The Idea Thief

Synopsis: A burglar has some special goggles that allows him to see other's people ideas floating in their heads, which he takes for his own benefit. However, his misdeeds will end when he encounters a very special kid with a powerful and mysterious idea.

The Idea Thief is the outcome of the final project of the MA in Animation I studied in University of Hertfordshire (UK) in 2015. This project, codirected with my colombian classmate Juan Lozano, was supported by the Postgraduate Scholarship I received by La Caixa Banking Foundation. Juan & me were responsible of all the visual part, each one adding our different abilities to the story. The sound design and the film score are produced by Louis Morand and Jonathan Hill respectively, alumni from the NFTS and nominated to the BAFTAS with previous works.

I had this idea in my head for a very long time, until I told Juan and he was excited about it, giving outlines for the character design and visual references to create the short film look. It is a really condensed story and we like to think it is open to several interpretations. We want to think about this shortfilm as a presentation of a concept where you can see inside people's minds and manipulate ideas. We believe that animation is a perfect medium to explore visual metaphors and so we did using the classic analogy of ideas equal lightbulbs.

Despite the short time to produce it, The Idea Thief is having a lot of success in festivals around the world.


  • Duration: 3:3o min
  • Country: UK, Spain, Colombia
  • Production year: 2015
  • Production company: UHAnimation - University of Hertfordshire, La Caixa Banking Foundation
  • Distribution company: Mailuki Films S.L.


  • Direction: Dani Alava y Juan Lozano
  • Story & storyboard: Dani Alava
  • Production: Dani Alava
  • Art direction: Juan Lozano
  • Character modelling, texturing & rigging: Juan Lozano
  • Sets modelling & texturing: Dani Alava
  • Layout: Dani Alava
  • Animation: Dani Alava y Juan Lozano
  • Lighting & rendering: Dani Alava y Juan Lozano
  • Digital compositing: Dani Alava y Juan Lozano
  • Editing & grading: Dani Alava
  • Sound design: Louis Morand
  • Dubbing mixing: Louis Morand
  • Original score: Jonathan Hill







1st AWARD / BEST ANIMATION SHORT - Urban Mediamakers Film Festival, Georgia (USA)

1st JURY AWARD / ANIMATION CATEGORY - Sand Dune International Short Film Festival 2015 (India)

1st AWARD / BEST ANIMATION - Go West Film Festival 2016 (California, USA)

1st AWARD / BEST SCORE - Go West Film Festival 2016 (California, USA)

2nd PLACE / BEST NOIR/DARK SHORT - Northern Virginia International Film & Music Festival (USA) 

2nd PLACE / BEST ANIMATION - Go Independent International Film Festival, Washington D.C (USA)





Athens Animfest ( Greece)

Mi Primer Festival (Peru)

Flagler Film Festival, Florida (USA)

Tallgrass Film Festival Wichita, Kansas (USA)

Logan Film Festival, Utah (USA)

International Student Film Festival Pisek (Czech Republic)

Kansas International Film Festival (USA)

Urban Mediamakers Film Festival, Norcross (USA)

Festival Internacional de Cine de Gáldar (Spain)

Southampton International Film Festival (UK)

Fimucinema - Festival Internacional de Música de Cine de Tenerife (Spain)

Buffalo International Film Festival, New York (USA)

Santa Catalina Film Festival, California (USA)

ANIMAZE Montreal International Animation Film Festival (Canada)

Concurso Internacional de Cortometrajes de Animación SUMMA3D (Spain)

Oceanside International Film Festival, California (USA)

XXXIX Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente de Elche (Spain)

Blue Plum Animation Festival, Tennessee (USA)

II Festival de Cine de Consuegra, Toledo (Spain)

XIX Mostra de Cinema Jove d'Elx (Spain)

Festival de Cine y Televisión Reino de León (Spain)

Selby International Film Festival (United Kingdom) - Nominated Best International Student Short

1st Annual New York City Animation/Anime Short Festival 2016 (USA)

Prokuplje Short Film Festival 2016 (Serbia)

Maharashtra International Short Film Festival 2016 (India)

Detroit International Festival of Animation 2016 (USA)

VII Sene Film, Music & Arts Festival 2016 (Rhode Island, USA)

Short Film Corner of Festival de Cannes 2016

Speechless Film Festival 2016 (Minnesota, USA)

Filums International Film Festival 2016 (Pakistan)

Animation Dingle Film Festival 2016 (Irlanda)


Festival de Cine Antonio Moreno en la Villa de los Barrios 2015 (Spain)

Festival de Cortometrajes "José Francisco Rosado" Festival Pacas 3.0 (Spain)

Tenerife Shorts – section: Family Shorts 2015

Making of

Making of

Making of

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