The online home of the London International Animation Festival.

Behind the Scenes: The Making of LIAF 2020 Stings with Central Saint Martins

This year we had the pleasure of working with MA Character Animation Students at Central Saint Martins. Students were asked to select one of our eight International Competition Programmes and pitch an idea for a sting, embracing the themes of their chosen programme.  

Most importantly of all, we asked them to be as creative as possible, consider any technique that they were drawn to… and to let their imaginations run wild. They did not disappoint. So much so that, we couldn’t resist choosing more then one sting for some of our programmes – too many strong ideas and promising character designs for us to pass up.

The process was of course somewhat interrupted by a certain pandemic, but video calls, remote working, and the unquestionable dedication of all the students, meant that progress was communicated regularly and prompt delivery was seamless.

We’ve been sharing these stings on social media and will continue to do so over the coming days. And whilst they won’t officially make the big screen this year as planned, they will play out for everyone joining us online for our annual International Competition Programmes, celebrating the whole spectrum of animation.

We’d like to extend a HUGE thank you to all the students involved in this project, read on for their names and take note! And a special thank you to Shaun Clark (Course Leader) and Steve Roberts (Lead Animation Tutor) of Central Saint Martins, who expertly supervised the students through the entire production process. A few words from Shaun below…

“From everyone at Central Saint Martins, it has been a pleasure to work with the LIAF team this year on the programme trailers. The project started in late May when all the students where asked to pitch ideas for the LIAF programme trailers. Eleven projects where chosen and the students worked in small teams to produce their trailer. Weekly crits and feedback sessions from the staff and LIAF team helped the groups hone their animatics and in October the animation started.

The MA Character Animation students have worked incredibly hard on this project. They have overcome challenges with creative and inventive solutions to produce their work. To all the LIAF audience, I hope you enjoy the trailers and they help set the mood for the programmes you are about to watch.”

For those of you considering an animation career path, MA Character Animation at CSM is a two-year course specialising in the performance of animated characters – you can find out more here.

And now for those stings!

International Competition Programme 1: Abstract Showcase

Jumping to the Unknown (Jung-Hsin Hu, Lingbo Shangguan & Natalja Ropotova)

A brave red bird overcomes its fear of jumping into the unknown.

Klang (Kat Miles & Lu Moore)

A dot journeys through imagery guided by music.

ONLINE Pre-order tickets

International Competition Programme 2: From Absurd to Zany

Trouble Down at Buttweed Gulch (Jade Fielden, Jialingren Pei, & Xiyao Wang)

A philanderer and a bigamist walk into a bar – except this time the bar is a shootout in the New Mexican desert. All seems standard fare until a big-bosomed cactus bounty hunter comes to collect.

Gob and Dog (Matthew Harrower, Xiangqiu Chen & Francis Osele)

‘Gob’ is a menace to the neighbourhood, loud, mischievous, reckless and obsessed with
Halogen Lamps. On one summers day he finds the newest and brightest Halogen Lamp for his pimped up
scooter, the only thing or dog standing in his way is ‘Mabel’ the french fat pug!!!!

ONLINE Pre-order tickets

International Competition Programme 3: Playing with Emotion

The Artist (Huiwen Zheng, Charlie Wilson & Simin Zhu)

A film about the emotional journey an artist goes through in creating her work.

ONLINE Pre-order tickets

International Competition Programme 4: Being Human

Chimpoo (Ruben Berkeley O’Reilly, Jie Deng & Josh Doe)

In a flash, a young chimp witnesses his Chimpoo bottle’s entire life cycle, providing him with some perspective in a moment of clarity.

Frames of Mind (Grace Boruch, Xiaoyu Zhang & Yue Zheng)

Two characters traveling through the journey of life in the form of picture frames.

ONLINE Pre-order tickets

International Competition Programme 5: Into the Dark

The Devourer’s World (Karan Mehta, Milda Stasaitytė & Ruby Mortlock)

In a world where the Shadow Toilers work endlessly, dreaming of the comfortable lives of the Capsule People, everything is not as it seems… for this is the Devourer’s World.

ONLINE Pre-order tickets

International Competition Programme 6: Animated Documentaries

Ha-wi-ya (Aaya Al-Shamahi, Jin Yu & Yutong Cui)

A young British-Yemeni woman living in London reminisces about her childhood with her cousin in Yemen. Like many Yemenis, the war in the country has left her unable to see her family and she is left trying to keep that connection alive.

ONLINE Pre-order tickets

International Competition Programme 7: Looking for Answers

Endless (Nicole Pavlov, Keyu Hu & Xumeng Shen)

The film takes us into the uncanny world of a character stuck in a repetition compulsion – he is doomed to repeat several social situations with altered versions of himself over and over again.

ONLINE Pre-order tickets

International Competition Programme 8: Long Shorts

Long Shorts (Daisy Higgins, Meredith Stewart & Ola Wolejko)

Don’t judge a man by the length of his shorts.

ONLINE Pre-order tickets

London International Animation Festival sting (Jacqueline Petsch)

A Chaplin-esque character enters the world and discovers the futility of life.