Welcome to our annual deep-dive into the dark heart of animation. Here you will find films featuring maggots, skeletons, dead flies, a world of rot, a visceral and discombobulating depiction of a classroom crush and a disturbing Virgin Mary figurine taking a weird, wobbly walk. Step in, take a seat, turn out the light and get ready for our annual showcase of all manner of dark, creepy, strange, violent and spooky films.
Independent animation is an art form that continues to thrive and develop as a breath-taking medley of styles, materials, techniques and production – from hand-drawn, paint on glass, collage, sculpture, cut-outs, puppets, abstract to some of the more interesting developments in CGI – all of which can be seen at this year’s LIAF.
We’ve emerged from under the pile of 2,400 entries to put together a series of screenings that showcase the best 86 new films from 41 countries around the world. They can be funny, dramatic, bizarre, subdued, scary or autobiographical. The one thing they have in common is that we think they’re the pick of the crop. 8 international competition programmes. Every technique, every genre, every style – this is your annual window into the international indie animation universe.
A Kind of Testament – Stephen Vuillemin, France
A young woman comes across animations on the Internet that have been created from her private selfies. An unknown female with the same name confesses to identity theft. But death is quicker than the answer to the question: “Why?”
2023 16’25 min
This film is not included in our online programme
The Wooden Ghost – David Daenemark, Czech Republic
A terrifying experience of flesh, blood, wood and feathers as a sculptor carves a statue of a young woman.
2023 11’15 min
Fur – Zhen Li, USA
A weird, creepy crush gone mouldy.
2022 6’30 min
Drifter – Joost Jansen, Belgium
The story of an astronaut detached from his space station, taken into an infinite drift throughout the universe. Freed from time and space, Drifter takes a dive into the unknown, in search of the ultimate freedom.
2022 14’50 min
An End to War Enough – Simone Massi, Italy
From World War II to the refugee camps of the 6-Day War, from the attack on the Mostar bridge to cars set on fire in the war in Syria – a world without war is another Utopia that we cannot wait for any longer.
2022 4’40 min
Such Miracles Do Happen – Barbara Rupik, Poland
One day all the statues in the town come to life and set off in the same direction. A captivating world in which ugliness is attractive and otherness is mysterious and magical.
2023 13’50 min
Tang – Kim MinJeong, South Korea
A woman awakes in a dark and unrecognisable world, seemingly deserted. As she tries to find her way out, she encounters grotesque-looking creatures made from lumps of flesh. Desperate to escape, she begins to re-examine her fate.
2023 6’30 min
The Cactus – Ricardo Kump, Brazil
A man, troubled by a severe nervous system disorder, finds himself paralysed in a remote and hostile environment after an accident.
2022 10’25 min
Opened in March 2022, The Garden Cinema screens repertory seasons and new releases from around the world. Being truly independent, they choose films that are worth seeing, films you’d be happy to see more than once. Films of all genres that are true to life, well made, that left us feeling better or wiser for having seen them. For more information about The Garden Cinema and how to get there, find out more.
Online, The Garden Cinema