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With little insight into the judging process or any real logic save ‘we love this one’, here are our picks for the best of each category in the Vimeo Festival 2012 ahead of tonight’s awards.

Animation

Probably one of the strongest categories this year; Fabian Grodde’s Crossover could win for the intricate attention to detail on show, whilst Nelson Boles’ Little Boat could grab top spot for its mesmerising transformation from simple to complex animation . However, we’re going to plump for Malcolm Sutherland’s Umbra scooping the award in this category, as its uniqueness and oddness makes it feel like nothing we’ve seen before.

Advertising

The category of work that most of choose to actively skip, but the finalists brought home what we miss when we head out for that cup of tea. The balls to the wall approach of Caviar’s K-Swiss – Kenny Powers Mfceo had us laughing till we cried, while the effects heavy Plot Device and Gatorade’s Go All Day kept us glued to the screen. However the 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, in 1 minute that comprise Rick Mereki’s Move, made us nostalgic for journeys we haven’t even taken yet and so is our pick for the Advertising category.

Remix

Anyone who’s listened to dodgy b-side mixes knows that remixing isn’t a simple case of dropping a filter on existing material. In this category we got to see the simultaneous launches of 135 NASA rockets in Grand Finale 2010-11, a love song to 80s’ movies in Synchronize and iconic movie characters walking across screen in Cinezoïque – The Movie Time Line, but it’s the stitched together time-lapse genius of Jeff Desom’s Rear Window Timelapse which had us take a completely new look at something we thought we were completely familiar with.

Action Sports

The Action Sports category gave us breath taking feats of climbing in Yosemite in On Assignment, falling, spinning and gliding in Experience Freedom and the poetic meditation on wave riding of Dark Side of the Lens, but it was Orlando Von Einsidedel’s measured view of Afghanistan skate school Skateistan that topped this category for us.

Music Video

Having already scooped two awards at the UK Music Video Awards, it’s probably crazy not to back the DANIELS’ ‘life-spanningly complete’ promo for the Manchester Orchestra’s Simple Math, but we’ve always been one for backing the outsider here at DN towers – which is why were predicting a win for Sean Pecknold’s The Shrine/An Argument. Whilst it may not pack the visual impact of Simple Math or Is Tropical’s The Greeks, the way Pecknold’s images combine with the sounds of the Fleet Foxes track elevate this to something more than just another music video.

Experimental

Whilst there were some strong visuals on show in the three other shortlisted films in the Experimental category, the gripping and somewhat uncomfortable narrative of Vadim Gershman and Ryan Powell’s Phaseone – Sugar makes it the standout piece in this selection of boundary-pushing shorts. Part music video, part documentary & part drama, Phaseone – Sugar could have easily been just a film of many contrasting parts, but Gershman Powell combine elements perfectly and end up creating a totally immersive viewing experience.

Motion Graphics

Another tough category, but whilst animation fans will love The Adventures of Tintin, film fans will admire The History of the Title Sequence and historians will relish the Gettysburg Address. It’s the epic work of director Mischa Rozema and graphic designer Si Scott, creating a dystopian vision of the future for Year Zero – OFFF Barcelona 2011 Main Titles that seems most likely to get this award.

Fashion

Fashion films have become an ever increasing part of our coverage in here on DN so the diversity of the Fashion category has warmed our hearts greatly. Whether it’s the dress explosions of Experiment No.9 ‘Dynamic Blooms, the groundhog dayesque progression of La Prochaine Fois or the stamp, tap skills displayed in Step, Clap, Go!, we’ve taken this category of films to our hearts. But who could refuse chooseing the girl you can’t live with but also can’t live without of Mulberry ‘Skirt’` for your favourite in the Fashion category?

Series

The Series category is the only one that gave us extended time with the stories of the final four finalist. So we were emotionally invested in the life struggle of Often Awesome The Series, thrilled by the visual spectacle of Joerg Daiber’s Little Big World and fell into the random events in M E M O R Y B O X , but we ultimately learn towards dreams given visual form in Dreamstates as our favourite in this category.

Documentary

This was a tough call as we’ve been long time fans of the work California Is A Place has put out over the last few years, Temujin Doran is one of our favourite working directors at the moment. The story of the chess playing lead in Odysseus’ Gambit gave us pause for the difficulties of life, but Andrew Hinton’s exposition free documentary Amar best transported us into the life of it’s protagonist through onscreen action.

Narrative

Possibly the most diverse range of films the Narrative category had us time travelling with a ham sandwich, spying on a lone girl where she most felt safe and righting wrongs with a four legged friend. However, the plight of BLINKEY, the robot that just wants to please is the one that took us on the greatest emotional narrative ride.

Lyrical

Even though we’re huge fans of Everynone’s work here at DN, we’re going to throw our support behind Michael König celestial short Earth to be victorious in the Lyrical category. Earth is a truly out of this world experience and the breathtaking imagery on show in König’s film means it is likely the other 3 entries will be left in this powerful short’s orbit.

Captured

Showing us what we missed because we weren’t there is what the Captured category is all about. So whether it’s wifi light painting, video painting with electronic rollers or a recording of a light sculpture. we got to see events that happened in our absence. Joy of the Box’s Quad Time though is the film that most put our now into the then and so is our pick.

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