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Bradford Animation Festival 2012 – Highlights & Winners

// News, Reviews (Festival)

The 19th Bradford Animation Festival took place at the National Media Museum and once again played host to some of the industries most respected animators and game developers past and present. Highlights included Mark Shapiro from Laika taking the audience through the production of ParaNorman and Aardmans Will Becher tutoring the crowds in all things Pirate.

BAF Game sat alongside the festival perfectly and presented work from Valve, Bioware and Sony entertainment, amongst others showcasing the medium perfectly.

Other guests and events included Double Negative, Robert Morgan discussing his unique brand of twisted horror with Rob Nevitt and Valerie Kausen in conversation with Prof. Paul Wells presenting a retrospective on the work of her grandfather Chuck Jones. The museum also had original sketches by the master animator on display as well as treating the audience to a screening of his own personal 35mm prints of ‘One Froggy Evening’, ‘Rikki-Tikki-Tavi’, ‘The Dot and the Line’ and ‘Feed the Kitty’. Other highlights included workshops in writing by Alan Gilbey, Character design by Curtis Jobling and Life Drawing with Joanna Quinn.

Valerie Kausen in conversation

A retrospective of the work of John Halas was also presented alongside a new documentary ‘Animated Utopia’ that charts the acheivements of Halas’ 60 years in the industry. His daughter Vivien Halas received his posthumorous lifetime achievement award.

Robert Morgan

That was just a selection of the other screenings, workshops and BAFta hours fun that was to be had which included an animation quiz hosted by yours truly as well as a selection of Chuck Jones’ best work and student films out of competition but made by a single student. Also discussing the student film the Animated britain panel conversed on the position of the student film and its significance within the industry as a way of launching a career or as a respected works in their own right. Alongside ABAC the panel launched an amnesty for as many past student films to be submitted as possible.

The festival was topped with the fabulous BAF awards, hosted by Barry Purves, the audience was treated to both Barrys infectious love for animation and the winning films themselves, each taking home an ‘Osgood’ the award christened by non other than Ray Harryhausen in 2010.

The Osgoods

Next year is the festivals 20th anniversary, and with such a legacy already in place we are quite excited to see what the team at the national media museum have in store for us.

The full list of winning films is here, along with comments from the Jury. Photos from the festival can be seen on the festivals Flickr feed


Winner – Oh Willy
Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels,  Belgium

We chose this visually rich film for it’s innovative use of a classic medium, its well-directed unpredictable story and for its striking mix of darkness and humour.

Special Mention – Moxie

Stephen Irwin UK

For its gentle and perceptive story telling set in a dark universe, and it’s original visual style. It was beautiful to watch this strange, sad, funny story unfold.


Winner – Bite Of The Tail
Song E Kim, USA

Compelling, with many layers of meaning, this quietly original and well animated piece revealed a disturbing symbolic undercurrent beneath everyday reality.

Special Mention – Swarming
Joni Männistö, Finland

This film took a striking and unusual idea and executed it with vivid imagination and sure-footed confidence


Winner – Buy Buy Baby
Gervais Merryweather, UK


Winner – Una Furtiva Lagrima
Calo Vogele, Spain

Creepy, quirky, funny and poignant. We chose this operatic parody for its fresh approach to stop motion.

Special Mention – Bob On Sport

Darren Walsh, UK

We liked this film for its sharply observed caricature that got straight to the punch line in 49 seconds.



Winner – The Living Things
Phil Davis, USA

We chose this film for its wit and perfect synchronisation, the unpredictable nature of its appealing characters and its simple but effective production values.


Winner – Herdy Heads for the Hills
David Browne UK

We chose this film for its charm, its element of surprise seeing these simple objects in an epic setting and precisely because it was not too slick.



Winner – The Gruffalo’s Child
Johannes Weiland, Uwe Heidschötter, UK

Beautifully recreates the magical atmosphere of the original story. Flawlessly executed, which succeeded in bringing an unusual organic quality to CG animation. 

Special Mention – The Little Bird And The Leaf

Lena von Döhren, Switzerland

This startlingly simple tale had great timing and characterisation. Eschewing dialogue, it was a film of poetic and universal appeal.


Winner – Warp Cops
Michael Bicarregui, Ollie Sayeed, UK

An excellent and affectionate parody of blockbuster filmmaking with a very clever and funny script that showed real maturity, invention and awareness.

We found two other films in this category worthy of special mention: The Flood (Vasiliy Koretskiy, Russia/Ukraine/Cyprus) which exhibited some fantastic technical craftsmanship that was a real achievement and The Red Wire (Kidscam, Belgium) which paired sound and image with originality and quirky characterisation. 


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