Get ready for the return of the 19th London International Animation Festival.

The UK’s largest, longest-running and most eclectic animation festival is back and screening at cinemas across London as well as an extensive online programme available UK wide (including Ireland) and worldwide for 10 days from Friday November 25th.

Be prepared to feast your eyes on a sumptuous banquet of the world’s best, wildest and most awe-inspiring animated films. Over the next few weeks we’ll be drip-feeding more information.

This year we will be screening in-cinema at our regular venues the Barbican, the Horse Hospital, Close-Up Cinema and the Puppet Theatre Barge and new for 2022 – the Garden Cinema – which will be the host venue for our 8 international competition screenings.

For those unable to venture out to London we’ll be repeating most of the screenings online on our streaming platform. 13 programmes will be available to watch worldwide and 20 programmes will be available for a UK and Irish audience and we will have several free industry panels and discussions from the worlds’ leading practitioners giving insider access to the hottest topics of the year.

Details of our online programme will be available soon.

We have watched almost 2,400 entries this year and after much soul-searching and deliberating here’s a taste of what you can look forward to:

86 of the world’s best animated shorts from 30 different countries screening in 8 competition programmes including the Abstract Showcase, Animated Documentaries, Into the Dark and From Absurd to Zany. Many of the filmmakers from the UK and around the world will join us live and online for post-screening talks and introductions.

13 more films in competition in the British Showcase – a comprehensive screening of the very best recently released British animation, including several premieres. And many of the talented filmmakers will be with us onstage to introduce their films which, as ever, will make for a very lively evening.

Our opening night screening is the English premiere of celebrated Scottish duo Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson’s long-awaited debut feature film A Cat Called Dom. Winner of the prestigious Powell and Pressburger award for best feature film at the 2022 Edinburgh Film Festival this thought-provoking, heartfelt and poignant film will bring a tear to your eye and a chuckle to your soul. Will and Ainslie will be with us in person to talk about this 8 year-in-the making masterpiece onstage at the Barbican Cinema.

This years Figures in Focus programme is entitled ‘The Magical World’ and is a selection of shorts inspirited by the esoteric art of Leonora Carrington and share her love of experimentation, symbolism, the spirit world, and its creatures, as well as touching on the violence ever present in the human world. Figures in Focus was devised by Abigail Addison, in recognition of the under-representation of female and non-binary animators and their stories within the independent animation sector. Following the screening, a panel discussion will take place with Abigail and several of the featured filmmakers.

Disrupting the Narrative (Black voices, British lives) features 10 exciting filmmakers whose films celebrate the rich cultural diversity of black voices and British lives using animation, documentary, and avant-garde experimental techniques to explore themes of identity, race, family, cultural taboos, genre, gender and the shared joy of play that pushes the art form to the outer limits. After the screening filmmakers will take to the stage to discuss their work.

Two programmes of films for children and their families, one for 0-7 year-olds and one for 8-15 year-olds – films for the young but also the young at heart with several laugh-out-loud moments alongside tales that tug at the heart-strings.

We’ll have lots more programmes to announce next week including over 70 other shorts in several other screenings in our much-loved and returning programmes: Late Night Bizarre, Best of the Next (student films) and music video showcases at the Horse Hospital, two Edge of Frame screenings at Close-Up Cinema – films at the intersection of animation, experimental film and artists’ moving image, a very special Stop-motion panorama screening at unique venue the Puppet Theatre Barge, special guest Hungarian animator Reka Bucsi will be with us to introduce her remarkable work and My Love Affair with Marriage – the exceptional animated feature film by Signe Baumane.

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