Short of the Week

Best Female Animators Playlist

Playlist / March 9, 2011

You don’t need me to point out the extreme imbalance when it comes to the number of women in the film industry. Kathryn Bigelow earning the Oscar in 2010 for Hurt Locker might be a signal that times are changing, but for many they’re not moving fast enough particularly when compared to other arts like literature, theater, and music.

One area of filmmaking that’s been less partial toward women is animation. As a lover of animation, it’s not surprising that this list contains some of my all-time favorite shorts—from Sharon Colman’s character comedy Badgered to Lizzi Akana’s bizarre world in Marvelous Keen Loony Bin, early favorites like Gaëlle Denis’ City Paradise and more recent films like Kirsten Lepore’s Bottle.

Ultimately, a film is judged on its own merits in story, technique, and impact—a point even more true in the democratizing world of online film. These films need no special treatment.

Drama about Love in Animation
Julia Pott / 4 min / UK
The mysteries of the heart are front in center in London-animator Julia Pott's examination of love, faded.

Dramedy about Friendship in Stop-Motion
Kirsten Lepore / 5 min / USA
Separated by the sea, a unique duo pass along details of their lives through a bottle. An elegiac animation of minimalist perfection.

Fantasy about Friendship in 3D Animation
Joanna Lurie / 10 min / France
Heartwarming tale of two creatures exploring a new world.

Drama about Loss in Performance
A beautiful performance in sand animation depicting the German invasion of Ukraine in WWII.

Experimental about Loss in Stop-Motion
Hayley Morris / 6 min / USA
A hand-crafted stop-motion that serves as a poignant metaphor for the debilitating effects of Alzheimer's disease.

Drama about Family in Animation
Caroline Leaf / 10 min / Canada
The isolated world of two sisters is shattered when a visitor arrives to their island threatening to break their discordant harmony.

Drama about Loss in Claymation
Suzie Templeton / 6 min / UK
BAFTA-winning claymation explores the suffocating atmosphere in a young boy's household, as he and his father must confront their dog's deteriorating condition.

Comedy about Nature in Animation
Sharon Colman / 7 min / UK
A tired badger battles with a pair of noisy crows for peaceful rest, but inadvertently falls into a much bigger mess when an underground missile station is placed underneath the badger's dwelling.

Adventure about Other Worlds in 3D Animation
Gaëlle Denis / 6 min / UK
A Japanese transplant finds herself in the cold heart of a gloomy and uninviting London. But there's more that lies beyond the surface…

Experimental about Life & Society in Animation
Lizzi Akana / 5 min / USA
Quirky, animated film from RISD student, Lizzi Akana, takes us into a bizarre world where despondent characters lack crucial features and monkeys strut with balloon heads.

Experimental about Life & Society in Animation
Asa Arnehed / 6 min / Sweden
A Tuesday morning arrives just like any other Tuesday in this slow and mesmerizing hand-drawn film.
Andrew makes no attempt to hide his love for the magic art of animation. He appreciates compelling visuals but never forgets that in this modern age, a strong story always reigns supreme. You can see his work at or his latest film The Thomas Beale Cipher.
  • john

    hey, nice list! thought you missed one out though, one of my favorite female animators, emilia forstreuter.. creator of really great films, check her out!

    great film yonder –

  • Jason Sondhi

    Ooo purdy. Felt like I was watching a ‘Beautiful Decay’ cover in motion.

  • b

    Thanks for this list ! As a female animator myself, it’s inspiring to see all these pieces.


  • Steve

    Have you seen ‘Stalk’ by Leigh Hodgkinson? It’s a mental and eerie modern faerytale brilliantly animated…
    Just an idea for your fab list.

  • Jason Sondhi

    @steve Just watched. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like that before. Thanks for the recommend.

  • lily

    I am a female animator, please watch my stop-motion film about Slavic House Spirits ‘Domovi & Kikimora’

  • Alan Dickson

    Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis made an astonishing short called Wild Life.