High Five in association withThe Immortal Awards
High Five: Animation with an Alt Twist
Los Angeles, USA
Gustavo Karam, co-founder and EP at Final Frontier and Le Cube, picks five effective animation projects from the last twelve months that he feels deserve to be shared

Final Frontier is an animation production company, as well as a creative hub, connecting worldwide brands and artists to collaborate on beautiful pieces that go from design to animated films for all media and purposes. Le Cube is a boutique animation studio especially known for its wonderful characters and 2D animation work. That being said, today I’d like to bring a few favs that I believe can feel a little different from business as usual. That is, they might not get the spotlight of huge ad campaigns, but still possess an abundance of inspiring elements, ideas and, of course, results. From the complex and experimental to the deceptively simple, I hope what I have picked today can act as a spotlight on itself, a way of saying: "Hey, look at all the amazing, unique things that can be crafted through animation...”. Other than that, enjoy the ride!

'Magna Matter' - Short Film

Agency: Playful
Creative Director: Pablo Alfieri
Music: Smider Agency x Niccolò Chotkowski
I absolutely love Pablo Alfieri’s work, as well as everything in his Madrid-based collective, Playful. In Magna Matter, we witness a beautiful dance that balances the real and the virtual, an experimental short film that manages to create a visual journey that connects perfectly in my mind with the metaverse future / present, while also delivering a masterful artistic vision. Feels like something any luxury brand could employ proudly, even if it works perfectly as a piece of art by itself.

'Facing Incest' - PSA

Agency: Publicis Conseil
Production: Jungler
Director: Vincent Gibaud
I know this is kind of a hard subject, but it’s fair to remember animation is more than fun characters and lighthearted stories. This Vincent Gibaud directed short film is more proof than you could ever need for someone who still wasn’t sure. Produced by Jungler for Publicis Conseil, 'Face of Incest' brings to light such a powerful message, while at the same time uses animation’s unique characteristic to bring viewers into a feeling, not necessarily a story. For me, this is animation’s true superpower; turning ideas, feelings and sensations into impactful graphic representations.

Gross Brewing - 'Blue Dog'

Production: Niceshit
Directors: Niceshit x Leo Campasso

Blue Dog has such energy to it that it’s impossible not to get psyched after watching it. I believe it’s easily among the coolest 2D animations made in the last year, and it’s the apex of something Niceshit is quite brilliant at: turning the simple into something exquisite. Trust me, conceptualising and executing something like Blue Dog is a true art form, and what the team achieved with this piece is at the top of what a minimalist - yet awesome-  approach can bring to life.

Contretemps - 'Gobelins Student Film'

Directors: Laurine Baille x Gabriel Gérard x Lise Légier x Chloé Maingé x Claire Sun

This might feel like a curveball, but bear with me! Contretemps is a 'Ecole de l'image Gobelins' graduation film, and honestly, a great way for me to showcase why I love the French animation production (and overall scene) so much. Some people wait all year for Oscar picks, but I’m way more eager for the Gobelin’s graduation films! Hopefully, this beautiful piece of animation will help you see why we put so much trust in the unique animators the impeccable French formation process helps create. This film tells a beautiful story of someone with OCD overcoming the disease. It's a delicate and bold approach, and at the same time raises a subject that is less discussed than it should.

Lux - 'Born This Way'

Agency: Wunderman Thompson Singapore
Production: Final Frontier
Animation: Le Cube
Director: Ralph Karam

Created by Final Frontier, alongside Wunderman Thompson Singapore, and directed by Le Cube, 'Born This Way' is a very special piece for our team. We see such beauty in its message and honestly it's such a cool execution that it’s hard not to be proud of what we achieved with it. On top of that, the film was directed by my brother, Ralph Karam, who’s the creative director at Le Cube, so it feels very close to home in every way possible. As I mentioned before, I love a good visual metaphor, especially the ones capable of that taking the viewers on a journey - imprinting a feeling right into our minds. I feel like you can connect with Caster Semenya’s struggle through its imagery, and that’s what makes me the proudest about the results to add into this list. 

Work from Final Frontier
Divine Light
Zhiben Film
Naraka: Bladepoint BTS
24 Entertainment
Naraka: Bladepoint
24 Entertainment