Factual Animation Film Festival 2018

Factual Animation Film Festival 2018 (London)

FAFF 2018 Programme
Miranda at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch, London
7 October 2018
BLOC ONE: 1.30-4PM
Lives of Others: Documentary & Reportage I
Stories of Struggle: The Challenges We Face 

BLOC TWO: 4.30-7PM
Pushing the medium: Experimental Animation
Departures: Tales of Migration and Displacement

Memory and Memoir: Personal Narratives
Lives of Others: Documentary & Reportage II

FAFF 2018

FAFF 2018

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Bloc I. Lives of others: Documentary & Reportage I

Cheated Heart poster

Cheated Heart
Director: Umar Riaz
Duration: 4:40
Dilri Lutti (Cheated Heart) animates the stories of five women from under-privileged backgrounds in Pakistan who face harassment, discrimination and violence on their way to successfully starting their own business or seeking meaningful employment. Set to a traditional Punjabi folk tune given a contemporary rendition by Pakistani musicians Jimmy Khan and Rakae Jamil.

Death and Taxidermy poster

Death and Taxidermy
Director: Mariel Carr
Duration: 16:36
Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of stuffing animals. The compulsion to keep animals intact after death goes back to ancient Egypt, where animals of all description were mummified. Though the methods and motivations have changed, the desire has remained pretty constant.
Meet Beth Beverly, a young taxidermist turning the craft on its head; John Whitenight, a faithful and eccentric collector of Victorian taxidermy; and the polar bears and gorillas that stand motionless in the natural history museum. Together they relay taxidermy’s long history of combining art and science, and fighting the inevitable decay all creatures must ultimately face.

For A Better Life poster

For A Better Life
Director: Yasmin Mistry
Duration: 9:32
Sold for $100 at the age of 5, Fekri suffers through years of abuse before his plight is discovered. After almost a year of hospitalization and therapy Fekri moves into a group home where he finds support, mentorship, and eventual forgiveness towards the family which sold him.

Limbo poster

Director: Nwayr Zar Che Soe
Duration: 5:00
Limbo tells the powerful story of a 19-year-old woman who is raped at home in Kayin State by her uncle. Initially pressured by her uncle to remain silent and abort the child that resulted from the attack, she is still determined to obtain justice in order to bring up her young son in an equal society.

Marfa poster

Director: Greg McLeod, Myles McLeod
Duration: 8:33
United Kingdom
A town on the borderlands of Texas. A place out of time. A desert where strange lights dance in the night sky. A mecca for lovers of minimalist art. A landscape of lost horses, freaks and food trucks. And then there’s the giant lemon.

The act of Lunacy poster

The Act Of Lunacy
Director: Freddie Griffiths
Duration: 4:29
United Kingdom
My film looks at the conflicting truths found in the records of a 19th century asylum patient. Based on the records of Herman Charles Merivale, the story follows the events that unfolded during his stay at Ticehurst ‘Lunatic’ Asylum. Addressing the contemporary question of consent my films explores whether his potential mental instability was in fact warranted or a product of his confinement.

The mind of an artist: William Kentridge poster

The mind of an artist: William Kentridge
Director: Rosa Beiroa
Duration: 1:00
United Kingdom
The mind of an artist is a short film produced in collaboration with Tate to visualise William Kentridge words. This film creates a scene around the artist studio and his process of creation, borrowing symbols from Kentridge’s work to represent the ideas which fill and leave the artist’s body at the time they are a part of the artist himself. The studio, the artist and his ideas are presented as changeable but essential parts of one single entity.

Director: Ana Pérez López

André Hörmann & Samo

In the Tallgrass
Erin Anfinson

Bloc I. Stories of Struggle: The Challenges We Face

A Cup of Anxietea poster

A Cup of Anxietea
Director: Emma Hjelm
Duration: 7:50
A Cup of Anxiety is a short-animated documentary about anxiety, consisting of authentic interviews with six different women talking about anxiety – over a cup of tea. Animated in stop-motion technique with handmade puppets, it’s the graduation film of Emma Hjelm from Stockholm Academy of Dramatic arts, the Narrative Animated Film-program.

