AN ULVERSTON animator is celebrating after scooping an award at an international student film festival.

Horace: Last Day of a Life, the animation produced by Alice Slater, won Best Animation at the 10th edition of the Dirigo International Film Festival - produced by students from University Centre Weston, aiming to showcase the creativity of student filmmakers worldwide.

The animation is a retelling based on the true story of the dramatic final hours of Horace the Elk. His complete skeleton was found by accident in July 1970 and depicts the earliest evidence of humans in the North West of England.

To accurately depict Horace's life and death in a single day, Alice conducted vast research along with contact with the Harris Museum, where Horace's bones remain. It was during her Master's in Animation that she developed an interest in the story of Horace.

She said: "I have a big interest in natural history and archaeology, so he fits quite neatly into both being natural history. Horace lived 13,000 years ago, which puts him right on the edge of being archaeological as well.

"He is really important to the Poulton-le-Fylde area because when he was uncovered, he was found to have sustained a total of 17 injuries and still had some of the weapons that were used to attack him lined alongside him. It would be seen as the first definitive evidence of human heritage in the Poulton-le-Fylde area."

The animation took less than ten months to be completed and will be released to the public later this year.

On winning the award, Alice said she wasn't expecting to get international recognition with this film.

"There were some absolutely fantastic films there, so when it was announced that I won, it came as a big surprise," she said.

"I couldn't quite believe that out of the films, mine had been the one that had won that award."

The 25-year-old said that winning this award has given her motivation to keep up with her work, with two projects currently going in the background. 

The animation will also be featured at the Firenze ArcheoFilm Festival on Friday, March 8, at Cinema La Compagnia in Florence, Italy.