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 are honoured to welcome the following judges.
International Competition Programme & British Showcase Judges
Maryam Mohajer is a British-Iranian, BAFTA Winning animator-director who was born in Tehran, Iran just before living through revolution, war and immigration. With a background in painting, she discovered animation after moving to the UK in 2000. She got her MA degree in animation from Royal College of Art. Her short films have been screened at many International festivals. She lives and works as an animator, writer and director in London.
Carla is an animator, educator and scholar whose films have played at festivals, galleries, events and conferences and have been broadcast in the UK and internationally. Her work crosses disciplines and genres, often exploring the experimental, non-fiction, and expanded screens. In 2021 she was awarded a PhD for research in the area of animated documentary production.
Rory is a writer, director and animator from London, whose films have played at many festivals around the world. His Royal College of Art graduation film Mr Madila has won prizes at Palm Springs, Fantoche, Flickerfest, Premier Plans Angers and the RTS Award for Best Post Grad Animation, qualifying for the Academy Award. His latest short animation Powerwash (I Love You) won the Taash Comedy Award at London Short Film Festival and is available on BBC iPlayer. He is a tutor at the Royal College of Art and is represented for film and TV by B-Side Management.
Abstract Showcase Competition Judges
Simon is an award winning filmmaker and animator working across abstraction, documentary and commercial projects. His abstract works, in collaboration with Zai Tang, have screened and exhibited internationally. Simon’s most recent documentary Do I See What You See?, about people living with a rare form of dementia’ was awarded ‘Best Commissioned Film’ at the Manchester Animation Festival and continues to be screened widely in scientific communities. He has over ten years experience as a freelance animator and motion designer, spanning broadcast, film and commercial projects.
Michelle is an animation director and illustrator currently based in Hamburg, who works across a wide range of aesthetics, focusing on visualising abstract ideas in abstract ways. Her films often attempt to discuss philosophical concepts, blurring the lines between theory and practice. She is completely obsessed with geometric shapes, straight lines, and perfectly round circles.
Late Night Bizarre & Music Video Session Judges
Abigail is a producer, programmer, and director of Animate Projects, an agency working at the intersection of film, art, and animation. Abigail is also the short animation programmer at Edinburgh International Film Festival and has produced screening programmes and chaired events for the Austrian Culture Forum, Underwire Festival, Japan Foundation London, Strangelove Time Based Media Festival, Vienna Shorts and the London International Animation Festival.
Shaun has directed an eclectic array of award winning animated films since the early 90′s. His films have been BAFTA nominated and has earned him praise for his use of different techniques and styles of storytelling. Shaun graduated with a first degree honours in animation before studying for a MA at The National Film and TV School. He resides in London where he works at Flicker Mill as an animation director. He is currently Course Director and Senior Lecturer of the MA character Animation at Central St Martins and continues to work on personal and commercial animated projects.
Chris is a multi award-winning director, writer and producer. He is mainly known for combining live action with animation. His work fuses comedy with commentary on the darker side of human nature. He is co-founder of London animation company Slinky Pictures with producer Maria Manton, and has directed short films, commercials and comedy series including a ten-part series for Channel 4 called People’s Britain and his acclaimed shorts Dad’s Dead, Brexicuted and Who I Am and What I Want amongst many others. In 2016 he won Best British Film at LIAF for Johnno’s Dead. He is currently working on his first graphic novel called Anfield Road. For the latest news check out the blog here.
Children’s Competition Judges
Lilith Silver (14 years old) & Martha Stanners (15 years old)
Lilith: Three films I have loved – Whale Rider (2002), 101 Dalmatians (1961) and Titanic (1997)
Martha: Three films I have loved – My Neighbour Totoro, Star Wars, and The Hunger Games.