Ai Can poster

Ai Can
Director: Mengxi Yang
Duration: 5:08
Ai Can is a documentary portrait of a man who suffers from mental illness, but never stopped making his art during years of retirement.
During a conversation with a friend, she showed me photos of her grandfather, Zhou Ai Can’s unusual collection of toys and installations he made. I became interested and interviewed his family. Ai Can’s wife and daughter talked about their opinions on his works. Suffering from the result of Ai Can’s hoarding behavior, his family decided to clean up all the “trash”. Before they refurnish the house entirely, I stepped in and took footage of the remaining objects.
Because of his mental state, I’ve never met Ai Can in person during the whole making process of this film. With the interview recordings and my own interpretation, I made video collages and animation representing physical and emotion landscape Ai Can once lived upon. All visual elements are made with his collection and found footage.

First Kiss poster

First Kiss
Director: Ali Aschman
Duration: 1:52
United Kingdom
One night at the beach. A reflection on the complex trauma of being a teenage girl.

Flying While Fat poster

Flying While Fat
Director: Stacy Bias
Duration: 6:13
United Kingdom
Partially funded by the University of Liverpool and in collaboration with Dr. Bethan Evans.
Flying is uncomfortable for many people, but when the physical infrastructure of the plane doesn’t accommodate your body and/or the social attitudes of other passengers make the plane environment a hostile space, flying can be a particularly anxious thing to do. News stories about fat passengers often present them as unreasonably taking up space that is not their own, as a problem for others, dehumanising fat people akin to ‘excess baggage’. To challenge these narratives, this animation presents the voices of fat passengers as they explain the challenges of fitting into spaces that exclude them both socially and materially. The animation encourages people to empathise with fat people as fellow passengers and human beings, and to think about the political and economic relations that contribute to this exclusion.

Get Something Out poster

Get Something Out
Director: Stacy Bias
Duration: 6:13
United Kingdom
Talking about anxiety isn’t always simple.

I am worthless poster

I am worthless
Director: Haemin Ko
Duration: 1:20
United Kingdom
A girl was in a women’s refuge and she had no money she was alone with no one to help her, she thought she was worthless and was trapped in a cycle of abuse. This narration was recorded by real person who has been supported by British charity society of Childrend’s society.

Music & Clowns poster

Music & Clowns
Director: Alex Widdowson
Duration: 7:23
United Kingdom
Despite being close to nonverbal my brother is funny, charming and perceptive. I discuss with my parents what it was like raising a child with Down syndrome. Our speculations about his inner life reveal as much about our own subjectivity as they do his.
There is a critical under representation of the ordinary and diverse lives of people with Down syndrome. As prenatal testing advances I feel an urgency to provide insight for people making a life changing decision regarding whether or not to raise a child with Down syndrome.

Sincerely Anthony poster

Sincerely Anthony
Director: Max Shoham
Duration: 1:08
Everyone deals with the suicide of a friend differently. We grew up together, and one day, he was gone, leaving no letter, no explanation, nothing behind. This film was an exploration of the acceptance of a best friend’s death through an imagined letter left behind.

Take a deep breath! poster

Take a deep breath!
Director: Zahra Safdari Shadloo
Duration: 4:26
Islamic Republic of Iran
This is a short animation about a day of a woman who lives alone. In this day she wakes up in the morning and goes to kitchen for making breakfast. After hearing bad news about a girl (who has died because of violation) in radio, she remembers her bad experiences about the rape of her privacy. She remembers how some men look at her just sexually. She is afraid to go out but finally changes her mind and decides to go out again and be brave.

There's My Fear! poster

There’s My Fear!
Director: Max Tunney
Duration: 2:26
A comedic look at childhood fears.

