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LIAF 2019: Opening Night Gala feat. Female Figures – To Boldly Go + Q&A (15*)

November 29, 2019
6:30 pm

Join us in this very special opening event at LIAF 2019 celebrating Female Figures and women making science fiction inspired, animated shorts. As accessible as the genre is, Sci-Fi is still viewed to be a ‘male’ genre. There are however many women artists who are as equally excited by the potential of scientific and technological innovation, and moreover, as artists excel at using technology in the creation of their work.

With this remarkable film programme, these animators imagine brave new worlds whilst placing women at the heart of their speculative stories. Our contributors, from across the planet choose to take their protagonist on interstellar travel, imagine the impact of an alien presence on our world or merge parallel universes, as a way in which to reflect on the way in which we navigate our own world. Given the tumultuous times we find ourselves in, where we are witnessing women’s rights being eroded, it is no surprise that in several fantastical and satirical works we’re presented with future scenarios where the more sinister side of authority, political ideology and surveillance are being challenged. Linked with this is the role that artificial intelligence, smart technology and synthetic biology might play in our futures, as considered in some of the perceptive and playful shorts you will find here.

Nevertheless, pioneer Mary Shelley wrote the sensational ‘Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus’ back in 1818, and this year the phenomenal Margaret Atwood launched her latest dystopian novel ‘The Testaments’. Women creating Sci-Fi is not a new phenomenon, but one we should revere.

The programme is curated by Abigail Addison at Animate Projects, who will lead a post-screening conversation with featured animators Katerina Athanasopoulou, Flóra Anna Buda, and Chiara Sgatti, plus experimental animation academic Lilly Husbands.

The LIAF Gala Screening has become a festival favourite – numbers are strictly limited. Book early to avoid heartbreak!

At Barbican book tickets

With Special Thanks to Balassi Institute: Hungarian Cultural Centre

Balassi Institute, Hungarian Cultural Centre London


Abigail Addison

Abigail is a Producer, and is a Director of arts agency Animate Projects that works at the intersection of animation, film and art. She has produced many innovative projects and was nominated for the BAFTA British Short Animation 2019 for Elizabeth Hobbs’ experimental short, ‘I’m OK’. She also independently produces films, and co-produced Chris Shepherd’s multi award winning ‘Johnno’s Dead’.

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Katerina Athanasopoulou

Katerina Athanasopoulou is a Greek-born artist living in London who creates animation for the cinema and gallery space. She studied Fine Art at Aristotle University in Greece and Animation at the Royal College of Art. Her films have been shown internationally at film festivals and galleries worldwide. Katerina is currently a PhD candidate within Plymouth University, researching the affective affordances of VR animated documentaries.

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Flóra Anna Buda

Hungarian Animation Director Flóra Anna Buda graduated with an MA in Animation from MOME (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design) in Budapest in 2018. One of her main goals is to keep searching for new ways of creating universes and telling stories. She is deeply interested in dreams and science, and she likes to twist her stories with personal content.

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Lilly Husbands

Lilly Husbands is a Lecturer in Animation and Visual Culture at Middlesex University. Her research is broadly concerned with the legacy and evolution of experimental animation in the context of contemporary multimedia practice. She is an associate editor of ‘Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal’ and has published numerous book chapters and articles on experimental animation. She is the co-editor of the book ‘Experimental Animation: From Analogue to Digital’.

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Chiara Sgatti

Chiara Sgatti was born in Italy and came to study animation in the UK. She has an MA in Animation from the Royal College of Art. She loves telling stories and creating imaginary worlds, but most of all, she loves drawing. For the past few years, Chiara has been working as a 2D animator in London for companies including the BBC, Nexus, Passion Pictures, Mummu, Amnesty International, Blinkink and The Royal British Legion. She has screened her shorts at Sundance, Raindance, Annecy and Pictoplasma.

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Slug Life (Sophie Koko Gate, UK)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Slug Life, Sophie Koko GateA day in the life of Tanya, a curious woman who has developed a taste for a beautiful giant slug.

2018, 7min

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Desire Line (Ruini Shi, UK)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Desire Line, Ruini ShiWhen a tragedy occurs one Valentine’s Day, we turn to a bot for answers.

2018, 7min

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Vicarious (Danna Grace (Dan G) Windsor, USA)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Vicarious, Danna Grace Windsor, Dan GTwo grieving friends, a subway ride, a funeral and a skin suit.

2016, 6min

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The Thing I Left Behind (Chiara Sgatti, UK)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, The Thing I Left Behind, Chiara SgattiA former baseball player, forced to quit her career due to multiple sclerosis, is taken care of by a robot and a smart house.

2018, 8min

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Burn Out (Cécile Carre, France)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Burn Out, Cécile CarreA space mechanic on a desert planet meets a little girl. The strange encounter reminds her of the dreams she has left behind.

2017, 4min

Stellar (Laura Højberg Kunov, Denmark)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Stellar, Laura Højberg KunovA bleak, monotone city is brought to life by the appearance of some floating, liquid orbs, soaring towards the skies.

2017, 4min

The Law of Celly (Mariola Brillowska, Germany)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, The Law of Celly, Mariola BrillowskaIn the future, jobless people will become their own entrepreneurs because they have to market their spare time.

2011, 4min

Ursa Minor (Yearin Lee, UK)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Ursa Minor, Yearin LeeA girl raised in a religious group finds out the truth about religion while following the bear.

2018,  8min

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Toxic (Patricia Luna, USA)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Toxic, Patricia LunaA toxic cloud leads a middle class family to evacuation. Inspired by Don DeLillo’s novel ‘White Noise’.

2015, 6min

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Spacedogs (Sophia Schönborn, Germany)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Spacedogs, Sophia SchönbornOn a weird planet, dogs live as they please, although they must contend with their surreal and occasionally belligerent surroundings.

2017, 6min

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Entropia (Flóra Anna Buda, Hungary)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Entropia, Flóra Anna BudaThree parallel universes, three girls living in different circumstances. A glitch in the system causes the universes to collapse.

2018, 10min

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Her Voice (Katerina Athanasopoulou & Eleni Ikoniadou, UK)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Her Voice, Katerina Athanasopoulou, Eleni Ikoniadou“Most grandmothers read fairytales to their grandchildren. Mine put me to bed with stories about unidentified audio events and facts about auditory perception.”

2019, 6min