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
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: Jennifer Zheng, Jim Le Fevre and Joseph Wallace (Judges of our International Competition Programmes and British Showcase), Birgitta Hosea and Maitry Rao (our Abstract Showcase Judges), Peter Millard and Renee Zhan (Judges of Late Night Bizarre and Music Video Sessions), Lilith Silver and Martha Stanners (our Childrens’ Programmes 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: 27 – Flóra Anna Buda
The award for the Best of the Festival goes to a film which is a compelling portrayal of female identity, and it offers viewers a unique perspective in animation film. It feels fresh, contemporary, and necessary and uses the striking yet nuanced artistic vision to explore identity, sexuality, domestic claustrophobia, and aching for freedom. So the award for the Best of the Festival at the London International Animation Festival 2023 goes to 27 by Flora Anna Buda.
BEST BRITISH FILM AWARD: CRAB DAY – Ross Stringer
This year’s best British film is deceptively simple. It takes a delicately styled pencil and paper approach and delivers a full, solid, charming narrative. It has excellent well observed characterisation and it presents constant charming notes in the narrative throughout. It presented an assured traditional story with a contemporary motif and the economy of approach extended throughout the film, continually making use of the style to build a grand and full world with the limited palette drawing the audience inward. The score and soundscape add to the joy adding moments of sparkle to the rewarding choreography while never losing sight of the narrative journey.
Best Sound Design Award: Misaligned – Michał Fojcik (Dir. Marta Magnuska)
The award for Best Sound goes to a film which uses a superb soundscape to accentuate the tension between two characters using Foley and effects which are almost weaponized towards the end as it builds up into a crescendo. It gives a really vivid geography to the film, which is essentially set in quite a sparse landscape with really rich black mark making upon paper.
Best Original Score Award: Wild Summon: Saul Freed (Dirs: Saul Freed & Karni Arieli)
This surprising score guides the viewer through a traumatic journey by drifting between moments of gentle beauty and driving rhythm, undulating like the river it follows. The impassioned musical performance makes effective use of stringed instruments, and the delicate wails of a vocal track reinforced the struggle of the character and give an epic scale to the profound narrative.
Best Abstract Film Award: Overheating – Jiin Chung, Lizzy Bovee, Yuna Tang & Nathan Yeom
Overheating is an extravagant festival of colours in pixels synched with an experimental soundtrack that took us on a journey through a retro game aesthetic. It is an amazing way of relating to every digital user.
SPECIALLY COMMENDED: Masashi Yamamoto – Beardiful Tone
The judges enjoyed the refreshing humour of an artist using his own body hair as a tool for mark making and the playful use of instrumentation.
Best Late Night Bizarre Award: The Final Nail in the Coffin – Conor Kehelly
This film was full of twists, turns and a surprising emotional centre. It really shocked us both with its compelling narrative and offbeat humour, working brilliantly with its great voice acting, character design, and animation. The Final Nail in the Coffin is a wild ride that demands a second watch. We thought it truly fits the theme of late night bizarre.
Best Music Video Award: Ashnikko – Worms: Raman Djafari
With this animation the director really sucked us into another world. Maybe not a world we would want to live our everyday lives in as it looks quite intense and scary. But a world that complemented its song perfectly with its computer game narrative, so imaginative ,so weird, so full of energy. Fantastic animation combined with a mad mixture of processes that all end up working together perfectly.
Highly Commended: Gayle – fmk (with Blackbear): Chris Ullens
An animation that had us both laughing a lot and made us both want to get out our old toys and start animating with them. Its replacement animation style lends itself spot on to the super playful approach from the director.