The Winners of the BFX Competition 2016

The BFX Competition, a contest where UK animation and visual effects students compete to make a short film for charity, has announced the winning teams who this year created their animated films for the charities Create and Refuge.

Organised by Bournemouth University in conjunction with Kingston Smith, the animated shorts were created by teams of students working to a brief under the mentorship of some of the UK’s best visual effects experts.

The winners were announced during the BFX Awards night as a part of the BFX Festival, with prizes also given out to teams for the quality of their work.

The ‘Alpaca Chinos’, the winning team of film students from Bournemouth University that produced Refuge’s short brand film, created a toy animation set in a child’s bedroom, which depicts a woman trapped because of domestic violence. The well-known imagery of a snow globe was chosen to demonstrate the way in which a woman experiencing abuse is trapped and isolated from the outside world by her perpetrator. As the female character begins to reach out for support, she is assisted by the other toys, which represent Refuge, and breaks free from the globe to begin a new life, free from violence and fear.

Refuge’s film by the Alpaca Chinos can be viewed at YouTube.

Sandra Horley, CBE, chief executive of Refuge, national domestic violence charity, says: “Domestic violence is the biggest issue affecting women in this country, yet it is an issue that is under-recognised and often misunderstood. In their animation, the ‘Alpaca Chinos’ have skilfully used a snow globe to demonstrate how men who abuse women purposefully isolate them from family and friends. Women can feel trapped, with no support. Watching the animation could be the first step a woman takes to reaching out to Refuge for support; support which could save a life.”

The creative visionaries behind Create’s winning film, Team Pablo, produced an uplifting film reflecting the sense of empowerment that Create’s workshops bring to young carers, who often feel isolated by the responsibility they carry. Showcasing the breadth of creative art forms that Create works in, from photography to music to art, the film shows how the charity’s workshops provide young carers with skills, friendship and confidence, giving them hope for the future.

Create’s film by Team Pablo can be viewed at YouTube

Nicky Goulder, Co-Founder & Chief Executive of Create, said: “We’ve been blown away by the exceptional creativity, ingenuity and skill of the young animators, and are delighted with the imaginative film they have created. The issues faced by young carers, including social isolation, lack of opportunities and low levels of confidence, are largely unknown by the general public. This animation will help us to raise awareness of these issues, and of the life-changing power of the creative arts.”

Peter Truckel, VFX Hub Director, opened the Awards night by talking about the importance of the next generation of talent into the industry. He said, “I had the pleasure of introducing the BFX Competition on stage during the awards night, and I said on the night that the seven weeks of the BFX Competition are some of my favourite weeks of the year. The students have been brilliant and they have an excellent future in the visual effects and animation industry ahead of them. Our thanks, once again, go to Kingston Smith, this competition has really grown under their sponsorship and it is good to see the fruits of the competition, two great films for two great charities.”

As well as the two overall winning teams, there were also 11 prizes given out for the quality of the films themselves, with awards such as Best Animation, Best Editing and Best Character. Team ‘Tiny Space Panda’s’ picked up six awards on the night.

Sofronis Efstathiou, BFX Festival Director, said, “The standard of the students at this year’s competition have been as high as ever and it is great to see them working together, putting their creativity and their skills to the test to create some really great films. While it is sad that this year’s competition has come to an end, we now look forward to what the BFX Competition 2017 has to bring.”

The BFX Competition pits teams of students and recent graduates against each other as they work to an agreed brief to create a short animated advert for a charity. Each year the charities are chosen through the Kingston Smith Creative Vision Award, which offers two charities the chance to win their own digital brand film. This year, Refuge and Create were the lucky recipients of the prize, which is worth around £150,000. The 2017 Creative Vision Award opens for entries today, 19 October.

Martin Muirhead, Senior Partner at Kingston Smith, comments: “It is a privilege to congratulate the incredibly talented winners of this year’s Creative Vision Award, Alpaca Chinos and Team Pablo, on the creation of these outstanding animations. I have no doubt the films will be of great value to Refuge and Create in communicating their important brand messages sensitively and effectively to new audiences and generating high levels of awareness and support.”

For more information about the BFX Competition, visit at BFX Festival 2016