Animated Documentaries


The International Competition Programs are the backbone of the entire MIAF mission. Drawn from more than 2,000 submissions they showcase the best, most imaginative animating talent on the planet in a series of programs in which the only rule is diversity.

Animation can be an ideal too to deploy in the service of documentary filmmaking. It is used increasingly to recreate elements of a story that the camera either could not or did not capture. Animation has a long history of being utilised for this; a history that goes back to at least 1918 when Winsor McCay released “The Sinking Of The Lusitania” recreating an infamous sinking of a passenger ship which resulted in massive loss of life. Rarer though is a documentary that is entirely animated and which parades its pure animation credentials as prominently as the story it is trying to tell. But this year lots of great animated documentaries turned up in submissions and with some of the best of them being Australian made and exploring Australian subjects we knew we had to step up and dedicate a program to this special animation genre.

Magda – Adela Kaczmarek

Adela Kaczmarek
Poland, 9’00, 2022
Podhale, Poland, in the winter of 1939. Magda (15) is an excellent skier. She joins the Polish Resistance, but in war nothing is straight forward.

Ask Me How I Am – Zan Barberton, Joseph Clark

Ask Me How I Am
Zan Barberton, Joseph Clark
UK, 5’00, 2023
Honest testaments on the issues that surround and provoke self-harm, through the eyes and in the words of those living through it.

Handmade Happiness – Vivien Mason

Handmade Happiness
Vivien Mason
Australia, 8’30, 2022
A colourful and decidedly hands-on stop motion journey exploring how a passion for their craft helps four makers overcome adversity.

The Skatebook – Sofia Negri

The Skatebook
Sofia Negri
UK. 5’10. 2022
Embark on a thrilling ride through the vibrant streets of London searching out the heart and soul of the city’s burgeoning skateboarding scene.

Somerton Man – Leigh Young

Somerton Man
Leigh Young
Australia, 9’45, 2023
In 1948, a well-dressed man was discovered dead on the beach at Somerton Park. No injuries, no ID, and every clothing label removed. For nearly 80 years he was a dead man with no name.

On Film – Emma Hough Hobbs

On Film
Emma Hough Hobbs
Australia, 5’45, 2023
A celebration of the technology behind shooting on actual film, how to tell when a film is shot on film and why there’s an enduring passion and appreciation for the format.

Cambrian Life The Explosion – Bruce Currie

Cambrian Life The Explosion
Bruce Currie
Australia, 2’30, 2023
The disparity of animal lifeforms that occurred during the Cambrian Explosion remains an evolutionary mystery.

Teacups – Alec Green, Finbar Watson

Alec Green, Finbar Watson
Australia, 8’00, 2023
For almost half a century, Don Ritchie would approach people contemplating suicide at the edge of a cliff with a very simple offer.

Doubt – Adela Krizovenska, Ondrej Vomocil

Adela Krizovenska, Ondrej Vomocil
Czech Republic, 5’40, 2022
The creative processes behind making art are as personal as they are plentiful, and every artist has their own story to tell – here are some.


This session is classified: Unclassified (M) Mature, not recommended for viewers under 15 years.

Please note that Backlot is NOT fully accessible. There are stairs with handrails, but no lift to the second floor where the cinema is located.


May 11 2024


6:00 pm – 7:10 pm

More Info



Best Of The New


The Backlot Studios
165 Bank St, South Melbourne VIC 3205