On Wednesday 6 December, I will be hosting a screening and discussion event at the Barbican for London International Animation Festival 2017.

I have selected a collection of shorts that feature complex and compelling female characters, their dreams, frustrations, and dark desires. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion about on screen representation, the problematic depiction of women as passive objects of desire, and the rising tide of empowered female perspectives, as demonstrated by the remarkable female animators included in this programme. I will be in conversation with animation professionals Dr Steve Henderson, Sarah Ann Kennedy, Kim Noce, and Alys Scott Hawkins.

With thanks to all of the filmmakers, Nag Vladermersky, Steve Henderson, Sarah Ann Kennedy, Kim Noce and Alys Scott Hawkins, Elizabeth Hobbs, Samantha Moore, Ellie Land, Gábor Osváth, Jane Colling and the Royal College of Art, Joana Silva, Éric Séguin at the National Film Board of Canada, Woonjoo Jung at the Korean Independent Animation Filmmakers Association, Jing Haase and Theo Tsappos at the Swedish Film Institute, and toWaltraud Grausgruber and Birgitt Wagner at Tricky Women.


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Programme (c.76 mins):

I Like Girls, Diane Obomsawin, 8’, 2016, Canada
Four women reveal the nitty-gritty about their first loves, sharing funny and intimate tales of one-sided infatuation, mutual attraction, erotic moments, and fumbling attempts at sexual expression. For them, discovering that they’re attracted to other women comes hand-in-hand with a deeper understanding of their personal identity and a joyful new self-awareness.

Love-in-idleness, Kim Noce, 4’, 2016, UK
Love-in-idleness is a film exploring the fleeting delusional love relationship between Shakespeare’s Titania and Bottom. There is no story, only raw emotions and sensations.
The film is made with charcoal on paper, the images are a series drawing constantly erased and retraced.

Superbia, Luca Toth, 16’, 2016, Hungary
The native people of the surrealistic land of Superbia, where men and women form separate societies, face the changes sparked by the first equal couple in their history.

Beneath the Surface, Yero Timi-Biu and Jessica Ashman, 3’, 2017, UK
A short film about two best friends growing up in the same world but experiencing it completely differently. At a hair salon in East London, thirty year-olds Cherelle and Minomi reflect on their complex and distant twenty-five year relationship, plagued with micro-aggressions, prejudices, heartbreak and realisations.

Lying Belly, Alice de Barrau, 4’, 2016, UK
She hears. She feels.
It grows, though it’s not really there.
It’s lying.

Cipka (Pussy), Renata Gasiorowska, 8’, 2016, Poland
A young girl spends the evening alone at home. She decides to have some sweet solo pleasure session, but not everything goes according to plan.
A cute animated short about masturbation.

Pink, Mahboobeh Mohammadzaki, 5’, 2016, Iran
This animation is about the life and routine of a woman with breast cancer in the technological world. She tries to overcome the disease with hope.

Moms on Fire, Joanna Rytel, 13’, 2016, Sweden
What’s it like to be massively pregnant with only four days until you’re due to pop? You’d like to jerk off but can’t even reach. Your boyfriend is fucking boring and you just would like to have some fun. Than this happens. You are pregnant. Again. Yuck!!!

Before & After, Minji Kang, 8’, 2016, South Korea
We sculpt ourselves based on other people’s opinions.
The heroine is job hunting. Out of a stack of resumes, an advertisement for plastic surgery catches her eye. While looking at the before and after photos of a woman who had plastic surgery, she pictures herself now and fantasizes about how bright her future would be.

Toutes Nuancées (All Their Shades), Chloé Alliez, 6’, 2015, Brussels
In a minimalist design, different portraits of women parade swiftly across the screen to illustrate the reasons to love women. In this inventory, a stereotypical vision is mixed with a more serious and realistic one to show all the subtle shades of woman.


Dr Steve Henderson is the editor and co-owner of Skwigly.com, the largest UK-based animation magazine and resource. In 2015 he founded the Manchester Animation Festival for which he is the director. He is senior lecturer in animation at Manchester Metropolitan University. He recently successfully defended his PhD thesis on Animation Archives and British Children’s Television Animation at Loughborough University.

Sarah Ann Kennedy runs the MA Animation course at the University of Central Lancashire. Previously Sarah worked in industry in a variety of roles including writer, animation director, creator, show runner, executive producer and voice artist. Sarah has won numerous awards in the UK and Internationally, but is probably best known as the voice of Miss Rabbit in the BAFTA winning series Peppa Pig, as well as the creator of Crapston Villas for Channel 4. Since working in academia Sarah has presented various papers about the role of women in the animation industry both here and Internationally.

Kim Noce is an Italian artist and filmmaker. Her films and animations have been show in many festivals and galleries across the world, and her work has won many awards. Kim is currently the course leader of MA animation at London College of Communication and an Animation Lecturer at the National Film and Television School. She holds am MA in Animation from the NFTS and a BA in Fine Art from BRERA Accademia di Belle art in Milan. Alongside her personal films she works for the commercials and broadcast industry, and in 2005 she co-created the collective mewlab.com.

Alys Scott Hawkins is an artist who works with drawing, and is a director of animated documentary films. She has an MA in Animation from the Royal College of Art. Her animated films have been screened at film festivals across the world, and won several awards. Alys co-runs the Animated Documentary blog with Ellie Land. Recent exhibitions include a light drawing performance in collaboration with dance company Rambert, and group show Find Me, at Spazio Kanz, Venice.