A Day for Animation

Film North and BFI Network’s Animation Day 2022 takes place this week, showcasing and supporting animators in Britain’s northern counties. The aim is to improve people’s understanding, knowledge and contacts in the sector, with a series of free virtual presentations, panel discussions and showcases. Kicking off with an 8.00am coffee and zoom mixer (“PJs optional!!” we are told), it promises to be a lively and informative affair.

Amongst the guests is Chris Hees (Bridge Way Films), who will be joining Hélène Mitjavile (Melocoton Films) for The Business of Animation: European Co-Production. The session offers a detailed case study on Scale, a 15-minute animated film co-produced across four countries.

Hees’ connections with ASFF stretch back to the 2014 edition, with the inclusion of The Bigger Picture, which he produced. The film, directed by Daisy Jacobs, was nominated for an Oscar and also won a BAFTA for British Short Animation. You can find The Bigger Picture here in our incredible film library. We select five more mini animation masterpieces to get you in the mood for Animation Day.


One of ASFF 2021’s most distinctive animations came from Italian filmmakers Antonio Milo and Fabrizio Fioretti. This subjective CG animation travels back to the early 1990s – to the days of Transformers and He-Man toys. Diving into the world of fantasy, a child’s bedroom transforms into an imaginative playground.
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The Sunshine Boy

“He liked vanilla ice cream, superheroes, hugs and the colour yellow… because it reminded him of sunshine.. he is going to change people’s lives.” says a mother in Naaman Azhari’s chilling 3-minute short that played at ASFF in 2017, which is be based on events surrounding the tragic 1999 Columbine high school shooting.
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Oh Willy…

Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels’ beautiful short won Best Animation at ASFF in 2013. This handcrafted 3D stop-motion features miniature props – from lamps and ladders to post-it notes. It’s a heart-rending story of Willy, a middle-aged man who returns to the naturist community where he grew up.
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Double Portrait

Winner of the 2018 Best Animation prize at ASFF, Ian Bruce’s Double Portrait is a virtually astounding hand-painted animation that explores the ill-fated relationship between Geraldine Peacock and Bob Gannicott. Narrated by Peacock, the film captures two extraordinary lives in just over five minutes.
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Little Elephant

Kate Jessop, an award-winning animator, filmmaker, and artist, produced Little Elephant, which played at ASFF in 2016. Exploring South Asian LGBTQ+ relationships in contemporary Britain, it focuses on an estranged Indian father and his gay grown-up daughter (voiced by Ernest Ignatius and Bharti Patel).
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The Film North and BFI Network Animation Day runs from 16-17 March. Find out more here.

All featured animations can be watched on the ASFF Film Library here.

Words: James Mottram