Animation Salon III: animated documentary

My Love Affair With Marriage, Signe Baumane, 2021

As part of our programme of occasional Filmmaker Salons, we're delighted to offer a specific focus on Animation, with three further Salons offered in partnership with Animate Projects. Following a successful event featuring a range of Experimental Animation curators, our next session explores Animated Documentary. Alys Scott-Hawkins and Ellie Land from the online blog and resource Animated Documentary, will talk to animators Signe Baumane, Mary Martins, and John Summerson.

About the Animation Salon

Wednesday 4 November 2020 - 6pm (UK)

The animated documentary genre continues to grow, featuring in a variety of formats: shorts and feature films, explainer videos, interactive documentary; and showcasing an array of techniques such as the autoethnographic film, the investigative film, the call-to-action and reconstruction films, to name just a few.

Mary Martins, John Summerson and Signe Baumane will share their insights and experiences with us, alongside some clips of their work.

This event is part of Animate Projects' Accelerate Sessions series of online conversations with animation artists and curators, supported by Arts Council England’s Emergency Response Fund.


Signe Baumane

Signe was born in Latvia and now lives in New York. After studying Philosophy at Moscow State University she started to work at Riga's Animated Film Studio, where she wrote and directed three short films. She moved to New York in 1995, and for seven years worked for independent animator Bill Plympton as art director and production manager. Signe has written, directed and animated 15 shorts and the animated feature Rocks in My Pockets (2014) that have screened in over 560 film festivals around the world and received many awards. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2017.

Mary Martins

Mary's practice includes documentary animation, experimental film, and abstract expressionist painting, often exploring philosophical ideas. Her short film The Divide won the Mother Art Prize in 2017 as well as the Best New Voice award at the Factual Animation Film Fuss in 2016.

Mary has a degree in Philosophy from the University of Birmingham, and in Animation and Moving Image from the University of East London. She lives in London and is currently studying for an MA in Animation: Documentary at the Royal College of Art.

John Summerson

John is from Washington State in the USA and now lives in Tuscon, Arizona, working as an animation director. He studied animation at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, Oregon, and graduated from the Royal College of Art this year.

His work has exhibited internationally, most recently at film festivals in Budapest, Madrid, Berlin, and London. Scholarships include a Princess Grace USA Film Scholarship, the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Educator's Forum Scholarship, and the Grand Prize at the LG Art of the Pixel Competition.

He’s previously volunteered as an instructor for Stories in Movement, a poetry and animation programme for incarcerated youth at the Donald E. Long Detention Center in Portland, Oregon.

Animated Documentary: Alys Scott-Hawkins and Ellie Land is a searchable online resource for anyone interested in Animated Documentary. The blog is run by animation directors Alys and Ellie, with contributions from Carla MacKinnon, Alex Widdowson and Myria Christophini.

Who is this for?

This session is primarily aimed at animators, documentary makers, film programmers and curators.

The Salon is free to join, but spaces are limited.


Register free for this event by clicking here.

Spaces are limited - please join early to make sure you get in.

What you'll need

To take part you will need a computer/laptop/tablet/or mobile and wifi connection (preferably with video – and you’ll need audio if you want to contribute to the live discussion). You can simply click the link we send you to join directly from your browser, but if you download Zoom in advance you may find it easier to participate.


We are working hard to make all of our online sessions accessible. Unfortunately live closed-captioning is not yet available for these events. If you require a live transcript we would like to encourage you to use – a free software system that live-transcribes audio on your laptop. The session will also be recorded and a transcript will be made available within one week (if you would like this, please email to request it after the session).

Coming up...

Our final session with Animate Projects is on 12 November - a round table on Animation and VR, with Tom Higham (York Mediale), Liz Rosenthal (Venice Film Festival), Juergen Hagler (Ars Electronica), Helen Starr (Mechatronic Library), and Ulrich Schrauth (LFF Expanded). More details soon.

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