Short film ZOO nabs Best Short Animation at Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People

21 December 2023:

After screening at about 20 international film festivals and winning five awards, Tariq Rimawi’s short film ZOO took home the sixth award during the closing ceremony of the 26th edition of the Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People.  
 
Upon being awarded the Best Short Animation in the Children's Juries Over 13 Years Old section of the festival, Aminah Abdat, the film's producer and Art director, expressed her admiration for the positive reviews and wide acclaim that the film garnered during its screening at the festival.
 
The film already received huge success upon its screening at about 20 international film festivals, grabbing multiple awards, including Best Short Animation at the Bahrain Film Festival, Best Short Animation at the Tangier Film Festival, and the Tipoli Best Animation Award at Lebanon International Short Film Festival. 
 
Previously, the film world premiered at the Red Sea International Film Festival, screened at the Short Film Corner of the Cannes Film Festival, and held its European premiere at the XXIV International Festival Corti da Sogni Antonio Ricci, where it won the Giuseppe Maestri Prize for Best Animation. 
 
ZOO follows Sami, who wanders through the worst zoo in the world while looking for his ball, and then crosses paths with a little tiger named Laziz, who follows him on his quest to find a safe place to play. 
 
Against all odds, they become friends. But the remnants of war harbor danger.
 
Written and directed by Tariq Rimawi, the film is produced by StudioNICE Creative, was supported by Jordan’s Royal Film Commission, and received a co-production prize from the Robert Bosch Stiftung Foundation. 
 
With MAD Solutions handling distribution in the Arab world, the film is produced by Aminah Abdat and Moritz Mayerhofer, who once made it to the shortlist of the 2011 Oscars for his animated short URS. 
 
Tariq Rimawi is an independent Jordanian animated film director, scriptwriter, and academic member who graduated with a master’s in animation from the UK’s Newport Film School in 2010 before obtaining a PhD in animation from Loughborough University in 2014. 
 
His films have received regional and international awards and have been screened at over 200 international film festivals.
 
In 2016, Rimawi established the Animation Department at the University of Petra in Jordan to equip its graduates with the latest storytelling and visual communication techniques. 
 
He currently serves as the Section Head of the Multimedia and Production Studio at the Digital Learning and Online Education Office at Qatar University.