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Industry Support and Recognition Enables Animation Graduates to Flourish

Each year graduating RCA Animation students excel at international animation festivals, consistently winning prestigious prizes and accolades. 2017 is proving to be no different.

Josh Saunders, who graduated from MA Animation in 2016, recently won Best Postgraduate Animation at the Royal Television Society Awards for The Grey Hound (2016). The judges commented on Josh's winning animation: ‘Occasionally animation can deliver an idea, or feeling, or emotion in a way that no other medium can. This film is a prime example of this, exploring mental illness with a fluidity of thought and imagery that only animation can achieve.’

Josh's hand-drawn short animation, which sensitively tackles the subject of mental illness, was also selected to be screened at the Holland Animation Film Festival in Utrecht earlier this year along with fellow graduate films: The Waves (2016) by Oscar Lewis, Limoeiro – Lemon Tree (2016) by Joana Silva and Between Sand and Tides (2016) by Rui Fan Wang.

Kate Balchin, who graduated from MA Animation this year, was awarded an honourable mention in the Maureen Furniss Animation Award for Best Paper, for her RCA Critical & Historical Studies Dissertation ‘Inter-Connections: Examining Metamorphism in Animated Film-making’. The certificate was awarded at the Society of Animation Studies (SAS) 2017 conference in Padova, Venice in July, where the five selection committee members were all very impressed with Kate’s work. The dissertation was part of a six-month study undertaken with support from her CHS tutors, Barnaby Dicker and Lilly Husbands. Later this year it will be published in the SAS journal, Animation Studies.

The strength of the RCA’s Animation students is reflected in the continued support they receive from Elf Factory, the animation company best known for the production of Peppa Pig. This year, the long -term supporter of the programme has sponsored five second-year films at £1,000 each. This level of support is unprecedented. Commenting on this year’s students they said they were ‘impressed by the clarity and rich variety of the proposals’. The sponsored films were Stardust (2017) by Emily Scaife, Burnt Rubber (2017) by Matthias Cuciniello, Inner House (2017) by Yuriko Ogawa, The Witch’s Mask (2017) by Laura N-Tamara and If You Listen (2017) by Lottie Kingslake.

Lottie’s first year film Of the Apple (2016) was selected to the International Student Short Films Competition at MONSTRA, alongside Come to me (2016) by Marta Reis Andrade and Where our memories are (2016) by Yuriko Ogawa, which won an honourable mention in the International Student Short Film Competition.

This year the Passion Prize of £1,000, supported by Passion Animation Studios, has been split between three graduating students. The two main winners, who received £400 each were Rachael Olga Lloyd and Sujay Narayan, with £200 awarded to Sam Bell. 

Other RCA Animation successes at recent film festivals include: Rachel Olga Lloyd’s first year film Iktsuarpok (2016) which won Best Sound Design at Underwire Festival as well as best Student Animation at Roselle Park Loves Shorts International Film Festival, USA; 2016 graduate Sophie Markatatos's film How Are You Today? (2016) won Best Student Film at Animated Dreams in Tallinn 2016, as well as Special Mention from the Jury at Sommets du Cinéma d'Animation, Canada, 2016 and Best Animation Award at Euroshorts, Poland, 2016; and 2015 graduate Rory Waudby-Tolley’s film Mr Madilla (2015) won the Audience Choice Award at the Big Cartoon Festival that took place in Moscow October 2016.

See more information about Animation and how to Apply.