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LIAF 2019: The Darkly Humorous Worlds of Niki Lindroth von Bahr: a retrospective screening and screentalk (15*)

December 1, 2019
6:00 pm

“I think I want to use animals, partly because I like to see my films almost like modern fables, like traditional fables that seem to be about one thing but are actually about something moral or political”

Niki Lindroth von Bahr

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Niki Lindroth von BahrNiki Lindroth von Bahr is an artist and animation director based in Stockholm. Her award winning short films The Burden (2017), Bath House (2014) and Tord and Tord (2010) have been screened at festivals such as Cannes, Berlinale, Toronto and Sundance. Since its premiere in 2017 The Burden has won 78 awards, including the Cristal for Best Short Film in Annecy, Best International Short Film in Toronto and the best film of the 2017 London International Animation Festival.

Niki is a master craftswoman and artist who loves making puppets and sets by hand. She brings her characters to life through the techniques of stop motion and puppetry. Her immensely engaging stories are darkly humorous tales, often with a vaguely surreal filter. Her first film Tord and Tord dealt with loneliness and mental illness, while her 2014 film Bath House took the festival world by storm with it’s eerie calmness depicting six characters who meet in a bath house and a gang with shady intentions.

The Burden, an existential musical, has been described as Terry Gilliam meets Ingmar Bergman inspired by Busby Berkeley, due to the centerpiece – a song and dance routine performed by an office of monkeys. Its surreal hybrid beings sing about the difficulty of relationships and dehumanising pressures of office life.

When not making her own films Niki has held exhibitions of her artworks, sculptures and puppets in several galleries and has worked as a props and costume designer for artists like Fever Ray and David Bowie, designing Bowie’s costume for his last ever music video.

This screening will include several other films and music clips that Niki Lindroth von Bahr has worked on as set and costume designer.

At Barbican book tickets

Thanks to the Embassy of Sweden, London for their support in bringing Niki to LIAF 2019.

Embassy of Sweden London logo



Stranger Than Kindness – Fever Ray (Andreas Nilsson, Sweden)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Stranger Than Kindness - Fever Ray, Andreas Nilsson, Niki Lindroth von BahrA spooky as hell music video featuring animal skulls, shamans and lots and lots of lasers.

Costume, props and make up by Niki Lindroth von Bahr

2008, 5 min

Las Palmas (Johannes Nyholm, Sweden)

Las Palmas, Johannes Nyholm, LIAF, London International Animation Festival, 2012A tragicomic version of Easy Rider starring the Director’s demented baby girl in the combined roles of Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper.

Puppets by Niki Lindroth von Bahr

2011, 13 min

Blackstar – David Bowie (Johan Renck, USA/Sweden)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Blackstar - David Bowie, Johan Renck, Niki Lindroth von BahrBowie’s last music video. A woman with a tail discovers a dead astronaut and takes his jewel-encrusted skull to an ancient, otherworldly town.

Costumes by Niki Lindroth von Bahr

2015, 10 min

Tord and Tord (Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Sweden)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Tord and Tord, Niki Lindroth von BahrOne day, Tord accidentally walks into the apartment next to his own. Another person named Tord lives there, he has just moved in.

2010, 11min

watch trailer

Bath House (Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Sweden)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Bath House, Niki Lindroth von BahrSix characters meet in a bathhouse. The pedant bathhouse manager, a couple with a strange way of communicating and a gang with shady intentions. Something goes wrong.

2014, 14min

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The Burden (Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Sweden)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, The Burden, Niki Lindroth von BahrA motel, a self-service restaurant, a call centre and a supermarket on the motorway are the setting for this apocalyptic musical. The songs tell of freedom, of the empty promises of the consumer world, and of the desire for an existence without worry.

2017, 14min

watch trailer