The online home of the London International Animation Festival.

LIAF 2021: Meet the Finalists! The 2022 Arts Foundation Futures Award for Animation

December 3, 2021
6:00 pm
At The Horse Hospital book tickets

Meet the Finalists! The 2022 Arts Foundation Futures Award for Animation, LIAF, London International Animation Festival

This special, one-off event will include the chance to see selected works from the diverse practices of the four finalists of the prestigious Arts Foundation Futures Awards (AFFA) 2022 for Animation: Savinder Bual, Sophie Koko-Gate, Mary Stark and Petra Széman.

The artists will introduce in person, a curated programme of their work, and discuss their respective influences and creative processes exploring expanded and experimental animation as art practice. The event will conclude with a guided Q&A, hosted by art writer and publisher Jamie Sutcliffe.

The judges for this year’s award for Animation are time-based media artist, Birgitta Hosea; Irish Director, Johnny Kelly; and artist, animator and curator, Edwin Rostron, who says:

“The four AFFA 2022 Animation finalists’ work demonstrates the great range and breadth of contemporary animation practice in the UK, and that the art form continues to exist in vibrant and exciting ways both on and beyond the screen. Animation is a way of thinking as much as it is a set of processes, and each of the four artists has pursued highly individual and original ways of thinking about animation.”

The Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2022 supports and celebrates artists for both their work to date and future development. The recipient of the £10,000 award for Animation, supported by The David Collins Foundation, will be announced along with awards in four other artforms (Materials Innovation, Music for Change, Theatre-Makers, and Visual Arts) at a celebration event in late January 2022 – with all finalists receiving £1,000 awards towards their artistic practice.
To find out more about the artists and all AFFA 2022 finalists, please visit The Arts Foundation website:


Savinder Bual

Savinder Bual, Arts Foundation Futures Awards, LIAF, London International Animation Festival

Savinder Bual is fascinated by the mechanics and illusory qualities of cinema and early animation – ‘‘We live in a time where physical things are disappearing. This has drawn me to juxtapose tangible everyday materials with the relative immateriality of video.’’ In Javasu (2019) a sea monster weaves and bends through wooden rollers, drawing upon histories in which the pineapple and moving panoramas triggered the public’s imagination of faraway lands. Punch (2019) and Walk Cycle (2018) see Disney-esque illustrations animated through automatons, while Pinjekan (2015) animates illustrated wings with air-powered devices made with wood, cotton, steel and Japanese Shoji paper.

Sophie Koko-Gate

Sophie Koko-Gate, Arts Foundation Futures Awards, LIAF, London International Animation FestivalSophie Koko-Gate is driven by non-traditional character narrative, exploring the potential-filled gap between experimental and mainstream animation. Seeing her practice as a parallel existence that runs alongside ours, Slug Life (2018) centres around Tanya, a curious woman who after exhausting all options on the post-apocalyptic land she inhabits, has developed a taste for non-human lovers. Half Wet (2015) explores ideas around ageing – specifically the loss of water or evaporation of one’s self as we near death. The main character, Gus, talks directly to us as he approaches his 25th birthday in the shadow of an unrequited love.

Mary Stark

Mary Stark, Arts Foundation Futures Awards, LIAF, London International Animation FestivalMary Stark’s journey to complete her PhD in 2020 began while studying Embroidery at Manchester Metropolitan University. A fourth generation Mancunian needlewoman, she experimented with sound and video, and began to consider editing as a way to ‘stitch’ different elements together to create new meanings. Her films today respond to the history of terminologies, techniques and apparatus from textile practice adopted by filmmaking in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and the forgotten women who worked in the cutting rooms of early cinema.

Petra Szemán

Petra Szemán, Arts Foundation Futures Awards, LIAF, London International Animation FestivalGateshead-based Hungarian animator Petra Szemán is influenced by the early filmography of Japanese director Makoto Shinkai, and watching the works of Hungarian experimental animator Marcell Jankovics while growing up in post-communist Hungary. Petra’s work follows the journeys of Yourself, a protagonist on a pilgrimage through landscapes that have become oversaturated with fiction. A deeply personal avatar, Yourself is used to interrogate the potential of animation to challenge binary fictions. A body tied to animation posits a realm of possibilities, and Petra asks ‘‘rather than inquiring into its relationship to the real, it may be better to ask: what new territories may be opened up?’’

Our Funding Partners

Film London, Film Hub London, BFI FAN, National Lottery

Event supported by Film Hub London, managed by Film London. Proud to be a partner of the BFI Film Audience Network, funded by the National Lottery.