NFTS Film Soft Animals Selected for Sundance Film Festival 2022

Animated NFTS short film Soft Animals, directed by Renee Zhan and produced by Jesse Romain has been selected for the prestigious Sundance Film Festival 2022. From over 10,000 submissions, representing 26 countries, only 9 films were selected for the Shorts Animated Programme. Soft Animals is the only production from the UK included within that category.

The three minute short was made as a first year project on the NFTS’ renowned Directing Animation MA and sees two ex-lovers cross paths in a train station - their animal instincts take over as they reminisce. Soft Animals has enjoyed a blistering reception on the festival circuit, making its worldwide debut at Annecy earlier this year in March 2021.

It is the second year running an NFTS animated short has been selected by the festival, with The Fire Next Time making the cut in 2020, once again the only UK production to do so!

Robert Bradbook, Head of Directing Animation at NFTS said: "We're very proud that Soft Animals has been selected for the Sundance Film Festival. The film started as an exercise between NFTS's Animation Directors and our Screenwriting MA students. Each student develops a character which is then randomly paired up with another. The story is then developed from the interaction of the two. Renee takes the simple chance meeting of her character with screenwriter Caroline Webster's and explores their complex past sexual relationship through beautiful fluid animation. This short gem highlights the incredible talent of Renee as an artist.” 

Kim Yutani, the Sundance Festival’s Director of Programming, said: “Short films are such a vital part of the independent storytelling culture that Sundance Institute has consistently put its full support behind. We’re all happy for the opportunity this year’s hybrid in-person and online Festival model is providing us with: to show the present and future of the form alongside some of the most beloved shorts that have screened at the Festival during its history.”

The Sundance Festival takes place in person and online from January 20-30, 2022.

NFTS Soft Animals Crew
Director Renee Zhan
Producer Jesse Romain
Sound Designer Ed Rousseau
Editor Margred Pryce

Our huge congratulations to Renee, Jesse and all the NFTS team involved in making Soft Animals.

While at the NFTS, Renee studied the Directing Animation MA and Jessie was a student of the NFTS Producing MA. Both are highly collaborative, two year courses.

If you are keen to follow in the footsteps of our talented graduates, applications open on 4 January 2022 for a January 2023 start. Set a reminder in your calendar and start the new year off on the right foot by getting your application in early!