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LIAF 2021: Judges Award Statements

Each year we search for the finest panel of judges: educators, independent animators, producers, authors, curators and more. All are experts in their field and all possess an informed and exploratory eye for excellence in the animation world. This year we were honoured to welcome a carefully selected judging panel who perfectly filled our criteria:

Maryam Mohajer, Carla MacKinnon and Rory Waudby-Tolley (our International Competition Programme & British Showcase Judges); Simon Ball and Michelle Brand (our Abstract Showcase Competition Judges); Abigail Addison, Shaun Clark and Chris Shepherd (our Late Night Bizarre & Music Video Session Judges); and Lilith Silver & Martha Stanners (our Children’s Competition Judges).

They valiantly viewed, assessed and debated the finer points of every single one of the films selected for competition.

We cannot emphasise enough, just how difficult a task this is. It takes an awful lot of time, an immense level of concentration, diligent note-taking, as well as debating skills to make these decisions. And so we’d like to extend a heart-filled ‘thank you’ to our Panel of Judges.

Below you’ll find out a little more about their decisions and why each of the following animations were awarded their prizes and awards.

Best of the Festival Award: Easter Eggs – Nicolas Keppens

This coming of age dark comedy contains as many laughs as gut-punches – poetic, bleak and strangely moving. The complexity and cruelty of a dysfunctional adolescent friendship (and the desperate quest for parrots) are gorgeously rendered as a melancholic feast of nostalgic design and playful set-pieces.

Maryam Mohajer, Carla MacKinnon and Rory Waudby-Tolley

Best British Film Award: Affairs of the Art – Joanna Quinn

Hilarious, touching, exquisitely animated and beautifully performed, this short film is a slice of pure joy.

Maryam Mohajer, Carla MacKinnon and Rory Waudby-Tolley

Best Original Score Award: The Hangman at Home – Uri Kranot (Directors: Michelle & Uri Kranot)

This bold, atmospheric score offers a compelling counterpoint to the visuals. The first half of the film plays out largely without music. When the score kicks in for the final act, it grabs you by the throat and gives the action an almost operatic intensity.

Maryam Mohajer, Carla MacKinnon and Rory Waudby-Tolley

Best Sound Award: Anxious Body – Yuka C. Honda (Director: Yoriko Mizushiri)

An unexpected approach, which joins in with the subtle, sometimes uncomfortable feeling of the visuals, triggering our different senses such as the sense of touch.

Maryam Mohajer, Carla MacKinnon and Rory Waudby-Tolley

Best Music Video Award: ‘Yellow Majesty – Honey Sweet’ – Inari Sirola

This film is an explosion of colour and brilliantly inventive characterisation. Amazingly synced to the music, it’s a fun and cheeky journey which the judges could not help but be swept away by.

Abigail Addison, Shaun Clark and Chris Shepherd

Special Mention:  I am Disaster – Ian Bruce

Who ever imagined tin foil could be used to create such drama? This resourceful and bold promo had us on the edge of our seats as we were presented with the fallout of the climate catastrophe we’re facing.

Abigail Addison, Shaun Clark and Chris Shepherd

Best Late Night Bizarre Award: Amen to No Men – Hayley Legon

We loved the edgy humour and playfully, audacious performances. This coming of age story goes places you don’t expect and packs a punch. With a fresh aesthetic, full of colour and life, this was hands down, the Late Night Bizarre winner.

Abigail Addison, Shaun Clark and Chris Shepherd

Special Mention: Thing – Malte Stein

The creepy world of this film got under the judges’ skins. With its impending sense of doom and sustained tension it made a simple stroll into the stuff of nightmares. Amazing design and bold direction combined to create a ghoulish and comic short.

Abigail Addison, Shaun Clark and Chris Shepherd

Best Abstract Film Award: Hand – Ho Tsz Wing

A film that turns a beautifully simple concept into a hypnotising and psychedelic journey full of an amazing range of symbols, patterns and colours. Its incredible use of the craft of animation across a wide variety of techniques and styles, producing a visually rich, constantly unfolding experience, left us mesmerised from beginning to end.

Simon Ball and Michelle Brand

Special Mention: Anemone Temple – Justyna Pazdan 

Its sparse and minimal use of shape, form and time draws us into a vast and cavernous space, which is at once enchanting and haunting, making us feel like witnesses to something rare and beautiful coming into existence.

Simon Ball and Michelle Brand

Best Children’s Film Award 0-7 year-olds: Snipp, Snapp, Snut and the Colours – Cecilia Actis & Mia Hulterstam

We loved this short film and the style of animation. The use of clay and colour was immaculate. When the land and characters were stripped of colour it made the land so dull, and we loved it when it all came back in and lightened up the scene with much joy. 

Lilith Silver & Martha Stanners

Best Children’s Film Award 8-15 year olds: Mitch Match Series 06 – Géza M. Tóth

We loved the detail of this and the simplicity. It’s great that you can easily tell what’s happening, like when he takes his shirt off, and relates it to real life. 

Lilith Silver & Martha Stanners