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Winner of Best Experimental/Animation – Bugbottle

Winner of Best Experimental/Animation – Bugbottle

Bugbottle explores the possibilities in constructing seemingly-impossible shapes that extend beyond our traditional three-dimensional space.


The universe as we understand it has three dimensions. But what if we could make the inside also the outside? That’s the TARDIS-like mind bending question tackled in Bugbottle, the winner of the SCINEMA 2020 Best Experimental/Animation award.

The film, created by acclaimed visual effects director Beau Janzen, initially looks simple. Yet using just the concept of a glass bottle, and a friendly ant with endless curiosity, Bugbottle demonstrates possibilities of structures that extend beyond our traditional three-dimensional space.

While you may be familiar with a mobius strip – a twisted strip of paper where the inside is the outside and the left is the right, Bugbottle takes the physics one step further. Creating a Klein bottle, a crosscap, and a Boy’s surface, the film shows three structures that have the strange property of being closed surfaces with no holes and which have an inside that merges with the outside.

“As someone who battles with getting my head around the idea of a fourth dimension, this seriously helped!” says SCINEMA 2020 judge Lee Constable.

This is far from the first award won by Janzen, during his career he has also been nominated for an Emmy for his work on Bones, while he worked on Gotham and Westworld which took home Emmys for their visual effects. He has also worked on Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, and DC films Batman vs Superman and Man of Steel.

In fact, this is not even his first SCINEMA win, back in 2006, he also took out the Best Experimental Film for Mesh alongside Producer Konrad Polthier, a film which explored the history of geometry.

“I believe that concepts in math and science, which are too often viewed as dry and lifeless, are in fact compelling, personally relevant, and hold a special beauty,” says Janzen.

Ultimately, I hope the impact of my work… helps spark in my audience new ways of seeing the world.”

For the judges, it was that simplicity of an otherwise complicated concept that perfectly embodied a demonstration of our weird universe – something that sounds impossible being created before our very eyes.

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For more details about the individual films, visit the Award Winners page.

Image credit: Supplied. 

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