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Dr Carla MacKinnon is an animator and researcher working predominantly in experimental non-fiction.

Carla’s role as a tutor draws on both her practical experience as an animator, and her industry background across interdisciplinary production and exhibition.

Carla graduated from Royal College of Art in 2013, and in 2021 she completed a PhD at Arts University Bournemouth, focusing on animated documentary production.


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Carla’s research approaches fall into two main strands. The first is research into the organisational and structural contexts of creative production. Through looking at communities of practice, exchange of capital, and communication across boundaries, she aims to expose persistent inefficiencies and inequalities in the way that creative work is produced, particularly in interdisciplinary contexts.

Carla’s second key strand of research focuses on the potential for innovative representations of reality using animation. This includes evocation through haptic materiality, non-linear and depersonalised narratives, and non-traditional use of genre signifiers.

Carla’s work has been shown at the Wellcome Collection, the Institute of Contemporary Art and FACT Liverpool. It has been broadcast on BBC4, and through online platforms and publications including the Guardian, NOWNESS, and Aeon Films. Her films have been programmed at festivals and events worldwide, and have won a number of awards.

Carla’s professional background also includes work as film festival producer and programmer, as well as working in producer and production manager capacities on animated and live action films, and creative technology projects.

PhD Studentship, Arts University Bournemouth, 2015-2020

BBC4 and BFI, 2018

Wellcome Trust Engaging Science Award, 2015-16

Arts Council England (through London Short Film Festival), 2015

Film London, 2015

Wellcome Trust Arts Award, 2012-13

UnLtd. The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, 2006

Screen Yorkshire, 2005

Best Animadoc (Student Jury), Rising of Lusitania AnimaDoc Festival, 2020

Best Artist Film and Audience Award, Southampton Film Week, 2019

Best Short Documentary, Cineglobe Film Festival, CERN, 2013

Best Short Film, Defy Film Festival, 2016

When a Woman Sits Alone: a creative response to Julian of Norwich. Paper at New Visions of Julian of Norwich, Somerville College, Oxford, UK, July 2022.

Linear and Dialogic methodologies in 21st Century animated documentary production. Paper at Animation in the 21st Century: Rethinking Images and Technology. Roma Tre University, Italy, November 2021.

Animated Documentary as a Collaborative Therapy. Paper at AnimaScapes, CINEANIMA. Espinho, Portugal, November 2021.

MacKinnon, C. (2019). Autobiography and Authenticity in Stop-Motion Animation. In: Ruddell C., Ward P. (eds) The Crafty Animator. (2019). UK: Palgrave Animation. pp.99-126.

O Hunter Heart. 2018. [short film]. UK: Wingspan Films

Short Animated Documentary Production in the UK. Paper at Media Industries Conference, Kings College London, UK, April 2018

Production Challenges in Animated Documentary. Paper at Society for Animation Studies 29th Annual Conference, Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy, July 2017

Immersion and alienation: animated virtual realities. Paper at Ecstatic Truth Symposium, Royal College of Art, UK, May 2017.

(2016) States of Mind: Tracing the Edge of Consciousness. Wellcome Collecion. London, UK.

An Approach to Authenticity: Using stop-motion to evoke physical and psychological experience in animated documentary. Paper at Ecstatic Truth Symposium, Royal College of Art, UK, May, 2016

OUT OF BODY. 2015. [performance-based animation]. Exhibited at Institute of Contemporary Arts, UK; FACT Liverpool, UK; Watershed Bristol, UK; Latitude Festival, UK; Triskel Arts Centre, Ireland.

Devil In the Room. 2013. [short film and cross-platform public engagement project]. UK: Royal College of Art.

Selected Screenings

MUMIA Underground Animation Festival, Brazil, 2021

Rising of Lusitania AnimaDoc Film Festival, Poland, 2020

Big Muddy Film Festival, USA, 2020

Athens Animfest, 2020

Encounters Short Festival, UK, 2013 & 2019

UNDER_the_RADAR Festival and Conference, Austria, 2019

Underwire Festival, UK, 2013, 2016 & 2019

Lichtspielklub Short Film Festival, Germany, 2015 & 2019

REX Animation Festival, Sweden, 2019

London Short Film Festival, UK, 2002, 2014 & 2016

Cork Film Festival, UK, 2014 & 2016

Aesthetica Short Film Festival, UK, 2016

Galway Film Fleadh 2016

Manchester International Film Festival 2016

East End Film Festival, UK, 2014 & 2016

Wiz-Art Lviv International Short Film Festival, Ukraine, 2016

Valetta Film Festival, Malta, 2016

Flatpack Festival, UK, 2014

Leeds International Film Festival, UK, 2002 & 2014

IMAGINE Fantastic Film Festival, Netherlands, 2014

Imagine Science Film Festival, USA, 2014

KLIK! Animation Festival, Netherlands, 2013

London International Animation Festival, UK, 2013

Branchage Festival, Jersey, 2014

State Experience Science Festival, Germany, 2014

Shuffle Festival, UK, 2014

Chitrakatha Film Festival, India, 2013