Ugly from Nikita Diakur (and other amazing experimental shorts)

About Ugly

Animation Technique
Animation in Ugly is a combination of puppeteering and dynamic computer simulation and varies between physically
accurate and broken. Similar to marionettes, the Ugly characters are built from interconnected dynamic body parts and connected via simulated springs to animated controllers

Who is Nikita Diakur?
Nikita Diakur is a Russian-born film maker based Germany. He studied Animation at the Royal College of Art in London, where he produced “Fly on the Window” that went on to screen at international film festivals such as Zagreb, Annecy and Edinburgh. Diakur is now making short films influenced by internet stories and animated via the process of computer simulation.

Fly on the Window (2009, graduation film at RCA), Ugly (2017), Fest (2018)

What is Nikita’s statement?
Traditional computer animation is non-linear. The animator tweaks and adjusts everything by going back and forth between different states of the animation. Thus, he is in control of the outcome. Contrary, when simulating, the animator gives up control by outsourcing several tasks to the computer. The computer executes these tasks based on calculations and outputs a linear simulation result. The animator interacts with the computer and is in control only to a certain degree.
Animating like this feels closer to real-life filmmaking: Like a real actor, the computer follows the action set by the
animator and produces results that are unpredictable and personal. Accordingly, the focus shifts from outcome to
process. The animator is left with the challenge to find the right balance between staying in control and leaving room
for randomness.


Film Type / Animation, Experimental, Short
Technique / Computer Simulated Puppetry
Genre / Drama/Spiritual/Fantastic
Runtime / 11:54min
Completion Date / 1 June 2017
Country of Origin / Germany
Aspect Ratio / 1.9:1
Screening Formats / DCP flat, 5.1; h264/Prores422 HD letterboxed, stereo
Language / no dialogue

Awards /
Special Mention – Animafest Zagreb, 10 June
Honorary Mention – Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, 9 Sep
New Talent – Fantoche, Baden, 10 Sep
Grand Prize – Ottawa International Animation Festival, 24 Sep
Grand Prix – Encounters, Bristol, 24 Sep
3rd Prize – Supernova, Denver, 25 Sep
Student Jury Prize – Brno 16, 14 Oct
Best First Film – Primanima, 21 Oct
Audience Award Best German Animation – International Weekend of Animation, Wiesbaden, 29 Oct
Special Mention – Kuandu International Animation Festival, Taipei, 5 Nov
New Talent – New Chitose Airport Int Animation Festival, Sapporo, 5 Nov
Honorary Mention – Animasivo, Mexico City, 3 Dec
Nominated for the European Short Film Award, Berlin, 10 Dec
Best Director & Technical Merit – Hell Chess Festival, Madrid, 12 Jan
New Talent – GLAS Animation Festival, Berkeley, 25 Mar
Winner International Competition – Animatricks, Helsinki, 28 Apr
Perpetuum Cyberpunk Award, Cinema Perpetuum Mobile Film Festival, Minsk, 1 May
Best National Film, OderKurz Filmspektakel, 2 June
Jury and ASIFA Awards for Best Film in Animation Avantgarde, VIS Vienna Shorts, 4 June

More works from talented Nikita









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