Stop-motion filmmaker and art director Zach Tolchinsky (Film/Video MFA 2020) won My RØDE Reel (MRR) 2020’s first prize in animation for his film The Forbidden Zone.
Tolchinsky was recognized in the competition’s Genre Category, which also included comedy, drama, documentary and behind the scenes. He was awarded a $75,000 prize.
The three-minute stop-motion short features a man who encounters a strange energy source as he treks across a desolate post-apocalyptic terrain. Watch the full short film above.
Tolchinsky is a Los Angeles-based animation director and producer, as well as the founding creative director of the independent animation outfit Wood Goblin Studios. In late 2019, the studio provided the stop-motion puppets in Katy Perry’s holiday-themed music video for A Cozy Little Christmas.
MRR is hosted by RØDE Microphones, dubbed the “world’s largest short film competition.” According to SLR Lounge, the cash prize pool for the 2020 edition was upped to $1 million, the most ever offered in a short film competition. As a result, the number of applicants who submitted their films tripled for the 2020 competition. Entries poured in from 114 countries, and the winning filmmakers represent 12 countries from around the world.