MA Animation graduate award win at Horror Film Festival in Malta


A short film by a recent Bournemouth University graduate has won the Best Animated Film prize at a Horror Film Festival in Malta.

Dark Places was created by Matt Stroud, who has just graduated from the MA 3D Computer Animation course.

It won in the Best Animated Film category at the inaugural Malta Horror Filmfest, which took place over Halloween weekend.

Matt, 24, who is from Malta, said: “Having just finished the course I was really looking to promote myself as much as I could and I found film festivals to be one of the best methods.

“I never expected to actually win anything but when I found out it felt fantastic. It’s always great to get that acknowledgment of your work.”

Dark Places took Matt around three and a half months to complete as his final Master’s project, and focuses on a young boy making his way through the dark.

“Dark Places is horror themed animation about a little boy named Lucas who gets lost in this seemingly infinite dark void with only a lantern to guide his way, but he soon realizes that he isn’t alone,” Matt said.

“The idea partly came from my childhood experiences of being afraid of the dark and was also inspired by my love of horror films.”

Matt added that he hoped to use the skills he learnt on his BU course and the recognition of his work to help build the animation industry in Malta.

“The course made a huge difference to my potential career path,” he said.

“I went from knowing next to nothing about technology, techniques and theory of animation to having a whole new skillset and feeling confident with my ability to work within the animation industry.”

He added: “Thanks to the award more people got to hear about me so you never know what that might lead to, although on principle I put more weight on my work rather than what awards they might win.

“With the skills I have gained I hope to be in a position to help strengthen the animation industry in my country, which is currently still in its infancy.”

Watch Matt’s winning film Dark Places