SYNOPSIS


A father and his son are losing the folk race. In order to win, the boy turns himself into a car tire. Loosely inspired by the director's childhood, Sierra pulls us into the surreal car racing world.


See the full film on ↙


THE STEM


SIERRA is based on the animation that the director’s father Heikki Joon made in early 1980s. He animated this piece with no prior experience.

And the story too is based on the actual relationship between them, touching on themes of failed dreams, identity crisis and mental health.



BEHIND THE SCENES




REVIEWS



Sierra is funny, surreal, and yet, at its core, it’s about love, about our need for intimacy, compassion, and, primarily, connection.
(Chris Robinson, Animation World Network)

Sander Joon's film is an absolute delight. There is not a character or element whose design does not feel both fitting and funny. In that I include the errant moustache, the static smoke, the high-visibility-vested mechanics, the drivers who approach each corner as if their hair were also afire. The nurture and nature, the spade and spanner. Even the ending takes a knotty situation and makes something of an idyll from it.
(Andrew Robertson, Eye for Film)

The animation is deceptively simple at first glance but looks incredible in motion. The color choices, movement, and lighting are all a joy to look at and work in perfect harmony with the surreal comedy of the movie. I can't recommend this one enough.
(Henry, Letterboxd)

This one had the biggest response in my screening, cheering, pumping my fists. F👀k yeah Estonia.
(yehaw Babey, Letterboxd)


43 AWARDS


Best of The Festival ✦ Palm Springs ShortFest 2022 (Oscar-qualifying)
Grand Jury Prize for Animated Short ✦ AFI Fest 2022 (Oscar-qualifying)
Best Animated Short ✦ San Francisco International Film Festival 2022 (Oscar-qualifying)
Test Screening Award ✦ Riga IFF Forum 2021
Special Mention ✦ Glasgow SFF 2022
Special Mention ✦ Ismailia International Film Festival 2022
ARTE Short Film Prize ✦ Filmfest Dresden 2022
Youth jury’s Special Mention ✦ Filmfest Dresden 2022
Best Baltic Short ✦ 2Annas ISFF 2022
Special Mention ✦ Anibar International Animation Festival 2022
Audience Award ✦ GLAS Animation Festival 2022
Best International Animation ✦ Animatricks 2022
Golden Prize ✦ GwangHwaMun International Short Film Festival 2022
Second Award ✦ Short Waves Festival 2022
Best Animation ✦ Desertscape International Film Festival 2022
Best Short ✦ Cinema Jove 2022
Grand Prix ✦ Countryside Animafest Cyprus 2022
Best Professional Animation ✦ Turku Animated Film Festival 2022
Audience Award ✦ Turku Animated Film Festival 2022
New Talent Award ✦ Fantoche International Animation Film Festival 2022
Best Animation Award ✦ Orvieto Cinema Fest 2022 2022
Second International Award ✦ Lille International Short Film Festival 2022
Wacom Public Prize ✦ Ottawa International Animation Festival 2022
Special mention from the audience ✦ Galician Freaky Film Festival 2022
Best International Animated Short ✦ Cinekid Festival 2022
Best First Film ✦ Primanima 2022
PrimAlter Award ✦ Primanima 2022
PrimaSound Special Mention ✦ Primanima 2022
Most Popular International Short film ✦ Primanima 2022
Special Mention for Animated Encounters Grand Prix ✦ Encounters Film Festival 2022
Best Short Award ✦ Viborg Animation Festival 2022
Special Mention ✦ Anim’est 2022
Special Mention ✦ Kaohsiung Film Festival 2022
1st Mention ✦ Bit Bang Fest 2022
Jury Citation ✦ Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival 2022
Best Animation Award ✦ Still Voices Film Festival 2022
Jury Mention in National Competition ✦ PÖFF Shorts 2022
Best International Short Film ✦ exground Filmfest 2022
Best Film Byteen Award ✦ Lobo Fest 2022
Main Short Film Prize ✦ Ljubljana International Film Festival 2022
Audience Award ✦ Animateka 2022
Jury Grand Prix ✦ Animateka 2022

By now, SIERRA has been to over 130 festivals and won 43 awards – 3 of them from Oscar-qualifying festivals!




OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK

(Available on Bandcamp, Spotify and as limited edition of physical vinyls)


Check availability on Discogs



REVIEW OF THE SOUNDTRACK


A standout score for a standout animation. [...] A surreal idea many can get on board with given the predisposition of parents to pressure youngsters into rekindling their failed dreams, Estonian producer Misha Panfilov's sonic accompaniment is just as original.

If you're familiar with the artist's aural palette then the contents here will not come as much of a surprise, albeit this is still wholly original stuff. There's a playfulness that makes you think the genius in question would likely be a laugh riot to meet at the bar, with audible depth meaning the live show that follows will transports you to another dimension. Here, moments of bouncing, childlike electronica meet grander ambient classical, with the occasional 1960s elevator pastiche thrown in for good measure. (Source)






CREDITS


Production BOP! ANIMATION & AAA CREATIVE
Animators HENRI VEERMÄE, VALYA PANEVA, TERESA BAROET, SANDER JOON Stop-motion HEIKKI JOON
Sound MATIS REI Composer MISHA PANFILOV Producers ERIK HEINSALU, AURELIA AASA
Director SANDER JOON