month.

Judges at the Sensei Filmfest were enthralled with the film: “The beauty with which these directors paint each scene is typical of the great impressionist painters Renoir, Monet and Manet. [The film] is a picturesque story that moves and intrigues you in equal parts. You will never forget it.”

Nana korobi, Ya oki was also nominated in three other categories: Best Original Animation Style, Best Created Environment, and Best Action, Sci-Fi or Fantasy Film. The film was judged against 1,499 submissions from countries around the world, including Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.  

The Tokyo Sensei Filmfest not only recognizes independent film directors and content creators for their high-caliber work but also creates a festival experience that is empowering, making independent filmmakers feel like superheroes. All winning films, including Nana korobi, Ya oki, will be available to screen online at the Sensei Filmfest for a limited time.

Screen the film here.

Nana korobi, Ya oki, or Seven Falls, tells the inspirational story of a young girl who undergoes seven challenges to save a dear friend from the cold. The film’s title is from a Japanese proverb which says:  “Seven times you may fall, but get up the eighth.”  

Created by music producer and filmmaker Glenna Burmer, the film was produced and animated by Deep Sky, led by art director Gaby Breiter. The original music featuring woodwinds and strings was composed by Glenna Burmer. Not only is it a female-led film in the areas of production, musical score and on-screen animation, but it was also inspired by Burmer’s mother who was a sumi-e artist. This makes the Sensei FIlmfest’s comparison to an impressionist work of art particularly apt.

Burmer’s animated film has won more than 50 festival awards worldwide since it was completed in spring 2021. Among top honors were awards won at several prominent Pacific Northwest festivals, such as the Seattle Film Festival and the Oregon Short Film Festival, as well as recognition from festivals worldwide from India to Istanbul, Singapore to Spain.