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Marina Koleva Wins BBC Competition

UCA student Marina Koleva wins an international competition set by the BBC.

Maria Kolev

An animation student from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) at Farnham has won an international competition set by the BBC.

Marina Koleva, who is studying MA Animation, won the overall prize in the moving image category of the BBC’s ‘What if you had a vision of the future?’ contest where entrants had to illustrate their predictions without using words.

The BBC received more than 800 stills and videos for their panel of international judges from five continents to pick their favourites.

Marina, who is 25 and from Bulgaria, said “Winning this competition is a big surprise and a huge boost for me. It also feels great to have my work appreciated by highly regarded judges from around the world.

“I think that this will be a really important step in my development as an artist because professional practice and competitions play a crucial role after graduation.

“Animation is a powerful tool that can tell a story without words.”

Marina’s animation tells the story of a girl who looks out to a beautiful landscape only to push a button and realise it was just a hologram and the future could be very bleak.

Europe judge Steve Harding-Hill, from Oscar winning animation company Aardman, chose Marina’s short film as the winner.

Steve Harding-Hill said "It is a very simple and strong idea. It is very nicely told and animated and makes total sense.

“This is a dark and a scary vision of the future, but most importantly I felt something for this character. I felt compassion for this character and I found that it contains real human emotion.”

Marina said “My vision can be seen as pessimistic but I wanted to create a warning with my film and show that the future will be a consequence of our actions. I aimed to get this across by focusing on the emotion of the story.”

MA Animation course leader, Lesley Adams, said “This is such good news for Marina and the MA Animation course at UCA Farnham as the judges were unanimous in their praise for Marina’s idea.

“By using only her animation skills, Marina was able to tell her story and even make the judges feel for her character’s plight which is some achievement in a short 45-second film.”

Marina travelled from Bulgaria in September 2012 to study at UCA Farnham.

She added “I wanted to come to UCA to experience new cultures and broaden my horizons, which I think is important for an artist.

“I am really enjoying my studies and this competition has made me more excited and confident about starting my career when I graduate later in the year.”

UCA Farnham’s Animation courses are well known for producing award-winning graduates: three alumni have gone on to win Oscars and many more have won BAFTAs and other international accolades.

Chris Butler was nominated for an Academy Award for ParaNorman in March 2013 and last year Grant Orchard was shortlisted for his BAFTA-winning animated short A Morning Stroll.

Source: University for the Creative Arts

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.