Ex Libris

Illustration and animation students Joe Sparrow and Grethe Bentsen made the film Ex Libris (Latin for ‘out of books’) as their final year project at the university in south west London. “Libraries are something I feel really strongly about and I’m very concerned to see that they’re under threat – and that people of my generation don’t make as much use of them as they could,” Joe, 24, said.

Ex Libris was shot in two of the university’s libraries – on the Penrhyn Road and Knights Park campuses – and in the main public library in Kingston upon Thames. It shows a variety of mythical creatures emerging from a book that has fallen on the floor. The monsters were made by Grethe out of cardboard and then brought to life through animation by Joe.

“The aim of the film was to capture a sense of the enchantment that you can discover in a library,” Joe explained. “It’s all about the weird and wonderful stuff you can stumble upon when you aren’t expecting it.”

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals has estimated that 600 of England’s libraries are under threat of closure due to pressure on local authority budgets.

Joe and Grethe’s film was spotted by Chris Shepherd, who commissions animations for the Random Acts series and now also lectures at Kingston.

“When I arrived at Kingston University, I had a look at some of the films that students had made over the past few years and I was overwhelmed,” he said. “Some of them were amazing – really strong on design and style.”


Munky is very proud to collaborate with Lupus Films and Chris Shepherd for Channel 4’s late night short-form daily arts strand Random Acts.

It launched in 2011 and in its first year showcased 260 specially-commissioned three-minute films chosen for their bold and creative expressions of creativity.

Television as art, rather than about art, Random Acts enables a diverse supply of both established artists and emerging talent to create their own pieces, unmediated by presenters and unfettered by the conventions of conservative arts television. The short films disrupt the schedule with content including, but not restricted to, spoken word, dance, animation, video art and music.