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LIAF 2020: Opening Night Gala featuring Female Figures – Growing Up + pre-recorded Screentalk (15) ONLINE

November 27, 2020
5:55 pm

In this most unusual of years we are extremely proud to be able to screen this very special opening event at LIAF 2020, curated by Abigail Addison.

As an antidote to all that is happening around us, Female Figures 2020 ‘Growing Up’ considers coming of age stories, memories and experiences.

In these animations, reflections on childish fantasies and problematic relationships with friends and family are revisited; where young people on the threshold of adulthood grow aware of its challenges and temptations. We witness young people navigating societal norms and gender stereotypes with a growing self-awareness and a desire to resist tradition. Mothers reflect on their own experiences through witnessing their daughters lives and daughters interrogate their mothers to examine their own drives and choices.

In some works fairytale and fantasy are employed to evoke psychological states and the transformational stages of maturing. Some weave biographical elements into their narratives and some employ humour to the presentation of difficult scenarios, whilst all share a refreshing perspective on growing up. The works present a mix of techniques, including paint on glass, stop motion, paper collage and scratch film.

Female Figures was devised in 2017 by producer and programmer Abigail Addison at Animate Projects, born from a desire to present an alternate view of women’s bodies and women’s stories to counter the misogynistic representations that persist in animation today. In recognition of the under-representation of female animators within the independent animation sector, the programme spotlights some of the incredible work crafted by contemporary animators, both in the UK and internationally.

Abigail Addison will lead a special post-screening conversation with British-Iranian animator Maryam Mohajer, Senior Lecturer Dr Caroline Ruddell and artist animator Linnéa Haviland whose films screen in this programme.

With Special Thanks to the Arts Council England

Arts Council England



ONLINE Pre-order tickets


Abigail Addison – Producer, Director of Animate Projects

Abigail-AddisonAbigail is a Producer, and is a Director of agency Animate Projects that works at the intersection of animation, film and art. She has produced many innovative projects including Silent Signal, a large-scale touring art & science project supported by Wellcome Trust. She recently co-produced the BAFTA nominated animation I’m OK with Elizabeth Hobbs and two award-winning animation & music collaborations for Klangforum Wien’s Happiness Machine project. In 2020, Abigail produced Dominica Harrison’s animated short Chado and Leo Crane’s hand-painted animation Nude Triumphant, with both works now touring to festivals and galleries.

Linnéa Haviland – Artist and Animator

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Linnéa HavilandLinnéa is an artist and animator from Stockholm, now based in London where she works as a visual artist, illustrator and art director for a sexual health service. Her personal work focuses on the politics of representation and how this links to identity and identity formation. She loves working collaboratively with experimental, multimedia approaches to making. She is passionate about poetry, colour, cats and children’s rights. Her films have been shown internationally at festivals and in exhibitions at BFI Flare, Oberhausen, Barbican, Wellcome Collection and the Hiroshima International Animation Festival.

Maryam Mohajer – Animator, Director

Maryam-MohajerMaryam Mohajer is a British-Iranian, BAFTA winning animator-director who was born in Tehran, Iran just before living through revolution, war and immigration. With a background in painting, she discovered animation after moving to the UK in 2000. She received her MA Animation degree from the Royal College of Art. Her short films have been screened at many International festivals. She lives and works as an animator, writer and director in London.

Dr Caroline Ruddell – Senior Lecturer

Caroline RuddellDr Caroline Ruddell is Senior Lecturer in Film and Divisional Lead for Production and Performance at Brunel University London. She specialises in animation and representation onscreen and has published widely in these areas. Caroline is currently researching craft-based, handmade animation and has recently published The Crafty Animator: Handmade, Craft-based Animation and Cultural Value (eds. Ruddell & Ward, 2019) and The Animation Studies Reader (eds. Dobson, Honess Roe, Ratelle & Ruddell, 2018). She is Associate Editor for the Sage publication animation: an interdisciplinary journal, and Book Series Co-Editor (with Prof Paul Ward) for Palgrave Animation.

Tad’s Nest (Petra Freeman, UK)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Tad’s Nest, Petra FreemanThe place where eels mature before being compelled to return to a location using only memories of sensations to guide them.

2009, 5min

Grandad Was a Romantic (Maryam Mohajer, UK)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Grandad Was a Romantic, Maryam Mohajer My grandad was a romantic man. He once saw a picture of my granny and realised she was the love of his life. So he decided to go and meet her.

2019, 5min

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Yellow Fever (Ng’endo Mukii, Kenya/UK)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Yellow Fever, Ng’endo MukiiThe concept of skin and race, and what that implies; the ideas and theories sown into our flesh that change with the arc of time.

2012, 7min

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Bloeistraat 11 (Nienke Deutz, Belgium/The Netherlands)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Bloeistraat 11, Nienke DeutzA summer friendship is tested when puberty knocks on the door, bodies start to change and an awkwardness descends.

2018, 10min

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Open Recess (Amy J Xu, USA)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Open Recess, Amy J XuA charming, nostalgic story of the childhood romance of two girls.

2017, 3min

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A Different Category (Linnéa Haviland, UK)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, A Different Category, Linnéa HavilandThree young women reflect on adolescence as a period marked by loss of ‘voice’ and the struggle between competing desires for autonomy and connection.

2018, 5min

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Récit de Soi (Géraldine Charpentier, Belgium)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Récit de Soi, Géraldine CharpentierWhile non-binary representations are rare, Lou talks about their relationship to gender, clothes, and other markers.

2018, 5min

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The Butterfly Affect (Stephanie Blakey, Canada)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, The Butterfly Affect, Stephanie BlakeyA heartfelt story of insecurity, growth, and self-acceptance told through the eyes of a young worm trying to find her place in a butterfly’s world.

2019, 4min

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Jessica (Amy Lockhart, USA)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Jessica, Amy LockhartJessica is stuck in the house with the baby. A mundane domestic tale, full of the awkward and surreal.

2014, 5min

Snow White Cologne (Amanda Eliasson, UK)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Snow White Cologne, Amanda EliassonA visual poem, post-rationalising the struggle of a young girl’s drug addiction. There’s love and loss, good and bad.

2017, 6min

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Ties (Dina Velikovskaya, Russia/Germany)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Ties, Dina VelikovskayaA daughter leaves the family home to lead a life of her own as an adult. Still, she remains connected to where she’s from, which has consequences for everyone.

2019, 8min

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Umbilical (Danski Tang, USA)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Umbilical, Danski TangAn intimate and honest conversation between mother and daughter reflecting on the impact of abusive parental relationships and being a woman growing up in China.

2019, 7min

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Lost Islands of Philadelphia (Jennifer Levonian, USA)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Lost Islands of Philadelphia, Jennifer LevonianOnce, there were islands in the river beside Philadelphia. After reading about them in a library book, a girl sets out to find them as her mum follows frantically on roller skates.

2018, 10min

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