Supernova 2017 Winners

The 2017 edition of Supernova Outdoor Digital Animation Festivalconcluded at the end of a wet evening that settled in typical fashion upon Denver, Colorado last Saturday. While the shift in weather created unexpected challenges for some of the proceedings, the festival proved resilient and prepared, with a full slate of programming presented under the cover of theDenver Performing Arts Complex Galleria to a robust, enthusiastic audience, seven hours of additional animations being displayed on the 14th and Champa LED, and continuous content looping on four additional screens in the core of the Denver Theatre District throughout the entire day. The festival ended in dramatic fashion, with the final program in the DPAC wrapping up shortly around 10pm, just as thousands of patrons for the Buell Theater’s production of “Frozen” streamed past. Along with Thursday night’s packed lecture by Festival Juror Faiyaz Jafri hosted by Sie Film Center,  Friday’s public Education Forum at the Auraria Library, the “Stars of Supernova” opening at NXT STG Collaborative, and a truly spectacular private launch party Friday evening atATC DEN, SUPERNOVA weekend proved itself in so many new and profound ways to be one of Denver’s most innovative and captivating projects, supporting a dynamic side of visual art and animation in the most unique way possible.

SUPERNOVA once again brought three prestigious jurors to Denver, all leaders in the field of new-media animation and contemporary art, in order to determine the festival’s three cash prize awards, with a directive towards attention to fresh approaches in digital technique as well as effective display on the LED format that makes Supernova a such a singular experience. Raquel Meyers, Faiyaz Jafri and Peter Burr also had a selection of their own works screened as an official program in the festival, on two additional auxiliary screens throughout the day, and within the NXT STG Collaborative Gallery in the DPAC Galleria. Juror deliberations begun with the conclusion of the evening competition screening, and were officially finalized around 11pm that night. As with the inaugural edition of the festival, the 2017 jurors were unanimous in their top three selections for prizes from the Juried Competition selections, with the results officially announced on sequential days after the conclusion of the festival via Denver Digerati’s Facebook site, the best source for those around the world to follow the festival’s proceedings. The final awards for SUPERNOVA  2017 are as follows:

Nikita Diakur / Still from “Ugly”
11:55 mins, 2017

3rd Prize of $1,000 is awarded to Nikita Diakur for his exceptional 12 minute short Ugly, one of the most innovative and thoughtful works presented in the juried competition. “Ugly” is the true story about a Native American Chief and an ugly cat who try to find peace in an evil and destructive neighborhood. Diakur grew up in Moscow,  and after finishing school in Germany, went on to study Graphics at Central Saint Martins College and later Animation at the Royal College of Art in London. He currently works as an independent filmmaker in Mainz, Germany. On the same day of his screening in Denver, Diakur’s “Ugly” concurrently received the Nelvana Grand Prize for Independent  Short at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, North America’s leading animation film festival held in Canada. 

Preview available at:

Jack Wedge / Still from “Tennessee”
8:34 mins, 2017

2nd Prize of $1,500 is awarded to to Jack Wedge for his totally captivating and super-surreal eight  and a half minute short Tennessee, a story about love and the future of the world. Wedge is a 20 year old artist currently at NYU studying film and video games who takes inspiration from German Expressionism, Werner Herzog, David Lynch and Hayao Miyazaki. He is interested in how he can use commentary and satire to help the world, specifically involving environmental conservation, civil rights, and getting rid of the 45th president.

Preview available at:

Max Hattler / Still from “Divisional Articulations”
4:33 mins, 2017

The Grand Prize of $2,000 is awarded to  to Max Hattler for his energetic, thoroughly captivating abstraction Divisional Articulations, a work that perfectly captures the unique attributes of the festival’s LED screen format, and featuring sound dynamics that resonate fully in any context. The piece is an example of outstanding collaboration in new-media animation and art, orchestrated by Hattler with the sound developed by composer Lux Prima and animation by Hong-Kong based artists King Lam Chan, Po Yi Chan, Hinyi Cheuk, Ka Man Chow, Cheuk Hei Kai, Tsz Ching Kwan, Hau Ying Lui, Ka Man Luk, Ngai Wan Ma, Cheuk Lam Mui, Kam Ian Sio, Susan Sun, Qi Yu Teo, Ka Yiu Wong, Crystal Yip, Ka Man Yu as well as Hattler, with code by Sune Petersen.

Max Hattler is an artist interested in the space between abstraction and figuration in the moving image, where storytelling is freed from the constraints of traditional narrative. Working across the fields of experimental animation, video installation and audiovisual performance, Max has presented his work in exhibitions and festivals around the world. He holds a Doctorate in Fine Art from the University of East London and an MA in Animation from the Royal College of Art. He is an Assistant Professor at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.

Animation available at:

Emily Sasmor / Still from “Strangers Cowboys”
25:43 mins, 2017

SUPERNOVA also awarded two honorable mentions for artists with entries outside of the official competition program, this year determined by Festival Director and founder Ivar Zeile. The honors and $250 cash prize, are awarded to Emily Sasmor of Chicago for her pioneering 25 minute work “Strangers Cowboys,” which was presented on the DPAC LED screen in the evening program RADICAL VISION / DARK DREAMS, and to Seishi Irimajiri of Japan, for his 9-minute debut animation “Borderline,” presented in the REAL LIFE ALTERNATE REALITIES program on the 14th and Champa LED Screen.    

Seishi Irimajiri / Still from “Borderline”
9:01 mins, 2017

Sasmor’s Animation is available at:

A preview of Irimajiri’s animation is available at:

Supernova will present a looping reel of the five award winners at the NXT STG Collaborative Gallery for the ongoing “Stars of Supernova” exhibition, starting Thursday, September 28th during the gallery’s regular hours. This is an exciting opportunity for Denver's public to engage with the festival’s honored works through November 11th.

We congratulate all of our award winners and thank all artist who participated in SUPERNOVA 2017. We especially thank those artists who came to Denver from afar to be part of this incredibly unique and fun experience. Here are select images that give a little taste of it. We'll have plenty more to share via ourFacebook page in the coming week, so make sure to follow us there onDenver Digerati.