Bird Becomes Bird

Details: 1997, 5 mins, 35mm, Dolby A, oil on glass


A child watching a bird, discovering it can fly.

  • Chicago Film Festival, USA, 1997 – Gold Hugo
  • Poitiers, France, 1997 – Canal+ Buyers Award
  • Tarusa, Moscow, Russia, 1998 – Best Art Direction
  • Nominated– British Animation Awards ‘98
  • Jury Recommended – Con-Can Movie Festival 2005

Prizes for Bird Becomes Bird


  • Ian Lumsden has written a lovely review on his Animation Blogspot, thank you Ian! Read it here.
  • Animation World Magazine, Nov 1999, ‘Fresh from the Festivals: November 1999’s Film Reviews’ by Maureen Furniss
  • Con Can Movie Festival, Jury Recommended, “What a beautiful hand-drawn movie! The sun glows so briliantly, and the icefield truly looks freezing. The bird emerging from the ice is breathtaking, as well as the movements of the undulating fish…This film has poetry like that of Nolshtein animations.” Teruyo Nogami
  • Six Minute Bird, Art Film Festival, interview, 25 June 1998
  • TIME OUT, British Animation Time Out Public Choice Awards, 11-18 Feb 1998, “Bird Becomes Bird, a ravishingly lyrical pastoral.”
  • Bird Becomes Bird, Channel Four Television, 7th October 1997, “Yes, I loved Bird Becomes Bird. The beginning, with all the character you get into that little bird figure, is particularly memorable.” Clare Kitson
  • IMDb, the Internet Movie Database, ratings and reviews, also YouTube, ratings and reviews. Please feel free to comment or rate.

The film was shot in the Sverdlovsk Film Studio Animation Assocation, Ekaterinburg, Russia. They taught me about the technique, and it was a refreshingly creative place to work. The people I met there were completely committed to the creative concept of film making. Many of the directors have now moved to all corners of the world.


Composer – Sam Sutton
Musicians – Joy Smith, Sally Ward, Ester Harriott, Kirsty Stains & Ed Lithgow
Art Director – Andrey Zolotuchin
Camera – Zoya Kireyeva
Editor – Nick Fenton
Sound – Pete Goudino, Roger Walker
Mix – Stuart Hilliker
Voices – ‘Child’ Zosia McKenzie-Dowmont, ‘Mother’ Marilyn Milgrom
Actors – ‘Child’ Hanna Bains, ‘Mother’ Jane Gorden
Painters – Lucy Lee & Andrey Zolotuchin
Special Thanks To – Marjut Rimminen, Alexei Karaev, John Cary, Tony Fish, Technicolor, Digital Films, Mathew Holben, Porqupine Studios
Produced by – Myf Hopkins, UK & Valantina Chignakova, Russia
Written, Animated & Directed by – Lucy Lee
Filmed at the Sverdlovsk Film Studio Animation Assocation, Ekaterinburg, Russia
© National Film & Television School 1997

Festivals, Distribution & Sales

London Film Festival – UK
British Short Film Festival – UK
KROK – Ukraine
Fantosh – Switzerland
Poitiers – France (Canal+Award)
Chicago – USA (Gold Hugo Award)
Future Art Short Animation Festival – Seoul
Leipzig – Germany
Creative film making – Tel-Aviv
Message to Man – Russia
SAFO – Ottawa Student Animation Festival
Munich International Festival of Film Schools – Germany
Welsh International Film Festival – Wales

Annecy – France
Hiroshima – Japan
Okinawa – Japan
Holland Animation Festival – The Netherlands
Art Film Festival – Teplice
Feminale – Cologne
Moscow International Film Fest – Russia
Ottowa – Canada
Vital – Cardiff
Stuttgart – Germany
Tarrusa – Russia
Cinanima – Portugal
Student Video Awards – UK
British Animation Awards – UK

Dessin Anime – Brussels
Anima Mundi – Rio de Janeiro & São Paulo

ROSHD International Film Festival, Tehran – Iran
CON-CAN Movie Festival – Japan

2006 Vendrome Film Festival – France

2007 Kanagawa International Animation Festival – Japan

Sales & Broadcast

Hand painted under a rostrum camera, using ‘straight ahead’ technique of animating. Images are made on a multiplane bed with translucent oil paints, mirrors, gells, paper, vaseloine and various others bits and pieces. The human characters were videoed and the animation was sketched onto animation cell, then used as a guide to paint from. It took 2 people about 3 months to paint.

Image Gallery

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