A pistol against my head
Directors: Luca Schenato, Siem Vardarli, Laurie Harris
United Kingdon

Speak Out
Director: Elizabeth Hobbs
United Kingdom

Directors: Martha Halliday, Hannah McNally

Bloc II. Pushing the Medium: Experimental Animation

A Cochlear Implant poster

A Cochlear Implant
Director: Eric Giessmann
Duration: 0:58
A short infographic about me and my cochlear implant..
– Entirely painted and animated in virtual reality.
– Distributed more than 1600 times on facebook within 2 days.
– Much positive feedback from deaf people and people with CI’s.
– my own face as portrait.

Aquacade poster

Director: Caroline Voagen Nelson
Duration: 3:11
Aquacade is a dreamlike, experimental short film that journeys through hidden histories in underwater New York City, beginning with the prohibition of pinball machines and their demise in the East River in 1942.The film collages multiple techniques in animation, blending stop motion, 2D, and 3D with archival footage.

Desire Line poster

Desire Line
Director: Ruini Shi
Duration: 6:59
United Kingdom
When a tragedy occurs one Valentine’s Day, we turn to a bot for answers.

Drawn Maze poster

Drawn Maze
Director: Dave Merson Hess
Duration: 1:00
A mixed media micro documentary about a childhood memory.
Ingredients: tempera on rice paper, a chandelier reflected on a marble bar in San Antonio, corrugated tin lining a large shed on 9th St., found footage from the Prelinger Archives and various other sources, analog synths, electric guitar, marimba, viola, tambourine, and electric piano.


Director: Rick Niebe
Duration: 1:00
Cinematic hommage to urban graffiti
[An abstract exploration of urban graffiti based on a musical improvvistaion on txalaparta an ancient basque instrument]
Mus: TTUKUNAK (Maika & Sara Gomez) Live in Grottaglie (ITALY) 1 may 2011 (excerpt)

HOLE poster

Director: G. Goletski
Duration: 6:03
HOLE is an experimental narrative animated short about Mo, an adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Mo spends a lot of time in their brain. Today, a hole started following them.

I Don't Protest, I Just Dance In My Shadow poster

I Don’t Protest, I Just Dance In My Shadow
Director: Jessica Ashman
Duration: 5:21
United Kingdom
“I don’t want to feel like it’s only me. I know it’s not only me, because there are others out there…”
‘I Don’t Protest, I Just Dance In My Shadow’ is a short visual essay film by artist animator, Jessica Ashman, about navigating the visual art and animation world as a black face in a white space. Using animation and recorded interviews of eight other women of colour artists, ‘I Don’t Protest, I Just Dance In My Shadow’ is an abstract confessional from the director herself: a visualisation of the joy, frustration, wishes and dreams of what it feels like to be a black women and a woman of colour artist, creating and existing.
Developed by Animate Projects and funded by Arts Council England, ‘I Don’t Protest, I Just Dance In My Shadow’ screened as part of a 10 day installation at the Four Corners Gallery, June 2017, designed by Jessica. The installation was created to accompany the film and showcased in depth the artists interviewed and experimental abstracts from the film-making process.

Impermanence poster

Director: Tanya Leahy
Duration: 2:23
Impermanence is a personal, hand drawn, experimental film depicting anxiety and how mindfulness can help one realize its ephemeral nature.

Meat Wrapped In Dough poster

Meat Wrapped In Dough
Director: Tracy Park
Duration: 2:00
Everyone’s favorite food group! A light-hearted animated homage to delicious meat wrapped in tasty dough. A food that crosses many cultural and national boundaries.


Director: Luca Cioci
Duration: 4:35
Functional and aesthetic values in recurrent, yet questionable domestic scenarios.

Not your panda poster

Not your panda
Director: Tigris Alt Sakda
Duration: 5:19
Untold stories from one of anthropocene’s charismatic mega fauna – ailuropoda melanoleuca : “… and if I hear anyone else say ‘isn’t he cute’…”

Seriously Deadly Silence poster

Seriously Deadly Silence
Director: Sara Koppel
Duration: 1:00
– A one minute moment of 60 endangered species.

