Neighbour Abdi Wins Adobe Prize for Visual Effects

Douwe Dijkstra receives the visual effects award for his film Neighbour Abdi, at the 2023 Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival.

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The 45th annual International Short Film Festival recently concluded in Clermont-Ferrand, France. As in previous years, Adobe presented the the Adobe Visual Effects Award (‘Prix des Effets Visuels Adobe’). This year’s winning film was the outstanding Neighbour Abdi (Original title: Buurman Abdi), directed by Douwe Dijkstra.

This documentary uses light-hearted reconstructions and visual effects to examine the background of Somali-born furniture designer Abdi, notably exploring the wars and criminality present in Abdi’s life.

Each film under consideration for the Adobe Visual Effects Award was carefully considered by a panel of technical specialists – and film fans – on the Adobe Substance 3D team. The award presented was created by local artist Nokat.

This year, the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival took place between 27 January – 4 February. Beginning in 1979, and then becoming a competitive film festival in 1982, it is the most prominent short film festival in the world. In France, the film festival is second only to the Cannes Film Festival in terms of number of attendees.

Photograph by Anthonin Robineau

Director Douwe Dijkstra, receiving the Adobe Visual Effects Award (‘Prix des Effets Visuels Adobe’), personalized for 2023 by Nokat.

Douwe Dijkstra and Abdiwahab Ali

Clermont-Ferrand is the birthplace of the Substance 3D software. The doctoral thesis of Sébastien Deguy, which laid the foundations of the Substance toolset, was completed in Clermont-Ferrand; Allegorithmic, the company that originally created and developed the various Substance tools, was similarly founded in Clermont-Ferrand. Allegorithmic sponsored the International Short Film Festival in 2018 and 2019, before joining Adobe. Adobe has subsequently continued the tradition of sponsoring this film festival, which serves as a spotlight on breakthrough cinematographic talent.

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