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‘Flee’ Named Best Animated Feature at Manchester Animation Festival

Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s film takes top honors alongside Best Short ‘Navozande, The Musician’ and Best Student Film ‘BusLine35A;’ Industry Excellence Awards also announced.

Manchester Animation Festival (MAF) has unveiled its winners of the 2021 Industry Excellence Awards, recognizing individuals working in the fields of scriptwriting, storyboarding, character design and character animation. This year’s Film Awards were also announced, which include the categories of Best Feature Film (for the first time), Best Short Film, Best Student Film, Best Commissioned Film, and special mentions.

Earlier this year, MAF introduced the feature film category aiming to showcase the skills of international filmmaking talent across four dedicated titles. This year, short films for children were also eligible for an award (Supported by BBC Children’s), highlighting some of the best family friendly short films from across the globe.

“We were delighted to return our festival competition to cinemas, bigger and better than before with the inclusion of our Feature Film Competition that showcases the breadth of amazing, animated features made internationally and our Shorts Films for Children category that presents all ages with a warm and welcoming break from the sometimes stale diet of online kids content,” shared festival director Steve Henderson. “We’re happy to add these to our existing Short, Student, Commissioned and Audience Awards. It was a thrill seeing audiences once again bask in the glow of the big screen as they sampled the very best that the world of animation has to offer. We were also excited to be able to showcase some incredible talent as part of our Industry Excellence Award, which once more prove that our animation industry is producing incredible talent working on amazing projects.”

The 2021 Industry Excellence Award Winners are:


  • 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

The Manchester Animation Film Award Winners are:

Best Feature Film:

  • WINNER: Flee - Director: Jonas Poher Rasmussen
  • Special Mention: My Favorite War - Director: Ilze Burkovska- Jacobsen

Best Short Film:

  • WINNER: Navozande, The Musician - Director: Reza Riahi
  • Special Mentions: Affairs of The Art (Joanna Quinn) + All Those Sensations in My Belly (Marko Djeska)

Best Student Film:

  • WINNER: BusLine35A- Director: Elena Felici
  • Special Mention: My Grandmother Is an Egg (Wu-Ching Chang)

Best Commissioned Film:

  • WINNER: Save Ralph - Director: Spencer Susser
  • Special Mention: What Really Happened During the Attica Prison Rebellion (Tomás Pichardo Espaillat)

Best Children's Film - Sponsored by BBC Children’s (This award was decided by Into Film's Youth Advisory Council):

  • WINNER: Blue Curry - Creators: Magali Dunyach, Chien-Ju Hung, Jimin Jung, Vajra Pancharia, Léa Pietrzyk

Audience Award (This award was decided by the MAF audience members):

  • WINNER: Night of the Living Dread - Director: Ida Melum

MAFter Dark Audience Award (his award was decided by the audience who attended the MAFter Dark event):

  • WINNER: Tales from The Multiverse - Creators: Magnus Møller, Mette Tange & Peter Smith

MAF is presented with the support of the BFI (awarding funds from the National Lottery) and sponsored, partnered, and supported by University of Salford; HOME; Jurys Inn; Blue Zoo; Jellyfish Pictures; ScreenSkills; Animation UK; Leeds Arts University; University of Staffordshire; Animation Toolkit; Sheffield Hallam University; Marks & Clerk LLP; Realtime UK; The Farm Group; Kilogramme; Kord Media; Bearded Fellows; The Manchester College; and UCEN Manchester.

Source: Manchester Animation Festival