Somnium poster

Directors: C. Surhay Kilic, Fuat Degirmenci
Duration: 4:11
Science and discovery heavily relies on imagination. So, we had a little help from children, whose imagination are limitless.
We interviewed children from 5 different countries and asked them “What do you think about space?” Then they gave us their drawings of their dreams of space.
We then brought their dreams to life, with the use of CGI. That is why our film is called “Somnium” (Dream, in Latin).

The Redness of Red poster

The Redness of Red
Director: Emily Downe
Duration: 3:19
United Kingdom
What does it mean to be conscious in a world that is becoming increasingly artificially intelligent? Can machines really see? Based on an interview with a professor in artificial intelligence, this short experimental documentary uses analog techniques to explore the human tendency to anthropomorphise simple drawings, and how we might do the same to machines.

We are in a Dream poster

We are in a Dream
Directors: Henna Välkky, Eesu Lehtola
Duration: 6:00
There is a line of men chasing us through a city where we can’t run. The escape is gruelling, our feet are wet and we drown deeper. We are not afraid, we have seen this before. This film is based on personal recordings of people narrating their recurring dreams.

What It Feels Like poster

What It Feels Like
Director: Steven Fraser
Duration: 3:00
United Kingdom
What It Feels Like is short animated documentary that investigates voice hearing.
Small boxes that contain flip book style animation are presented to show the emotion that people who hear voices feel. The documentary is experimental and expressive in its approach, where the positives and negatives combine to fully express the subversive nature of a misunderstood affliction. What It Feels Like was made with assistance from Anidox and Creative Scotland.

When poster

Director: Deanna Crisbacher
Duration: 7:25
United Kingdom
‘When’ discusses the filmmaker’s experience with mental illness and how it has impacted her perception of the world around her. It mainly focuses on Anorexia Nervosa, Anxiety, and Depression. It aims to represent these ideas in an artistically abstract but honest way – using CGI as a medium to create an impactful experience that will make the audience think about mental illness in a way they might not have before.

Bloc II. Departures: Tales of Migration and Displacement

ABEO poster

Director: Brenda Lopez
Duration: 7:01
ABEO is a hard hitting mixed media animated short that depicts the journey of Nadia and Lupe, two immigrants who risked their lives to cross the Arizona desert in search for a better life.


Director: Christina Macgillivray
Duration: 2:00
Migrants are those who have moved across borders, each with their own story, struggles and successes. Their own reasons for leaving behind homes and families. Their own personal story of exile and belonging. But these stories often remain hidden, like the many migrants themselves compelled to endure life in the shadows of our societies, prevented from enjoying the rights and freedoms so many take for granted.
Exile and Belonging showcases the unique stories of migrants, shedding light on the diversity of individual experiences of migrants from around the world. The series uses the voices of real people paired with animation. This is done in order to protect the participating individuals in precarious legal situations.
This web series is produced in partnership with comedian Hari Kondabolu, recently honored by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his ability to unite people of all backgrounds and beliefs in laughter, while raising awareness about social justice and equality.
Anti-migrant discourse in the political sphere, the media and public debate have become commonplace and are often used for cheap political gains, or as a means of boosting sales and advertising revenue. Dividing societies into ‘us’ versus ‘them’ enables a justification of violence, hatred and discrimination against migrants. In the ultimate analysis, it is our societies that will lose the most from spreading of this hatred.
By having conversations with those we perceive as different, by listening to their experiences as individuals, we can recognize how we all share a longing to belong and a right to human dignity. We realize that we have more in common than that which divides us.

Foreign Local poster

Foreign Local
Director: Moriya Benavot
Duration: 9:08
Some were born here, some moved to Israel when they were very young. They all have lived most of their lives here, yet they are still labeled as foreigners. This project is a collection of three short stories that present a moment of alienation through stop motion animation. A small, everyday moment in which they felt as though their ‘foreignness’ is what defines them, even though they have a strong urge to be part of this country – Israel.

