British Council Film is presenting a series of short films programmes at the This Way Up film exhibitors’ conference on Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 November in Hull. Sharing the shorts in the wonderful Vintage Mobile Cinema.

I have been assisting with the programming for this event, and have curated a selection of exceptional British animations that have been created by both emergent and established female animators, using a variety of animation techniques from stop motion to hand drawing to CG. Each animator uses animation to tell brilliantly crafted stories of real lives and imaginative characters.

Full schedule here.

Astounding Animation: Part One

G-AAAH, Elizabeth Hobbs, 2’, 2016
Pineapple Calamari, Kasia Nalewajka, 9’, 2014
Sleepless, Ellie Land, 6’, 2016
Iktsuarpok, Rachael Olga Lloyd, 7’, 2016
Branches of Life, Katerina Athanasopoulou, 4’, 2016
A Love Story, Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara, 7’, 2016

Astounding Animation: Part Two

Poles Apart, Paloma Baeza, 12’, 2017
The Woman Who Owns the Sun, Jo Lawrence, 6’, 2015
Fulfilament, Rhiannon Evans, 8’, 2015
Tough, Jennifer Zheng, 5’, 2016
Way Out, Yukai Du, 3’, 2014
Full details

G-AAAH, Elizabeth Hobbs, 2’, 2016

G-AAAH Lizzy Hobbs 2Amy Johnson worked as a typist for a firm of solicitors before her record- breaking solo flight from Croydon to Australia in 1930. This film has been created with an Underwood 315 typewriter as a celebration of her journey.

Elizabeth Hobbs is an award-winning animator based in London, and has been making films for 16 years. Her films are driven by a strong narrative, experimental in form and often based on overlooked stories from history. Elizabeth’s newest film G-AAAH has won 2 awards since it premiered and received a Vimeo Staff Pick.

 
 

Pineapple Calamari, Kasia Nalewajka, 9’, 2014

pineapple_calamari_02Pineapple Calamari is a little horse who dreams of becoming a racing champion. He is taken care of by two sisters, who share a very special connection. When tragedy befalls this happy family, their social life takes a dramatic turn into the unexpected.

Kasia Nalewajka studied Natural Sciences then Graphics in Poland. Combining her curiosity of animals and interest in illustration, she developed a passion for animation. She mastered her puppet animation skills in the famous studio Se-Ma-For in Lodz, where she later co-directed and animated award-winning music video Sponge Ideas. She then studied Directing Animation at the National Film and Television School. Pineapple Calamari is her graduation film.

Sleepless, Ellie Land, 6’, 2016

Sleepless_Ellie_Land_01Sleepless is the result of a two year conversation between Ellie Land and Professor Peter Oliver about the links being discovered between sleep and mental health. Its rhythm is inspired by the circadian cycle, and displays visual icons rooted in sleep science, whilst featuring the voices of a group of mental health service users who share their experience of disrupted sleep/wake patterns.

Ellie Land is an award-winning animation director and Senior Lecturer in Animation at Northumbria University. Her practice and research is in the field of animated documentary. Her awards include Royal Television Society Best Non-Factual and Best Animation from Scinema International Festival of Science Film.

Iktsuarpok, Rachael Olga Lloyd, 7’, 2016

Iktsuarpok‘Iktsuarpok’ is an Inuit word that describes the feeling of anticipation that leads you to keep looking outside to see if anyone is coming.

Rachael Olga Lloyd is a stop-motion animator and model maker based in London. She is obsessed with handicraft, anything from paper mache, to knitting, felting and flower pressing. She uses these techniques in her work to create fantastical tactile worlds which she brings to life frame by frame.

 

 

 

Branches of Life, Katerina Athanasopoulou, 4’ 2016

Branches-Of-Life-still-03The film follows a woman under sedation for a lung operation sinking into her own unconscious; a journey of a deep-sea diver within the landscape of the lungs.

Katerina Athanasopoulou is a London-based artist using digital animation to create work for the cinema and gallery. Katerina is interested in the way that CGI produces convincingly familiar yet entirely made up worlds, and she uses simulation to create magical realist documentaries where the everyday opens up to reveal the fantastic. Her work has been screened at Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, Thessaloniki Biennale 3 and 5, Centre des Arts Actuels Skol, the British Animation Awards and on Channel 4.

 

A Love Story, Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara, 7’, 2016

A LOVE STORY_STILL_1A powerful tale about love faced with darkness.

Recent winner of the BAFTA for Short Animation for A Love Story, Nush is a graduate from the National Film and Television School. Her speciality is stop-motion animation. Her work is emotive and fuses together narrative and experimental elements. It is tactile and uses materials such as wool, paper and paint to explore human emotion. With a background also in graphic design, her work has a strong emphasis on aesthetics and design. She has an eye for detail and is very playful but critical with her approach to animation.

 
 
 

Poles Apart, Paloma Baeza, 12’, 2017

Poles_Apart_stills2In a harsh Arctic landscape, a hungry and solitary polar bear has to decide if a naïve Canadian grizzly bear is her food or her friend.

Paloma Baeza’s filmmaking experience began on the other side of the camera, playing leading roles in TV dramas and independent films. She moved into directing with the short film, Watchmen, co-written with Cillian Murphy, who also starred in the film. It was shortlisted for the TCM Prize, selected by BFI Shorts, Sky Shorts and Channel 4. She also directed drama, The Window, for Channel 4, and The Odds, which premiered at the London Film Festival. Poles Apart is her first animated film.

 

The Woman Who Owns the Sun, Jo Lawrence 6’, 2015

THE WOMAN WHO OWNS THE SUN JO LAWRENCEIn 2010, the notary public office in Vigo, Spain, declared Angeles Duran to be the ‘owner of the Sun, a star of spectral type G2, located at the centre of the solar system, 150 million kilometres from Earth’.

Jo Lawrence’s films integrate stop motion animation, puppetry and mixed media. She has received commissions from Channel 4, Animate Projects, and Mahogany Opera. Residencies include Digital Media Artist at the V&A and Animator in residence at The National Media Museum, Bradford. In 2017 Jo has collaborated with Collusion and Cambridge Consultants on combining animation and artificial intelligence.

 

Fulfilament, Rhiannon Evans, 8’, 2015

FULFILAMENT_STILL_03Adventure through parts of the brain with a little, lost thought and discover what it takes to make a great idea.

Rhiannon Evans is an award-winning filmmaker from South Wales. She studied Animation at the University of South Wales and chose to specialise in stop motion. Then after freelancing for a few years, she undertook the Directing Animation at the National Film and Television School, where she received the prestigious BAFTA scholarship and created Fulfilament, her graduation film.

 
 

Tough, Jennifer Zheng, 5’, 2016

Tough_Jennifer_ZhengSome things can only be understood with maturity. New light is shed on childhood cultural misunderstandings when a Chinese mother and her British born daughter speak as adults for the first time.

Jennifer Zheng was a confused Chinese kid who grew up in Northern Ireland. Now she is a BAFTA nominated animator based in London.

 
 
 
 

Way Out, Yukai Du, 3’, 2014

way out 01Inspired by ‘Alone Together’ by MIT professor Sherry Turkle, Way Out is a reflection of modern life in the digital age. The exaggerated contrast between emotionless citizens and characterised phones reveals our over-dependence on virtual communication.

Yukai Du, originally from China, is a UK-based illustrator and animator. Since she graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2014, she has been exploring and establishing her work in both still images and motions.