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Illustration of a girl in a coat holding a steaming cup of tea while a cat watches smiling. Film festival laurels on the left contain text reading "8+ Jury Prize Winner Le Château Des Chats"

Festival win for AUB grad animation Le Château des Chats


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Directed by Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) graduate Ottilie Collingridge, Le Château des Chats was selected as the winning short film by the young person's 8+ jury during the Cinemagic On the Pulse Festival in Belfast.

On The Pulse is an annual film festival that presents a month-long programme of screenings, film education events, talks and workshops celebrating the short film genre and short form storytelling. The event exhibits a contemporary programme of the very best international short films for young audiences.

"The concept for Le Château des Chats came about in my second year at AUB, when we were asked to create a pitch for a short animation," Ottilie explains. "We all pitched our ideas to the rest of the students and then we voted on which films to make in the third year."

The film is about a cat café in Paris; at the end of the day, when the owner locks up for the night, the cats wake up and run the café as a place for the stray cats from the city to come and enjoy.

"I was over the moon to have Le Château des Chats chosen as one of the 14 films," says Ottilie. "I think the story won the cat-lovers’ hearts!"

Ottilie worked with eight other students from the BA (Hons) Animation Production course to bring her chats to life. Aleks Dykas, Faye White, Maya Alcide, Rowan Houghton, Benidicte Mavungu, Jennifer Pearson, and Miles Walker took the roles of producers, art directors, and storyboarders to produce the short animation.

"I was so surprised when Le Château des Chats won the young person's 8+ jury, to be recognised at such a prestigious festival that celebrates short films meant the world to me and the rest of the team."

Since graduating from AUB in 2023, Ottilie now works for Blue Zoo, a BAFTA award-winning London animation production company offering 2D, 3D, long- and short-form character animation production.

"My journey since graduating has been pretty incredible," she says. "This is my second animation job after university and here I am, working on a new children’s show. It’s still a bit of a pinch me moment! Award wins like this have definitely helped me to get where I am today, and now I’m looking forward to the next chapter. And who knows? Maybe even some more award wins!"

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