Unlock the talent inside

Since 1962 the Koestler Awards have played a unique, national role in motivating prisoners, secure hospital patients and immigration detainees to take part in the arts. The Koestler Awards are simple and powerful – we reward achievement, build self-confidence and broaden horizons for some of society’s most disadvantaged and marginalised people.

Our work harnesses the uniquely transformative power of the arts to help individuals learn the skills and gain the confidence to live creative, positive and productive lives. Each year we receive more than 7,000 entries from over 3,500 entrants across the UK in 52 categories. More than 2,000 Awards are granted by over 100 esteemed judges, and each year culminates in a curated exhibition at Southbank Centre which showcases the incredible power of the arts to transform lives.

Read more about us

  • Film and Animation

Spice Stories, HM Prison & Young Offender Institution Parc, Highly Commended Award for Film, 2021

Film and Animation

In prisons and other secure settings, animation and film workshops are usually led by external organisations who bring in their expertise and equipment. It’s a great way of using different people’s skills and interests and encouraging people to work together to create an artwork.

The Koestler Awards receive more Animation entries than Film, because animation naturally avoids the security and confidentiality risks that Film projects can run. However, many of the Film entries submitted to the Koestler Awards creatively deal with the restrictions that being inside a secure environment entail, and how people deal with this challenge can lead to exciting outcomes.

Online Gallery

View a selection of award-winning Film and Animation entries from previous Koestler Awards below.