The London International Animation Festival

The London International Animation Festival presents a very special 2 day event at the Horse Hospital

Featuring the terrifying and twisted animated films of Robert Morgan including a preview of ‘Bobby Yeah’, the sublime animated documentaries of Paul and Sandra Fierlinger, a special best ever Late Night Bizarre session and a preview of LIAF 2011 - a very special selection of some of the films selected for this year’s festival screening later this year.

FRIDAY 1ST APRIL: 7-30 pm. Robert Morgan retrospective/Q and A 9-45 pm. Best ever Late Night Bizarre

SATURDAY 2nd APRIL: 7-30 pm. Paul and Sandra Fierlinger retrospective. 9pm. LIAF 2011 – very special preview

TICKETS: £10 each night

DOORS OPEN 7PM EACH NIGHT (Advance booking suggested – this is a one off event)


Robert will be appearing at the Horse Hospital in person to introduce his full body of work to date including a very special preview of his latest stop-motion magnum opus ‘Bobby Yeah’.

Running order:

1. Paranoid (1994, 4. 30mins) 2. The Man in the Lower-Left Hand Corner of the Photograph (1997, 13mins) 3. The Cat With Hands – Pilot Version (2000, 2mins) 4. The Cat With Hands (2001, 3.30mins) 5. The Separation (2003, 9 mins) 6. Monsters (2004, 12.30mins) 7. Overtaken (2009, 6mins) 8. Bobby Yeah (2011, 23mins)

Aged 3 Robert watched an 8mm projection of FIEND WITHOUT A FACE (1956) – a British B Movie featuring malevolent stop-motion brains killing people for food. A simultaneous fascination with monsters and cinema was born. From studying Fine Art, he discovered animation as a way of visually expressing complex ideas.

His films explore themes of identity, monstrousness and catharsis-through-trauma. And bad pussycats.

“One of the most visionary genre filmmakers working today. Imagine a fusion between the sensibilities of Salvador Dali, David Cronenberg, Ingmar Bergman, Tim Burton and the Quay Brothers, and you’ll have a partial idea of the sheer brilliance of this man’s work.” -       Mitch Davis, Rue Morgue Magazine

After studying Fine Art Robert’s first film was PARANOID (1994). He went on to study film at Surrey Institute of Art and Design where he made the award-winning THE MAN IN THE LOWER LEFT-HAND CORNER OF THE PHOTOGRAPH (1997). Both films were shot in his parent’s garage using stunt-maggots, which Robert kept as pets until they flew away.

His next film was THE CAT WITH HANDS (2001), which was commissioned by Channel Four. The story was inspired by a recurring nightmare that Robert’s older sister had when she was a child: in the dream she and her friends were chased around by a cat with human hands.

THE SEPARATION (2003) is a stop-motion film about conjoined twins commissioned by S4C, Sgrin and the Arts Council of Wales. It was born out of a lifelong interest in teratology and surgery and was inspired by Francis Bacon paintings and surgical paraphernalia.

MONSTERS (2004) was his first fully live-action film, and was inspired by a childhood memory of discovering a severed goose head in the middle of the street outside his house.


Very much hot off the press…..finished literally in the last week or so…… Bobby Yeah is a petty thug who likes brawling and stealing stuff. One day he steals a creature from its dangerous owners, and finds himself in a lot of trouble. He really should learn, but he just can't help himself...



65 minutes and 18 films – the bizarrest and wierdest films we have ever had the pleasure to screen!

Animation is the most imaginative of all of the artforms. If you can imagine it, you can present it. And some animators have had their imaginations stuck in ‘drive’ with a brick on the accelerator for a long while. Over the years, our Late Night Bizarre programme has become a bit of an institution. The programming brief is to make sure there’s plenty of the usual suspects in there – gross films, gut-busting hilarity, witless violence and more fully ‘wrong’ moments than would normally make it for the other programmes. But that’s not the whole idea of Late Night Bizarre. These films need to have something going for them other than simply being animated curveballs.

There’s been some pretty great films play in this programme over the years and we’ve added a few others that definitely fit the ‘bizarre’ tag but which screened in other programmes.

Fantaisie in Bubblewrap is an incredible example of a film made with the most basic of components (a few sets of eyes and mouths crudely animated onto a sheet of bubblewrap) that can nonetheless bring the house down.

The programme wouldn’t be complete without the master of the deceptively simple – Don Hertzfeldt - and his homicidal balloons in Billy’s Balloon.

Cuddle Sticks got the biggest audience groan of any we’ve ever shown. Crossing a line that even Kricfalusi might have stopped at – a demented look at the murky origins of ‘organic’ kiddie treats.

I Live in the Woods depicts a crazed hillbilly’s ultimate dream – to kill all the little animals with his bare hands.