Land of the Free? poster

Land of the Free?
Directors: Alissa Brasington, Liam Campbell , Brian Cawley, Lakota Dodging Horse, Ken Egu, C. Leigh Goldsmith, Haley Hudkins, Hannah Kreiswirth, Kaitlyn Leewing, Sequoyah Madison, Molly Murphy, Patrice Pinardo, Chenglin Xie
Duration: 4:19
Ken Egu, an African American immigrant to the United Stated, reflects on racism through the lens of the Trump presidency and the actions of Colin Kaepernick.

Nuestro País (Our Country) poster

Nuestro País (Our Country)
Director: Mayra Flores
Duration: 6:07
In the winter of 1988, my mother trekked the hills of the Tijuana-San Diego border at the age of twenty-one to enter the elusive “el norte.” Newlywed, full of hopes, dreams, and fears, she never imagined that she would one day call herself an American citizen. Nuestro País is a short experimental animated documentary film about immigrant families living in the U.S. told through an intimate lens.

Our Story poster

Our Story
Director: Lorenzo Latrofa
Duration: 4:31
Emigration is a common territory that has involved many people all over the world. The stories of today’s emigrants are the stories of our past. Their ‘story’ is our story. It is everyone’s story.

The UN Treaty Bodies poster

The UN Treaty Bodies
Director: Raj Yagnik
Duration: 3:15
United Kingdom
Unlike humans, things don’t have rights. By abusing objects, this film publicises the work of The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN Treaty Bodies, the bodies that oversee the protection of humans rights internationally.

Director: Aishwarya Sadasivan

Journey Birds
Director: Daphna Awadish

Love in conflict – Yana’s letter
Director: Ignacio Osorio

Bloc III. Memory and Memoir: Personal Narratives

A Scribbled Memory poster

A Scribbled Memory
Director: Bhulla Beghal
Duration: 1:00
United Kingdom
We all have demons following us around. In the case of this anonymous individual, his demon is a lack of emotion. Via a real local radio interview, he tells us a harrowing story from his childhood. This animation serves as a visual element to him and the story – messy, tangled and abstract.

Bathtub Armada poster

Bathtub Armada
Director: Sofia Castello y Tickell
Duration: 1:00
United Kingdom
This film is based on a true story sent to me by my father’s cousin Leticia, about their childhood in Mexico City. Though everyone present on the day has passed away, this charming family memory remains.

Carlotta's Face poster

Carlotta’s Face
Directors: Valentin Riedl, Frédéric Schuld
Duration: 5:00
As a child, Carlotta didn’t expect the people around here to have faces. She even doesn’t recognize her own face. Years later, she learns about a rare, untreatable deficit of her brain. It was art, after all, that offered her a way to finally recognize herself.

Carlotta's Face poster

Carlotta’s Face
Director: Dave Merson Hess
Duration: 1:00
“Clara” uses a combination of experimental animation, live action, and found footage to pay tribute to legendary BBC radio DJ John Peel’s touching on-air reading of a letter from a teenage listener in 1981. It was one of 30 films selected worldwide for the inaugural edition of Toronto International Film Festival’s #TIFFxInstagram.

Stephen King on Childhood poster

Stephen King on Childhood
Director: Patrick Smith
Duration: 4:00
Animated interview of Stephen King, as he discusses childhood, storytelling, and imaginary friends.

Uh...Salted poster

Directors: Kaitlin Allanson, Alex Bologna, Taylor Collins, Catherine Deptuch, Erika Gomi, Esperanza Guevara, Ridge Hirano, Yuri Jang, Kwang Hoon Kim, Xin Li, Octavio Llano Mestres, Joseph Stucky, Yu Yu
Duration: 3:08
Erika enjoyed playing with frogs as a child.

When I was young poster

When I was young
Director: Katy Milner
Duration: 13:00
United Kingdom
An animated documentary made in collaboration with Katy Milner and pupils at Kelvin Grove Primary School. A group of children from the school interviewed elderly local residents about what life was like when they were young. The eldest lady was 98! The children then produced their animation sequences based on the stories and memories. 71 year 5 children took part with the direction of Katy Milner.

