There were three awards for NFTS graduates at last night’s British Animation Awards, which covers all aspects of the UK Animation scene, from student work to commercials, children’s entertainment, short and experiential films, music videos and new technologies.

(Still from A Love Story)

Anushka Naanayakkara received the Student Excellence award for her NFTS graduation film, A Love Story and Paloma Baeza was jointly awarded the Public Choice Award for her graduation film, Poles Apart. Both films also won British Short Animation BAFTAs in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

(Still from Poles Apart)

If that were not enough, NFTS Composing MA graduate, Alexandra Harwood won Best Sound for Neck and Neck along with Sound Designer David Pringle. Neck and Neck is inspired by Shakespeare’s Othello and directed by Shaun Clark.  

(Still from Neck and Neck)

Poles Apart tells the story of an unlikely meeting between Nanuk, a tough female polar bear, and Aklak, an enthusiastic male grizzly bear, brought together by their changing habitats. The lack of food in a melting Arctic has left the solitary Nanuk desperately hungry. When the hopeful and eager Aklak crashes into Nanuk's world, she has to decide if the naive grizzly bear is her food or her friend.

A Love Story takes place in a universe entirely made of wool: “It’s love at first sight for our two beings… but will their relationship survive the onslaught of depression that takes over their lives.”

The Teams:

(Annushka and team collecting her British Short Animation BAFTA)

A Love Story - Director Anushka Naanayakkara; Producer Khaled Gad; Writers Elena Ruscombe-King, Anushka Naanayakkara; Designer Solrun Ósk Jóndóttir ; DoPs Yinka Edward, Alvilde Horjen Naterstad; Editor Joseph Comar; Composer Victor Hugo Fumagalli; Sound Designer Marcin Szumilas; VFX Supervisors Ye Teng; Eloise Tomlinson; Online Editor/Colourist Vlad Barin; Lead Animators Anushka Naanayakkara, Iván Sarrion Soria; Animators Robert Millard, Adrian Piqueras Sánchez; Modelmakers Amalie Vilmar, Alicia Canovas Verdú, Joanna Brooks, Katherine Millar Craig; Art Assistants Lenka Dobranska, Alice La Trobe, Manuela Romero, Louisa Brooks, Emily Hake; VFX Artists Gillian Simpson, Zhao Xi, Li Suoran, Zhuge Bijun, Alexander Davis; Vocals Lucia Bulgheroni, Hollie Buhagiar, Marina Elderton Cinematography Advisers Leigh Alner, Ben Hecking; Production Manager Simone Tomasi; Production Coordinators Agnieszka Pawlowska, Inês Lourenço.

(Paloma and producer, Ser En Low collecting their British Short Animation BAFTA)

Poles Apart - Director/ Writer/ Animator – Paloma Baeza; Producer, Ser En Low; Cinematographer, Jon Muschamp; Production Designer, Paula Giménez; Production Manager, Florencia Casas; Production Co-ordinator, Sophie Halton; Editor, Zsofia Tálas; Sound Designer & Re-recording Mixer, Morgan Muse; Compser, Hollie Buhagiar; VFX Supervisor, Gillian Simpson; CG Supervisors, Ollie Brummell, Shivani Shah; Colourist & Online Editor, Alex Davis.

If you are a budding animator and would like to find out more about our Directing Animation MA, sign up to our Animation open day on the 27th April 2018 – more information at