During our Thursday night awards ceremony hosted by Edinburgh Comedy Award winning comedian Amy Gledhill, we unveiled the winners of the 2023 Industry Excellence Awards and Film Awards.

This year’s Film Awards, which is the festival’s international film competition, have categories of Best Feature Film, Best Short Film, Best British Film, Best Student Film, Best Children’s Film, Best Commissioned Film and Best Immersive Film.

For the first time, this year recipients of the festival’s Short Film Award will be eligible for consideration in the Short Films competition of the Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.

The Industry Excellence Awards, which recognise individuals working in industry in the fields of writing, storyboarding, character design and character animation.


Script Writing

Frank Cottrell-Boyce for ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’ (Lupus Films)


Kayvon Darabi-Fard for ‘My Father’s Dragon’ (Netflix)

Character Design

Tom Angell for ‘The Sound Collector’ (ITV)

Character Animation

Freddie Elsom for ‘The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince’ Ivandoe (Hanna Barbera Studios Europe)


Short Film

‘The Miracle’ by Nienke Deutz

Special Mention: ‘Whatever Moves is Alive’ by Noémie Marsily

Feature Film

‘Chicken for Linda’ by Chiara Malta and Sébastien Laudenbach

British Animated Short Film

‘All Gucci My Broski’ directed by Harry Plowden

Audience Award

‘King Sausage’ by Mascha Halberstad

Student Film

‘Rising Above’ by Natálie Durchánková

Short Film for Children

‘Dewmini’ directed by Siqi Song

Commissioned Film

‘Ashnikko: Worms’ directed by Raman Djafari

Special Mention: ‘The Lords of Water’ by Golden Wolf

Immersive Award

‘From The Main Square’ directed by Pedro Harres

The Jury for the Industry Excellence Awards comprised of WILL BECHER (Aardman Animations), JP VINE (Director, ‘Ron’s Gone Wrong’), GLEN SOUTHERN (VFX Artist and Digital Sculptor) and ANDREW BURRELL (Writer, ‘Disenchantment’, ‘Danger Mouse’).

The Short Film Category Jury included ANETA OZOREK (Artistic Director of Kaboom Animation Festival), MOHAMED GHAZALA (Vice President of the International Animated Film Association, ASIFA) and ORNELA ČOP (Festival Coordinator at Animafest Zagreb).

The Feature Film Jury was made up of CLAIRE JENNINGS (Animation Producer, ‘Coraline’, ‘Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit’), KAMBOLE CAMPBELL (Freelance Critic) and KATA GUGIĆ (President of ASIFA Croatia).

The Children’s Film Award was judged by a specially formed panel of 9-14 year olds from Into Film’s Youth Advisory Group.

This years’ Manchester Animation Festival saw a fantastic lineup of events, screenings and panels from leading companies such as Netflix, Aardman and Disney. The festival saw an audience increase of 22%, and, for its industry focused day the Animation Nation Forum, over 72%.

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