The Westminster Animation Awards (Wammies) were presented at the Animation Degree Show at the University’s Regent Street Cinema in central London on Thursday 7 June 2018.
One of the special guests was Ruth Lingford, who was the external examiner when the Animation degree started in 2002. Ruth is now director of undergraduate studies in the department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University, and had this to say about the showcase;
“It was such a pleasure to see the students exploring the possibilities of this wonderful medium with such creativity and energy. There was a lot of variety of technique and approach, with some strong new voices emerging.
My own personal favourites were:
Best in Show, which had stunning design and subtle model animation.
At Sea, which avoided cliché to create a visual language to express nuanced emotions. I found it very moving.
Brain Chatter, which combined virtuosic technique with wild imagination.
Origami, a subtle piece of animation with beautifully controlled timing and editing, telling a simple story with many layers of resonance.
But the standard generally was high, and all the films had something original and interesting.
I hope your students do well after graduation, and I expect to see some of these voices develop.”
Stephen Ryley, chair of the animation jury and Course Leader for the Animation course, explained: “The Wammies recognise significant achievements in a variety of conceptual, technical and aesthetic fields by student animators on our Animation BA Honours programme.”
This year’s Wammy winners were:
- Alicia Wengler ( Most Improved Inagural Project) for “Inanis”
- Rebecca Bent ( Imaginative use of sound and editing) for “Pest”
- Best Creative Process was awarded to Danielle Ong for her film “Duvet”
- Best sound design went to Sahanshil Dangol for Dormant
- Best technical achievement was awarded to Ivelina Ivanova and Svetlana Mahakyan for their film “le Fee de la Foret”
- The award for the most improved graduation project went to Jefferson Galvez for “at Sea”
- Melanie Campbell scooped a “double Wammy”, -winning both the best art direction category, and the coveted Public Choice Award, with her stop-frame film “Best in Show”.
Melanie said: “I was so surprised to receive these awards but it feels incredible to have all the hard work I put into making the film recognised. I began this journey six months ago making felt flowers, designing and building the character and planning the story. I have absolutely loved the journey. Stop motion is my passion and something I want to pursue for the rest of my life.”
Our students have produced some truly world-class animated films this year, and so the jury was spoilt for choice. I am sure these are not the only awards our students will be winning, as their films make their way around the international festival circuit.