Golden Age: Hansel and Gretel reveals a shameful love deep in the forest, somewhere near the end of the trail of breadcrumbs.

In I know You we see an unanswered telephone, an attempt to dance, a knife in a drawer…I know you …but do you know who you are dealing with?

All this and 12 other strangest, most mind-expanding films ever to grace our festival.



Paul and Sandra Fierlinger are two of the most unsung heroes of the animated documentary genre – having created some of the most poignant, heartfelt and moving films over the nearly 50 years of filmmaking. Fiercely independent, they have run their own studio AR & T Films where they have produced more than 200 films ranging from segments for the classic children’s TV series Sesame Street to their most recent feature film MY DOG TULIP, soon to get a UK cinema release.

Paul began working in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s, where he became the state’s first independent producer of animated films. In 1968 he escaped the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, seeking solace in Holland and eventually the United States, where he continued to create animated films for television and the big screen. Paul was awarded the PEW Fellowship in the Arts in 1997 for his body of work.

Sandra is a native of Wayne, Pennsylvania, and graduated with highest honors from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She has collaborated with her husband, Paul, on many projects, including short and feature films for Sesame Street and PBS.

This programme looks at 2 of their most celebrated films - STILL LIFE WITH ANIMATED DOGS and A ROOM NEARBY.


Still Life with Animated Dogs’ is a witty and candid film recounts Paul’s life from being a dissident artist in 1960s Czechoslovakia to being a successful animator in the US. He tells his life-story by talking about the four dogs he's owned over the years, Roosevelt, Ike, Johnson and Spinnaker.

Living in Stalinist Prague, Czechoslovakia in the 1950s, Fierlinger was angry, depressed and rebellious against the political regime where the Communist government had been in power since the end of World War II. He drew attention to himself by being overtly different in a place where sameness was the law of the proletariat. He grew a beard, which was unusual and therefore suspicious on a young man. The "strange paintings" he created were disdained because art was supposed to be realistic. And he owned a dog at a time when only peasants had dogs for barking at strangers. To make things a little harder, he named his Scottish Terrier Roosevelt. While Fierlinger was loudly belligerent, Roosevelt learned how to stay out of the spotlight. He taught Fierlinger a valuable lesson in civil disobedience: "When it comes to authority, get sneaky and do everything under the table. It never failed [Roosevelt] 'till the day he died." Fierlinger eventually sought freedom using this important lesson as a tool.

Dogs have always animated Fierlinger's life, reminding him to love in even the bleakest of times. At once a portrait of the artist, an historical perspective, and a meditation on the wonders of nature and intimate connections between species, ‘Still life with Animated Dogs’ is a playful and moving ode to man's best friend.

A ROOM NEARBY (27 mins, 2003)

In ‘A Room Nearby’, five people tell the short version of their life's story, each touching upon the storyteller's own brick wall of loneliness. In a world of interconnected technologies such as mobile phones, email and instant messaging it can be difficult to cope with those natural feelings of loneliness, but there are in fact lessons to be learned in those introspective periods and ‘A Room Nearby’ celebrates those revelations.

Each story is narrated by the animated-character's real life counterpart. The stories are vastly different in origin and perspective—from a writer to a carpenter to a filmmaker—and each offers very different reasons for feeling entirely alone.

As the characters learn about themselves, viewers are taken on a fascinating journey through the characters' psyches until reaching a moment of internal peace. One such story is that of a typical nine-to-five office worker who spends her free time watching television until an unlikely befriending by graffiti artists. Finally feeling like her life has purpose, she begins to moonlight “tagging” buildings. Although this budding artist learns the hard way that her new passion is illegal, she is able to turn it into a positive learning experience and creative avenue.

The most heart-wrenching profile offered in ‘A Room Nearby’ is of the acclaimed film director Milos Forman, an entertainment guru with credits for such films as “The People vs. Larry Flint,” “Amadeus” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.” Forman experiences the pain of losing his only companion and “mans best friend.” In deep denial over his loss, Forman plays solitaire for hours on end, a truly symbolic act.



Over the last 4 months we have been wading through the 2,300 entries that have passed through our hands, and have selected more than 250 films for this year’s festival. The full programme will be announced on our website in June at but for one night only LIAF will screen a very special selection of some of the films selected for this year’s festival – many of which are destined to be this year’s award-winners and audience favourites.

Most of the films have yet to be seen on the UK animation circuit and all have been made in the last 6 – 12 months. We will post the full selection of films closer to the event but expect to see films that cross the whole spectrum of animation. This is an up-to-date snapshot of the incredibly diverse, eclectic and vibrant independent animation scene - every technique, every imaginable subject, every genre and a prelude to this year’s London International Animation Festival, London’s largest and most celebrated annual animation event which this year will be taking place between August 26th and September 4th at the Horse Hospital and at our new venue the Barbican.

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