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London International Animation Festival higlights

London International Animation Festival – Friday 26 August to Sunday 4 September  Box Office: 0845 120 7527

The London International Animation Festival returns for its eighth year - and first at the Barbican - from 26 August to 4 September (1), with an inspiring, comprehensive, and sometimes controversial collection of animated film.

The LIAF is the UK’s largest festival of its kind, bringing the best new animated films from every corner of the world to London audiences, and showcasing the whole spectrum of creative animation. This year the festival features 280 films from over 30 countries, most of them British premieres, divided into 8 competition programmes, plus a series of satellite events.

The festival opens with the World Premiere of British animator Phil Mulloy’s new animated feature, Dead But Not Buried. The programme also includes masterclasses with animation masters Theodore Ushev and Wojtek Wawszczyk, as well as presentations, talks and Q&As with special guests.

Sessions curated especially for the festival include a Technique focus on cutout animation, a focus on Polish animation, a New York Who’s Who, a British animation showcase, a children’s programme and a focus on the animated documentary genre. The programme also features tributes to Austrian distributor SixPackFilm and to the Royal College of Art’s animation department, plus there’s a chance to meet the people behind the animation scene at the LIAF Industry Weekend.

The festival closes on Sunday 4 September with a Best of the Festival event, showcasing a collection of films chosen by panels of judges and audience votes.

The London International Animation Festival is part of Watch Me Move – On the Big Screen, a special animation season that complements Watch Me Move: The Animation Show in Barbican Art Gallery (2).

For full programme see


LIAF Gala Opening: World Premiere of Dead but not Buried (18) (UK 2011 Dir. Phil Mulloy 80 min) – Friday 26 August, 6:30pm
The festival opens with the World Premiere of British animator Phil Mulloy’s brand new feature film, Dead but not Buried. The second part of Mulloy’s Christies trilogy, the film is set in a world where talk is cheap, friends aren’t really friends and nothing that anybody says seems definitive or important. Phil Mulloy’s unique short films have won awards across the globe, including Best of the Fest at the LIAF. For this feature, Mulloy has parked his paintbrushes and plugged in a tablet, so the look has changed a bit, but the acerbic tone remains.
The film is preceded by a collection of the hottest films from the competition programme, mixed with some favourite classics from the special programmes, the top new British films, some guest appearances and a couple of surprises.

Competition programmes
The competition programmes offer a comprehensive, up-to-date overview of the international independent animation scene. The eight sections feature more than 100 of the very best and the very latest short animated films, in every style, every genre and every technique.

Abstract Showcase
The Abstract Showcase is a collection of recently released films focusing entirely on abstract and experimental animation. This selection offers outstanding examples of non-narrative, highly imaginative cinematic art; and some of the most intriguing, challenging and rewarding films in competition.

Long Shorts
The Long Shorts programme is dedicated to showcasing the best of the longer films, which develop their themes and draw the audience into their worlds.

Supinfocom Is Back!!
Year after year students from France’s Supinfocom school have been sending stunning graduation reels to the festival and year after year we’ve been showing them! After an interruption last year, Supinfocom is back on the LIAF programme, with a reel so stunning that it needed a competition strand of its own.

British Showcase
The British Showcase is one of the LIAF’s most important and popular programmes, offering an opportunity to see what British animators are doing and how the artform is travelling. Plus, there is a chance to meet many of the animators at the Q&A following the screening.

Special guest: Theodore Ushev (Canada) – Screening, talk, workshop and exhibition
Bulgarian, Montreal-based animator Theodore Ushev will be at LIAF to present his animated documentary Lipsett’s Diaries, a visual and aural assault that meshes expressionistic painting with re-pur¬posed clips and dialogue from Lipsett’s films.

Special guest: Wojtek Wawszczyk (Poland) – Screening, talk and workshop
Wojtek Wawszczyk will come the festival to talk about his new feature George the Hedgehog, a satirical film based on a cult Polish comic about an urban hedgehog who gets in trouble with a mad scientist, two Neo-Nazi skinheads and a lunatic clone of himself.

New York Who’s Who
The New York Who’s Who is an eclectic, high-energy roll-call of films from the best indie animators currently working in the Big Apple.

Focus On Poland – programmes 1 and 2
The Focus on Poland showcases the best contemporary Polish animation, from a community of animators who have mastered new technologies and stand shoulder to shoulder with the national traditions of puppet and hand-drawn animation.

Technique Focus – Cut-Out animation
This year’s Technique Focus is on Cut-Out animation – a technique which seems easy to grasp, but can reach extreme levels of complexity. Cut-out animation has been a mainstay of Russian and Eastern European animators such as Yuri Norstein, whose graceful little characters have enchanted audiences for decades. This programme mixes a collection of master works dating back to the 1940s with a selection of recent works in competition.

Cut-Out Animation: Phosphena (Dir. Maya Erdelyi)

Royal College of Arts 25th Anniversary + roundtable discussion with RCA alumni
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Royal College of Arts’ animation department, the LIAF is screening a collection of the 14 best films made by the college’s students and alumni.

SixPackFilm tribute (Austria) presented by Dietmar Schwarzler
The LIAF presents a tribute to Austrian distributor SixPackFilm, which specialises in experimental and abstract animation. Following this showcase of archive films, Dietmar Schwarzler from SixPackFilms will provide valuable insight into the workings of this wonderful institution.


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