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AVID Audience Award for Tom Van Gestel at IKL

12 december 2007
Terzo Mondo by Tom Van Gestel has won the AVID Audience Award for Best Animated Short at the International Short Film Festival in Leuven.
The story of Terzo Mondo is situated in two equally small villages, one in Europe and one in Africa. Each village is confronted with an outsider, and they both have their way of welcoming him. Terzo Mondo is the graduation project of Tom Van Gestel (22), who left the RITS Film School in Brussels only a few months ago. Nevertheless, he has acquired a lot of working experience in recent years. During his internship at Walking the Dog in Brussels, he worked on the widely acclaimed short Dji vou veu volti (directed by Benoit Feroumont), of which he animated about 1 minute. In his final year, he started animating a hamster as a sidekick in the Flemish feature Firmin, directed by Dominique Deruddere. 'I spend two months animating it, leaving only 6 months to work on my graduation film', says Tom. 'The last months I practically lived at Walking the Dog… I had so much rendering to do because nowadays people expect a lot from a 3D movie. If I had not been able to use the rendering farm of the studio in return for my contribution to Dji vou veu volti, I would never have finished the movie in time. ' Terzo Mondo The day after his graduation, Tom started working for Walking the Dog. 'We have a team of three people here to work on 3D production. I like this job a lot and I appreciate the variety of work we get to do in this studio. It is just not my cup of tea to repeat the same thing over and over again. And just like any young recently graduated film student, I simply want to direct my own short movie… At present, I am not working on a specific project of my own, but recently I have been in touch with some people of Nickelodeon who were charmed by Terzo Mondo at a recent festival in England. So I picked up drawing again in my own time and started to think about something along the lines of Terzo Mondo and La Réalité, my first film. I like simple characters, because they appeal to all ages and because they allow you to create a lot of movement simultaneously.' This summer, Tom also worked as CG Supervisor on Fertilize, a very ambitious short by the young director Senne Dehandschutter. 'I am very glad I had the opportunity to do this job on a project like this. I learned a lot from this experience. There were a lot of problems to be solved. One of the lessons I learned is that it is not wise to combine working on two big projects at the same time…' Meanwhile, the future looks bright for Terzo Mondo. A number of festivals outside Belgium have selected it for their competitions. 'I had so much fun working on it', says Tom. 'With Terzo Mondo, I felt 'safe' all the way because the I started out from a good story. It did not depend solely on esthetics or technical effects, so there was no stress in this respect. I always had a strong concept to fall back on.' With the AVID Audience Award at IKL comes a prize of €1.800.