BAFTA shortlisted ‘Middle Watch’ wins Best Animated Film award
17 November 2023
The BAFTA shortlisted film Middle Watch, created with Falmouth Animation BA(Hons) alumni, students and staff, who worked together with Dreamworks director John Stevenson and producer Giles Healy, was announced as winner of the Best Animated Film at the British Short Film Awards this month.
Falmouth Animation graduates; co-director Aiesha Penwarden, production manager Dimana Bratanova and animation director Rob Strachan, attended the event to receive the award.
Since its BAFTA success and subsequent world tour, Middle Watch has been smashing through festivals all around the globe. In August and September, the film was screened to audiences at: Cerdanya Film Festival, Spain; Rhode Island International Film Festival, USA; Macabro Film Festival, Mexico City; Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, NYC; Ravenheart Film Festival, Oslo; Anti-War International Independent Film Festival, Estonia; Filmoramax, Lyon, France; Filmoteca De Andalucia, Córdoba, Spain (BAFTA tour); Aladerri International Film Festival, Chicago, USA; Court Métrange, Rennes, France; Encounters Film Festival, Bristol, UK; Ponferrada Film Festival, Spain (BAFTA tour); New York Indie Shorts Awards, NYC.
Through October and November, Middle Watch went on to scoop two awards - the already mentioned British Short Film award, as well as a prestigious Lauréat Du Meilleur Film Long. There have also been many more festival successes worldwide and the film is generating prestigious employment for the alumni who worked on it. Aiesha Penwarden, who co-directed the film with John Stevenson, recently shared that she's in China working as Head of Story for an animated feature until early next year.
Middle Watch was shortlisted in the British Short Animation category of the 2023 BAFTA Film Awards. Partly-funded by Falmouth University’s School of Film & Television, students were able to gain valuable experience working on a live project with esteemed industry professionals.
Set towards the end of World War II, the film follows the travails of a Royal Navy sailor, traumatised by his own wartime experience, who is called to keep watch for enemy ships in the early hours of the morning (the 'middle watch'). As he goes about his duties, in the darkness before dawn, his routine is shattered by an extraordinary encounter that could tip the balance of his delicate state of mind.