New Climate Short Animation Film Competition announced by Climate Spring, TK-FX and Lowkey Films, with jury to include actor and director Alex Lawther

Today, Climate Spring, TK-FX and Lowkey Films announce the launch of their inaugural Climate Short Animation Film Competition, in partnership with BBC Writers and in collaboration with BFI NETWORK.

New Climate Short Animation Film Competition announced by Climate Spring, TK-FX and Lowkey Films, with jury to include actor and director Alex Lawther

Today, Climate Spring, TK-FX and Lowkey Films announce the launch of their inaugural Climate Short Animation Film Competition, in partnership with BBC Writers and in collaboration with BFI NETWORK.

This joint initiative will also see the launch of the TK-FX Animation Fund, setup to bridge the experience gap between early stage and experienced CG directors, with a view to develop talent in the space. The competition will be the fund’s first venture and forms part of Climate Spring’s World Building programme, bringing together screen industry partners to harness the power of film and TV storytelling to respond to the climate crisis by visualising the solutions. The winning project will collaborate with TK FX and Lowkey Films to produce their creation, backed by a total production grant of £30k with further in-kind production support. The partnership see’s Lowkey double down on backing climate narratives, with a number of other projects in development and a potential B Corp certification on the horizon.

The competition jury will be joined by actor, writer and director Alex Lawther, who is active on climate change as a creative and as a campaigner. Applications will open in January 2024, with additional judges to be announced.

As part of Climate Spring’s ongoing work in identifying and supporting impactful climate stories with potential to be developed into mainstream film and TV content, this animation short film competition seeks to incentivise screen industry creatives to visualise climate stories that move away from doom narratives, to narratives that show the way through and out of the climate crisis. Participants are encouraged to leverage the storytelling tools of animation to craft narratives set in a future where climate challenges have been confronted, paving the way for a regenerative society. Stories may also highlight existing climate solutions and foster a broader understanding of their implementation and impact on society.

Lucy Stone, Founder and Director of Climate Spring, said: “We are immensely proud to be launching our new Climate Short Animation Film Competition, bringing together screen industry partners to harness the power of creative storytelling to respond to the climate crisis. This joint initiative underpins Climate Spring’s commitment to bringing new climate stories to our screens. The evidence is clear; the climate crisis is a solvable problem - we have the technology and the collective capability. What is missing is the imagination to understand what that looks like, and that this transition has the potential to be exciting and beneficial. With this competition we aim to incentivise filmmakers to visualise diverse and compelling climate stories that move away from the doom and gloom, empower audiences and inspire action.”

Johan Barrios, Executive Producer at TK FX, said: “Teaming up with Climate Spring and Lowkey Films offers a unique chance to establish a short film animation fund dedicated to the vital theme of climate change. Animation, as a medium, knows no bounds to imagination, and that's precisely why we aim to provide directors with an opportunity to explore and contribute to the ever-evolving world of animation.”

Jamie Gamache, Executive Producer and Co-Founder at Lowkey Films, said: “It's wonderful to continue our working relationship with both TK-FX & Climate Spring to launch this fund. Working with & finding new talent has always been part of our DNA and so to launch a fund that also encompasses climate storytelling aligns hugely with Lowkey’s ambitions to become a B Corp in 2024 and continue on our path to be an industry leader in ethical & sustainable production.”

Alex Lawther, actor, writer and director as well as judge of the competition, said: “I'm really looking forward to reading these stories that will be imagining a new future, and discovering the voices behind them. Short film making is a challenging, unusual, important medium for filmmakers -- and a rare place to experiment and explore; I am excited to be part of a scheme with the intention of opening up space to do so.”

Jess Loveland, Head of New Writing at BBC Writers and Drama Commissioning said: “The BBC Writers team is excited to be supporting our colleagues at Climate Spring, Lowkey Films and TK-FX in the search for original new storytellers who can help us reimagine climate stories in a hopeful and empowering way. We can’t wait to delve into the worlds and stories this opportunity generates.”

Open to writers, directors or teams of writers and directors, the competition invites participation from experienced creators aged 18 and above, not in full-time education, residing or eligible to work in the UK, and possessing previous experience in crafting live-action or animated content. The stories need not explicitly delve into climate or environmental concerns but should unfold in a world transformed by sustainable practices.

The World Building Micro Short Animation Competition presents a unique opportunity to direct the screen industry’s creativity towards climate action, whilst encouraging filmmakers and creatives to envision and articulate a world where sustainability and regeneration are the norm.

Applications will open on 9th January 2024 and close on 29th February 2024. Find out more about how to apply on our Opportunities page.

