The winners have been announced for the British Animation Awards 2022 at a ceremony held last night at London’s BFI Southbank, presented by comedian Miles Jupp and sponsored by Hanna Barbera Studios Europe.
Now in their 26th year, the British Animation Awards (BAAs) attract the great and the good from one of the nation’s most successful creative industries to this biennial celebration of their craft.
Gathering momentum ahead of the Academy Awards later this month, Britain’s two Oscar-nominated short films Affairs of the Art and Robin Robin were triumphant in their categories, with Affairs of the Art picking up three awards: Best Short Film, Writers Award and Best Voice Performance (for 86-year-old Little Britain star Menna Trussler as ‘Beryl’).
Created by film-making partners Joanna Quinn and Les Mills, Affairs of the Art continues the story of larger-than-life Welsh housewife Beryl who has artistic ambitions on a grand scale. Meanwhile Robin Robin, Aardman Animations’ Netflix Original film about an optimistic robin raised by a family of mice, won the award for Best Original Music for its score written by The Bookshop Band (Ben Please and Beth Porter).
London-based animation studio Magic Light Pictures was successful in two categories, with BBC One Christmas special Zog and the Flying Doctors winning for Best Use of Sound and Milkshake! and Sky Kids series Pip and Posy picking up the award for Best Children’s Pre-School. Meanwhile, the Best Children’s category was won by Fourth Wall’s feline-focused series Milo, also shown on Channel 5’s Milkshake!
One of the closest-fought categories of the night was the prestigious Best Long Form category, which saw victory for Locksmith Animation’s debut feature Ron’s Gone Wrong. Directed by Jean-Phillipe Vine, Sarah Smith and Octavio E Rodriguez, the film tells the story of a socially awkward middle-schooler who befriends a defective robot.
Best Animation in a Commercial category was won by Airwick for its Breath of Nature campaign, directed by Peter Szewczyk of Nerd Productions, while animator Ged Haney took home the Best Music Video Award for Rocket Freudental’s ‘Der Stuhlkreis’.
A hard-hitting film featuring the voices of some of Hollywood’s hottest stars picked up the award for Best Factual award. Save Ralph, an animated short film about the cruelty of testing on animals, produced for the Humane Society International, was written and directed by Spencer Susser and features the voices of Taika Waititi, Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron and Oliver Munn.
Meanwhile, the Social Good category was won by Typically, a film aiming to remove the taboo surrounding periods, produced for period poverty charity Bloody Good Period and directed by Anna Ginsburg and Caitlin McCarthy.
In two of the new categories for 2022, the Best Immersive Animation award was picked up by Grant Berry and Dane Winn’s The Beast, while the Wildcard category was won by Osbert Parker’s Timeline.
Continuing to challenge the status quo, the Cutting-Edge award was won by Jamie Jay Johnson and Asa Movshovitz’s E4 series about a role-playing fantasy game, Dead Pixels. And this year’s Design Award was won by Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, a Netflix Original directed by Ian Spendloff, with VFX by Lucy Hare.
Some of the leading British animation courses were represented in the Best Undergraduate and Best Postgraduate Student film categories, including nominees from Falmouth University School of Film and Television, University of Creative Arts in Farnham, Arts University Bournemouth, Royal College of Arts London and National Film & Television School. The winners were Renee Zahn’s (NFTS) O Black Hotel! for Best Postgraduate Student Film and Miles Jezuita’s (Arts University Bournemouth) Suburb for Best Undergraduate Student Film.
Introduced in 2020, The Lamb Award bridges the gap between current categories which recognise student achievements and general best-in-class awards, and is open to any young professionals working in the animation and VFX industry. The winner of the 2022 Lamb Award is Production Coordinator Hodan Abdi, who was nominated by Illuminated Films.
Three awards on the night were decided by members of the public, voting for their favourites in a special online poll. The winners of these audience awards were: Tony Comley’s Time to Recover for Best Music Video, Uri Lotan’s Black Slide for Best Short Film and Sky Kids’ hit children’s series The Brilliant World of Tom Gates for the Children’s Choice Award.
The awards themselves (the BAAs) are unique artworks, featuring sheep, created especially for the occasion by a range of leading international and UK animation artists. This year’s awards include designs by author/illustrators Liz Pichon and Rachel Bright and legendary film-maker Terry Gilliam.
BAA Director Helen Brunsdon and Producer Kieran Argo said: “We have been amazed at the quality of the entrants for this year’s British Animation Awards and would like to offer our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners and nominees. After a particularly tough couple of years animation continues to be one of the most productive and creative industries in the UK”.
The BAAs are the only awards to recognise all forms of animation and reward the work of both new and established animators across all aspects of the UK Animation scene, from student work to commercials, children’s entertainment, short and experiential films, music videos and new technologies.