Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

With 66 Awards, Is Attardi the Next Walt Disney?

By Andy Van Roon

Michael Attardi, once a backup place-kicker for the fabled Los Angeles Raiders, looks like he’s on his way back to L.A. in a different arena — big screen animation fables. He’s already broken all records for the greatest number of awards won by a single indie animated film in one year — 66 — and still has 12 festivals to go in his circuit. Writer/director/producer/songwriter Attardi, is the imaginer behind the short, “Once Upon A Christmas Village,” (www.DreamBalloonProductions.com) an animation musical adventure starring Jim Belushi, Tim Curry and newcomer, Amanda Davis, designed to be a prototype for the full length feature version, “Snowyville,” currently in pre-production and set to shoot at Universal Studios in Orlando. The project has been so successful it has attracted Miramax financing vet John Hadity, who now steers the helm for the feature film project.

It has taken all of Attardi’s stamina learned as a former NFL player, as he and team members traveled from city to city on the path to winning at one venue after another. “Once Upon A Christmas Village” has won awards at Cannes (Moving Pictures Magazine Competition), Florence, Italy, WorldFest, Houston, New York, Boston International, Hollyshorts, Hollywood, Swansea Bay, South Africa, Action/Cut, DigiFestival, DC Independent, Delray Beach, Queen’s International, Las Vegas International, Garden State, Los Angeles Children’s Festival among many others, as well as 7 Aurora Awards (Best Director/Animation/Special Effects/Music/Writing/Lyrics/Producer), 7 Davey Awards,

4 Accolade’s for Award of Excellence, and a whopping 11 Telly Awards.



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By Hayden Craddolph

You may remember the movie “Forest Gump,” when Tom Hanks takes us through a journey of a boy who beats all the odds. That journey was a combination of talent, luck and determination of a man who never feared his challenges but embraced them as if they were his mission in life. Writer, Director, Michael Attardi, has always embraced his own dreams and like “Forest,” has always found a way to rise to the top. Most of you may or may not even know who Michael Attardi is, but his story is one of inspiration and determination that embraces the very essence of hope, faith and charity in humanity. 

A year ago, the domestic and international film industry had no idea who Michael Attardi was either. Now, he holds the title of “Internationally Acclaimed,” and has recently shattered the all-time film festival record with his 64th Award. Attardi’s animated film, “Once Upon a Christmas Village,” starring the voice talents of Jim Belushi and Tim Curry, won three film festivals’s this week in Philadelphia, South Africa and Florence, Italy. With seven more festivals in his circuit season, Attardi has a chance to continue his award winning record that may never be broken.

One would think that Michael Attardi would be flying in the clouds and why not, he’s won the Telly, Aurora, Accolade and Davey Awards to sweep the animated short filmmakers “Quad Crown,” Series for this year. Only five other short animated films had ever achieved this honor and they were films made by Pixar, Fox, DreamWorks and Disney. As if this was not enough, Attardi will face these studio giants as they’ll compete for the 2008 Academy Awards. A feat that may not be obtained since it is driven by high priced marketing and public relations that run in the figures of over a million dollar campaign. The last time I’ve spoke to Attardi, he had said that he does not have that kind of money to stage a serious Academy Awards campaign. Attardi was very humble and proud of his animation team who had helped him receive these honors. “I really believe that my animation team, ran by Jeff Sheetz and my musical composer, Dani Donadi had everything to do with our success. Having professionals like them, joined with amazing talents like Jim Bulushi, Tim Curry and Amanda Davis, creates a recipe for greatness. I really am very humbled by the fact that my peer’s in the animation world has embraced our film for what it was.” Attardi continued, “The support I have had from my friends from Long Branch, Orlando, Hollywood and New York have been incredible. I was able to put together a team, lead by two really great friends Gary Mason and David Ciambrone who not only believed in my dreams but their own dream’s as well. That is what made this film magical. It was never about me, it was always about the story.”

Isn’t it always about the story? Maybe that is why this story was important to tell. Like Forest Gump, Michael’s story will never end. We learn that when the feather falls out of Forrest’s book and fly’s away into the clouds, it leaves us to believe that this is just the beginning of great things.          

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The Festival of Creativity, sponsored by Digifest.net in Florence, Italy was the site of an elite arts presentation to filmmakers from across the world. The ten day festival boasted over 50,000 people who came to watch the very best films of the film festival circuit of this year. Long Branch local, Michael Attardi, had not only won the animation category but took home the top prize for “Best of Festival.” This is the first time that an animated film has ever won this accolade.

Florence, known as the birth place of Michelangelo and the Renaissance art period, take art and film very seriously. In fact, only five films from all over the world were chosen in their category. Attardi’s film, Once Upon a Christmas Village starring the voice talents of Jim Belushi and Tim Curry has won almost every top award in the film industry this year.

A year ago, Attardi had an idea to make an animated short film. He found a few investors then put together an award-winning animation team in Orlando, Florida. Now, he holds the title of “Internationally Acclaimed,” and has recently shattered the all-time film festival record with his 57 Th Award win.

Attardi, Belushi, and Curry: Break Short-Animation Film Record with 57Th Award


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