- Ends

For press enquiries please contact: Sara Oberthaler, Communications Manager at Climate Spring:

Note to Editors:

About Climate Spring

Working closely with film and TV industry partners, gatekeepers, commissioners, creatives and producers, we identify climate themes with potential to be developed into mainstream media content, and support the creation of new screen narratives and inspiring stories about climate change.

Led by a collective of screen industry and climate experts, we offer early-stage development funding; high-level pro-bono script consulting on the climate elements of feature film and TV projects for writers, commissioners and producers; and support in moving a project from idea to distribution.

By informing, inspiring and incentivising mainstream content makers to explore climate stories in a more impactful way, we amplify diverse human stories about how we can navigate this crisis together,empowering us all to imagine a hopeful future.

About Climate Spring’s World Building Programme
Climate Spring has been working with the screen industry for a number of years, as a funder, advisor and executive producer, supporting a range of content across genres from scripted features to tv drama and factual entertainment. We have found the greatest challenge for screen professionals, much like the wider public, is an understanding of what the solutions to climate change look like and that their adoption is feasible and desirable. In order to overcome this challenge we have developed a World Building Programme which will bring film world building experts together with climate experts to create visual story worlds to inspire screenwriters and directors and create the context for stories to be set.

About TK FX
With its main office in East London, TK-FX, led by Johan Barrios, positions itself as a central VFX hub. Barrios, a key figure with prior involvement in significant productions, including Lion King at MPC, Fast & Furious at Double Negative, and commercial advertising for Dove and Lego with Passion Pictures, among others, not only brings a wealth of expertise but also introduces a transformative approach to the post-production and animation industry.

Renowned for unwavering dedication to excellence, TK-FX boasts a team of seasoned professionals who specialise in cutting-edge 3D animation, captivating visual effects and flawless colour grading. Our comprehensive suite of services ensures that every aspect of a project receives the attention it deserves.

We understand the intricate demands of the industry, and our commitment is to consistently push the boundaries of post-production & animation, providing our clients with a final product that not only meets but surpasses their expectations.

About Lowkey Films
Headquartered in London and led by co-founders Jamie Gamache and Connor O’Hara, Lowkey Films is a production company with a focus on creating artistic and meaningful content with a commercial edge. Having built a reputation over the past decade as a leading producer of short form content, including collaborations with leading artists including Dave, Stormzy, David Guetta and Mabel, as well as work for major brands like Adidas, Mastercard and Ted Baker, the company has also nurtured a budding film and television slate.

Kindling, the company’s most recent feature and O’Hara’s debut film as a director, released in the UK in April 2023 and completed an international festival run. The film was named as one of Glamour Magazine’s top British films of 2023 and was the first British film to screen in competition at Shanghai International Film Festival in over 6 years. The project was born out of O’Hara’s award-winning short Infinite, starring 1917’s George Mackay. Previous credits include activist documentary Dear Future Children, and BBC Arts short Silent World with Deaf rapper Signkid.

Upcoming projects for Lowkey include high-concept horror Tender Omens (to be directed by Thomas James) and elevated Sci-Fi Beyond the Deep (to be written and directed by Elliot and Zander Weaver), both part of its three-picture co-production deal with Independent Entertainment.

About Alex Lawther
Alex is an actor-writer-director living in South-East London. His first short film, FOR PEOPLE IN TROUBLE, starring Emma D'Arcy and Archie Madekwe, produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, premiered at Tribeca 2023. As an actor he is best known for leading THE END OF THE F*ING WORLD OF BLACK MIRROR: SHUT UP AND DANCE on Netflix and more recently as Nemik in STAR WARS: ANDOR. Alex is currently filming the lead role in the first season of Noah Hawley's ALIEN prequel.

About BBC Writers
BBC Writers is part of BBC TV Drama commissioning. A cross-genre department for scripted content, it also works with CBBC, CBeebies, radio, online and others to develop new and experienced off-screen talent. It has bases in London, Salford, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast.

About BFI Network

Made possible through National Lottery funding, BFI NETWORK exists to support and develop talented early career screenwriters, directors and producers. We collaborate with film organisations and leading cultural venues across the UK to provide funding for short films, support for the development of first features, as well as a range of professional and creative development programmes.  

Find out more and watch supported work:  


About the BFI

We are a cultural charity, a National Lottery distributor, and the UK’s lead organisation for film and the moving image. Our mission is:

  • To support creativity and actively seek out the next generation of UK storytellers
  • To grow and care for the BFI National Archive, the world’s largest film and television archive
  • To offer the widest range of UK and international moving image culture through our programmes and festivals - delivered online and in venue
  • To use our knowledge to educate and deepen public appreciation and understanding
  • To work with Government and industry to ensure the continued growth of the UK’s screen industries

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.  

The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Tim Richards.

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