Subtle, gentle humour that takes time to brew is not always the way animated shorts develop when a frantic chase or explosion is only a frame or so away. Fabrice O. Joubert’s French Roast is a delight and deservedly well received on the festival circuit, culminating in the Best of Show prize at the annual Siggraph 2009. Set throughout in a Parisian café, a rather aloof cigar smoking gentlemen is distraught to discover he is unable to pay the bill as his wallet has disappeared. Very many coffees later, the bills mounting up, he is still rooted to the spot in mortification when an adjacent little old lady appears to have ample cash to donate to a wild looking vagrant. Her bag is stuffed full of banknotes and very inviting. Events take a turn for the worse when the police arrive. Apart from the gradual evaporation of the lead character's pomposity in a Malvolioesque treatment, one of the key directorial touches is to restrict the action very largely to one view of the café tables with a mirror behind on which the wider action accumulates. A most accomplished production all round, I have previously only seen the trailer on the web and the full eight minute film is a treat. Fabrice's Pumpkin Studio is located in Montreuil, near Paris. He has certainly attracted some expert help in the project with a team of 65 artists and technicians, notably Olivier Lliboutry for an outstanding soundtrack, Nicolas Marlet the character designs and Louis Tardivier the backgrounds. The distinctive matte look of the film is achieved by projecting 2D painting directly onto a 3D set, a technique explained by Fabrice in the informative Character Design as "camera mapping" A class act all round and I doubt if the awards have altogether ceased.