London International Animation Festival 2020

Opening Night Gala feat. Female Figures: Growing Up + pre-recorded Screentalk

Expired November 29, 2020 5:55 PM
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In this most unusual of years we are extremely proud to be able to screen this very special opening event at LIAF 2020, curated by Abigail Addison.

As an antidote to all that is happening around us, Female Figures 2020 ‘Growing Up’ considers coming of age stories, memories and experiences.

In these animations, reflections on childish fantasies and problematic relationships with friends and family are revisited; where young people on the threshold of adulthood grow aware of its challenges and temptations. We witness young people navigating societal norms and gender stereotypes with a growing self-awareness and a desire to resist tradition. Mothers reflect on their own experiences through witnessing their daughters lives and daughters interrogate their mothers to examine their own drives and choices.

In some works fairytale and fantasy are employed to evoke psychological states and the transformational stages of maturing. Some weave biographical elements into their narratives and some employ humour to the presentation of difficult scenarios, whilst all share a refreshing perspective on growing up. The works present a mix of techniques, including paint on glass, stop motion, paper collage and scratch film.

Female Figures was devised in 2017 by producer and programmer Abigail Addison at Animate Projects, born from a desire to present an alternate view of women’s bodies and women’s stories to counter the misogynistic representations that persist in animation today. In recognition of the under-representation of female animators within the independent animation sector, the programme spotlights some of the incredible work crafted by contemporary animators, both in the UK and internationally.

Abigail Addison will lead a special post-screening conversation with British-Iranian animator Maryam Mohajer, Senior Lecturer Dr Caroline Ruddell and artist animator Linnéa Haviland whose films screen in this programme.

With Special Thanks to the Arts Council England

Recommended age 15+


Abigail Addison: Producer, Director of Animate Projects

Abigail is a Producer, and is a Director of agency Animate Projects that works at the intersection of animation, film and art. She has produced many innovative projects including Silent Signal, a large-scale touring art & science project supported by Wellcome Trust. She recently co-produced the BAFTA nominated animation I’m OK with Elizabeth Hobbs and two award-winning animation & music collaborations for Klangforum Wien’s Happiness Machine project. In 2020, Abigail produced Dominica Harrison’s animated short Chado and Leo Crane’s hand-painted animation Nude Triumphant, with both works now touring to festivals and galleries.

Linnéa Haviland: Artist and Animator

Linnéa is an artist and animator from Stockholm, now based in London where she works as a visual artist, illustrator and art director for a sexual health service. Her personal work focuses on the politics of representation and how this links to identity and identity formation. She loves working collaboratively with experimental, multimedia approaches to making. She is passionate about poetry, colour, cats and children’s rights. Her films have been shown internationally at festivals and in exhibitions at BFI Flare, Oberhausen, Barbican, Wellcome Collection and the Hiroshima International Animation Festival.

Maryam Mohajer: Animator, Director

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 received her MA Animation degree from the 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.

Dr Caroline Ruddell: Senior Lecturer

Dr Caroline Ruddell is Senior Lecturer in Film and Divisional Lead for Production and Performance at Brunel University London. She specialises in animation and representation onscreen and has published widely in these areas. Caroline is currently researching craft-based, handmade animation and has recently published The Crafty Animator: Handmade, Craft-based Animation and Cultural Value (eds. Ruddell & Ward, 2019) and The Animation Studies Reader (eds. Dobson, Honess Roe, Ratelle & Ruddell, 2018). She is Associate Editor for the Sage publication animation: an interdisciplinary journal, and Book Series Co-Editor (with Prof Paul Ward) for Palgrave Animation.

My grandad was a romantic man. He once saw a picture of my granny and realised she was the love of his life. So he decided to go and meet her.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    5 minutes
  • Country
  • Filmmaker
    Maryam Mohajer