Ana Stefaniak, a recent graduate of the University for the Creative Arts, has won Best British film at Canterbury Anifest 2012.
A recent graduate of the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) has won Best British film at Canterbury Anifest 2012. Ana Stefaniak, who graduated from BA (Hons) Animation Arts at UCA Maidstone in July, won the top award at the south east’s premier Animation festival on October 5.
Ana, who is 23, and originally from Poland, said: “I’m really excited to win this award. I watched all of the films in the International and British selection and kept on thinking how amazing they all were and wondered how my film was chosen amongst all that great work – so winning was a great surprise.”
Ana’s graduate film, Dreamlands, was screened alongside 11 other top filmmakers from around the country including UCA Farnham BA (Hons) Animation graduate Jessica Knights who was shortlisted for What Mary Knew.
Ana added: “Dreamlands is about a fox who is sentenced to death for murdering his rabbit lover. He regrets his actions and accepts his fate and we follow him on his last day and execution. My film was probably the darkest animation shown at Anifest but a lot of people really enjoyed it and that makes me very happy.”
Grant Petrey, Subject Leader in Animation Arts, said: “Ana's film was the culmination of a huge amount of hard work and dedication, as well as personal vision. Just like all great filmmaking, Dreamlands is able to connect with the audience because it has emotional resonance about love, loss and sacrifice.”
Ana has just started a Postgraduate course at the Royal College of Art but recognises the importance of her degree at UCA. She added: “The great thing about my course was that we could do whatever we wanted and we had great support from tutors and technicians. Dreamlands was a very ambitious project for such a short amount of time, probably too ambitious, but no one ever told me not to do it, quite the opposite actually - I got all the help I needed and now it’s gone on to win an award.”
There was also success for another former UCA student. Jack Tilley, who graduated from BA (Hons) Animation at UCA Farnham in 2008, won the Audience Choice Award for his National Film & Television School film, Rail.
Now in its sixth year, Canterbury Anifest continues to attract animation fans from around the UK for a weekend of fun, learning and laughter.
Guest speakers for 2012 included animators from Pixar, Dreamworks and Aardman Animations.
Source: University for the Creative Arts
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.