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Manchester Animation Festival Awards 'Flee', 'Save Ralph' and More

Following another succesful event Manchester Animation Festival has named its prize winners- including its inaugural  winner in the Feature category. Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year's event was a hybrid edition, with a virtual component as well as in-person events in their traditional venue of HOME MCR.

In a November 25 ceremony hosted by festival director Steve Henderson, MAF named the acclaimed animated documentary drama Flee from director Jonas Poher Rasmussen as the first winner in the Feature Film category. The film was selected in a unanimous decision by the festival jury. Ilze Burkovska- Jacobsen's feature My Favourite War was singled out for Special Mention in the category.

Winner of the Best Short Film was Navozande, The Musician by Reza Riahi. Speical Mention was won jointly by Joanna Quinn's newest film Affiars Of The Art and All Those Sensations in My Belly from director. Marko Djeska.

The Student Film award went to BusLine35A from Elena Felici. Special Mention was awarded to My Grandmother Is an Egg by Wu-Ching ChangSave Ralph, the campaign film for The Humane Society was awarded Best Commsioned Film. What Really Happened During the Attica Prison Rebellion from director Tomás Pichardo Espaillat was elected for Special Mention. 

Sponsored by the BBC, Best Children's Film went to Blue Curry from creators Magali Dunyach, Chien-Ju Hung, Jimin Jung, Vajra Pancharia, and Léa Pietrzyk. The Winner was selected by Into Film's Youth Advisory Council.

The Audience award- voted on by festival attendees, in-person or online- went to  Ida Melum's Night Of The Living Dread. Magnus Møller, Mette Tange and Peter Smith's  comic short Tales FromThe Multiverse won the MAFter Dark Audience Award.

The Industry Excellence Awards were also awarded for individual achievement in the fields of Scriptwriting, Storyboarding, Character Design and Character Animation.

This year's  MAF Fellowship recipients were Jorge R Gutiérrez and Sandra Equihua (Maya And The Three) which were honoured in a separate event.

The full list of winners are below.




  • WINNER: Sophie Dutton for Hey Duggee : The Pet Badge
  • Alan Robinson & Alex Collier for School of Roars
  • Alex Collier for It’s Pony – Locked Out
  • Ciaran Murtagh & Andrew Barnett Jones for The Rubbish World of Dave Spud



WINNER: Graeme Young for It's Pony
Arly Jones for Absolute Love
Jonathan Mortimer for New Signs for Animation
Justin Quinlan for Lisey’s Story – Main Title Sequence


Character Design:

WINNER: Daniel Amar for Sunrise
Greg McLeod for Circle Square
Mark Pyper for The Retro Squad
George Crosbie for Milo


Character Animation:

WINNER: Phillip Ward for Obki
Ben Keohane for Milo
Aman Gupta for BirdBox
Sue Guy for Squib: When All of This is Over



Quotes are from each collective jury, not from individuals. 

Best Feature Film 

Winner: Flee
Director: Jonas Poher Rasmussen
Jury Statement: 
“This was a unanimous decision for the jury, once you've seen Flee there's no arguing with the quality of work on display in it's craft, it's deeply emotive story, and it's incredible art design.
It's a story that we've heard before in documentary and feature, but told so personally and so intimately, with a level of craft that is both masterful in itself whilst also serving the story, it's rare to see story and animation working so harmoniously and for that reason it is our clear winner.”
Special Mention : My Favorite War 
Director: Ilze Burkovska- Jacobsen
“We found My Favorite War to be another incredibly personal story from an under-represented part of the world, depicting experiences that none of us had seen before on film, in an accessible, entertaining way. For that reason we felt it deserved a special mention.”

Best Short Film

Winner: Navozande, The Musician 
Director: Reza Riahi
Jury Statement:
“Navozande, the Musician is an exquisitely captivating film. We were entranced by its handcrafted visuals and hypnotic-like score. This beautiful and heartbreaking tale feels timeless, both aesthetically and in its message of the enduring nature of love”
Special Mentions: Affairs of The Art (Joanna Quinn) + All Those Sensations in My Belly (Marko Djeska)
“A special mention goes to Affairs of The Art by Joanna Quinn for its brilliantly entertaining portrait of obsession, artistic perseverance and stuffed beetles. Another special mention goes to All Those Sensations in My Belly by Marko Dješka for its vivid and highly expressive depiction of someone's journey to find love and the space to be themselves.”

Best Student Film

Winner: BusLine35A 
Director: Elena Felici
Jury Statement:
“Visually and narratively rooted in the mundanity of everyday life, BusLine35A ponders the question “what happens when we see something terrible happening, and fail to act?” Ratcheting up a creeping sense of dread with a spectacular deftness of touch, Felici has created an unassuming but truly unforgettable and effective piece of work.”
Special Mention: My Grandmother Is an Egg (Wu-Ching Chang)

Best Commissioned Film

Winner: Save Ralph 
Director: Spencer Susser
Jury statement:
“The film touched the jury in many different ways. Aside from the fact that it is an artistically perfect animated film, it tackles a non-human subject of animal testing in a sensitive, humane and profound way. And this is rare in animation films. The way the main character, Ralph the rabbit, unfolds his life as an animal, who works every day as a  "tester" for cosmetic productsin the film is the ideal way of depicting the magnitude of the problem and conveying the message against animal testing.”
Special Mention: What Really Happened During the Attica Prison Rebellion (Tomás Pichardo Espaillat)
“The Jury would like to give a special mention to the film What really happened during the Attica Prison Rebellion for highlighting a significant and universal story of claiming human rights with an interesting animation technique and powerful narrative pace.”

Best Children's Film - Sponsored by BBC Children’s

Winner: Blue Curry 
Creators: Magali Dunyach, Chien-Ju Hung, Jimin Jung, Vajra Pancharia, Léa Pietrzyk
This award was decided by Into Film's Youth Advisory Council. 

Audience Award

Winner: Night of the Living Dread
Director: Ida Melum
This award was decided by the MAF audience members

MAFter Dark Audience Award

Winner: Tales from The Multiverse 
Creators: Magnus Møller, Mette Tange & Peter Smith
This award was decided by the audience who attended the MAFter Dark event.

The Majority of events at still MAF are available online via the Festival website until November 30.