The 28-year-old was only creating an animated city as part of his master's degree in architecture, but the film was so poignant that it won the special jury prize at Sundance last year (prompting him to launch a film/animation studio, which has now done work for Samsung and others). Robots of Brixton is a six-minute, visually stunning political allegory, showing humanoid robots' rage against a police state. Tavares was inspired by class riots in his hometown of Brixton, England--but he knew that by representing one group of immigrants, he'd only exclude others who faced similar hardships. "You get different cycles of different people from all over the world having the same problems," he says. The robots were his solution: Though they were overlaid with actual images of Brixton, they were universal sufferers, just broad enough to be anyone. "I didn't want it to look perfect," he says. "I wanted it to feel earthy."