Story of Aishan poster

Story of Aishan
Director: Hong jia bao
Duration: 5:15
The is an animated documentary I made for my friend, who has suffered blindness since she was born. Light is the only thing she can perceive through her eyes. In this animated documentary, fragments of our conversations have been edited.All I want for this documentary is to let more people know about the hard life of my friend.

Director: Sofia El Khyari
United Kingdom

How to Make a Ghost
Director: Gabriella Escovar

Mend and make do
Director: Bexie Bush
United Kingdom

Making the worst game ever
Directors: Gabriel Philip Robibero, Connor Boals, Dave Yima Escovar

Bloc I. Lives of others: Documentary & Reportage II

Chase poster

Director: Michaela Režová
Duration: 11:33
Czech Republic
Ice-hockey is not just some sport. It’s related to the culture, politics and society of Czechs and Slovaks like no other! Chase looks for these connections in talks with witnesses of past dark times and moments of glory too.

Down the Line poster

Down the Line
Director: Al Kamalizad
Duration: 3:35
A remembrance for a source who gave one journalist a startling look into America’s opioid crisis. He said he had everything to live for. Two months later, he was dead.
Produced for Mother Jones Magazine.

Frankfurter Str. 99a poster

Frankfurter Str. 99a
Director: Evgenia Gostrer
Duration: 5:00
A garbage man on his daily routine. A black cat on her stray. A meeting during the lunch break.

Las del diente poster

Las del diente
Director: Ana Perez Lopez
Duration: 5:28
Girls are weird. Babies are weird. Bodies are extra weird. “Las del diente” is a film about now, a time when women are tired to choose between having kids and their careers. Days in which anomalies in the reproductive system are celebrated instead of stigmatized.

Newport Gun Girls poster

Newport Gun Girls
Director: Lauren Orme
Duration: 11:35
United Kingdom
Newport Gun Girls is an animated documentary that shines a light on a forgotten group of women who worked at Newport Royal Ordnance Factory 11 during the second world war.

Sinigang poster

Director: Amelia Earhart
Duration: 6:45
Birds sleep with one eye open, a mother does the same.

The Radium Girls poster

The Radium Girls
Director: Jessica Schultz
Duration: 3:17
Hundreds of female workers lost their lives in one of the most tragic occupational health scandals in U.S. history.

Worth Every Penny poster

Worth Every Penny
Directors: Ilona Yudin, Paz Bernstein, Muli Asido, Erika Cumpton, Adam Magrala, Yael Solomonovich, Lara Buyom, Sarai Abergel, Guy Livnat, Noy Friman
Duration: 13:42
An animated voyage into the realm of payed sex encounters. The texts are taken from internet forums, where sex consumers compare and rate the quality of prostitutes performance.

Fragments / Estilhaços
Director: José Miguel Riberio

Installations and interventions

Living on the City Fringe poster

Living on the City Fringe
Director: Vera Reshto
Duration: 15:38
United Kingdom
Hackney borough is part of the City Fringe Opportunity area. It has experienced radical demographic and structural changes in the last ten years, and direct experience of this changing environment has led me to reckon with my own participation in this transformation. Living on the City Fringe aims to understand different perspectives on the complex issues of gentrification and regeneration in the area through a series of interviews with local people from different ethnic and social backgrounds.
The piece is animated using 3D characters created from real plaster casts, made by taking impressions from the walls of buildings in Hackney. From these impressions, plaster forms were created, and the surfaces of the buildings were replicated. The ‘bricks’ are a representation of the environment of Hackney and its real inhabitants, as opposed to the images seen in imagined future renderings of upcoming new developments.

Unsettled poster

Director: Tara Knight
Duration: 7:00
Conflicting layers of animation reveal glimpses into the ecological and economic histories of an American landscape.

Living Between light and darkness (Vivendo entre luz e sombra)
Director: Pedro Serrazina