Winner of the 2015 UWE European New Talent Animation Award was Marcus Armitage. His winning animation project, ‘My Dad’, serves up a vividly moving first person account through the eyes of a child, observing his father. We caught up with Marcus post Encounters to find out more about his award winning animation, and what's coming next…

Congratulations on your 2015 Encounters Festival win! How does it feel?

It’s a great feeling to win at Encounters. It’s a festival where I have always seen amazing films and one that I’m always excited to be in, so it’s a huge honour to actually win a prize there. As a film maker at the start of my career, it’s a great motivation to keep pushing myself and make new films.

The beauty of the animation lends itself to quite a mysterious narrative, how would you describe it in your own words?

I’d describe this film as an accumulative narrative. I’ve created three distinct worlds and visual motifs that I cut between to build up an idea of influences circling the boy at all stages of his life. The drawings are expressionistic and violent in their composition and use of colour, which creates the idea of the boy being overwhelmed by the protest scenes.

The message that your trying to get across is a seemingly poignant one, what made you choose this?

008_making itI came to making this film because I had recently moved to London to do my Masters at the Royal College of Art, and living in South London I experienced a huge amount of cultures in a very small space. For me this was a great eye opening opportunity, however some people don’t see this the same way, and I wanted to explore where racism and the fear of immigration comes from. At the time I was made quite angry by the constant talk of immigration in the news and other media, which was everywhere you looked, it was the only thing on my mind so I decided to explore it and make a film.


On that note, the messages are very current, was this a conscious decision that lead you to delivering this project?

woman tears reactionMaking this film about a current issue was definitely a conscious decision. This kind of story telling is my passion, showing things we all know about through a different perspective in the hope it informs the way we look at that subject.

It’s quite hard to make an animation be relevant, as by the time you’ve actually got to the end of the film, the thing you made it about usually has disappeared. However this film is about something universal and doesn’t seem to be going away.

With this being your graduation film, will there be more to come in this particular style, Or will you be taking things in a different direction?

I’ll be taking things in a different direction next for sure. I don’t like to do the same thing twice, and it entirely depends on the story you are trying to tell. I want to do something much quicker and instinctive next as I don’t really have that much time any more to work on my own things!

Before we leave, are there any recent animated films you’ve encountered that have caught your attention?

One film I’ve enjoyed recently at festivals is Peter Millard’s Unhappy Happy. For me it shows someone who is having the most amount of fun with animation, and the amount of work he is making is amazing. I think I enjoy the audience’s reactions more than watching the films, as it can split an audience, some absolutely loving it and some who have no idea what just happened.


My Dad from Marcus Armitage on Vimeo.