Festival’s focus on best in animation
A UK-WIDE celebration of animation showcasing the best of British talent launches this month in Cardiff.
From childhood favourites to experimental shorts, Anim18 will run until November, with screenings, workshops and pop-up events putting British animation firmly in the spotlight.
Anim18 launches on Friday at Chapter Arts Centre as part of the Cardiff Animation Festival, alongside satellite launches around the UK.
Events will include screenings of classics such as Watership Down and new releases including Aardman’s Early Man and Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, which was made in the UK. Brand new commissions will also be unveiled.
Led by Film Hub Wales and Chapter, the programme will explore the history of British animation, from early techniques to modern technologies such as gaming and VR.
Hana Lewis of Film Hub Wales said: “Audiences will have the chance to discover diverse new voices and techniques breaking into the industry and enjoy British animated classics in superb cinema settings across the UK.
“It’s an opportune and exciting time to celebrate the historic culture of British animation in the UK and explore the future. From commercial to cult popculture, and children’s programming, British animation can appeal to all ages.”
Audiences will have the chance to see newly-remastered films from the BFI National Archive’s unique animation collection and get involved in pop-up activities such as anijams and gamejams. They will even be able to smell their way through scratch’n’sniff screenings, and experience live soundtracks and singalongs.
“Animation is like magic – it captures the imagination in a unique way, bringing characters and stories to life on screen,” says Anim18 project manager Rebecca Goldsmith.
Anim18 is supported by the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery, and by the British Council.
Sally Griffith, director of cinema at Chapter and director of Film Hub Wales said: “Cardiff has long been recognised as a home for animation, from the early outings of Jerry The Troublesome Tyke to animators such as Baftawinning Joanna Quinn and Clothcat Animations, working today to surprise, challenge and entertain audiences.
“We’re pleased to be able to celebrate that heritage and play a part in developing its future.”
Anim18 organisers are inviting audiences to join in and contribute to a digital hub – a space to share film titles and resources, showcase activity that is happening across the UK, and celebrate the best in British animation.
Anim18’s launch forms part of the brand new Cardiff Animation Festival, running from April 19 to 22 at Chapter.
The return of the animation festival to Cardiff has been warmly welcomed, with tickets selling fast.
The festival will comprise six themed programmes of some of the best animated short films from around the world. Of the nearly 500 animated shorts submitted, 99 were chosen by the selection panel to be screened in competition for the Best Short and Best Student Short award, and audiences will have a chance to vote for their favourite to win the Audience Award.
Themed groups of films include Hindsight, a programme dedicated to exploring personal and world history, and Speechless, celebrating films without dialogue.
Highly-anticipated film The Breadwinner from multi-Oscar nominated studio Cartoon Saloon will screen ahead of its official UK release. The animated drama about a little girl living under Taliban rule is directed by Nora Twomey and produced by Angelina Jolie. The features programme will also include Early Man from Aardman, with animation director Merlin Crossingham giving insight into the film’s creation.
“We’re so excited that Cardiff is becoming such a creative and supportive hub,” says festival co-organiser Dani Abram.
“The animation industry has long since thrived here and it looks set to grow and grow. The addition of a dedicated animation festival is yet more proof of that.”
For more information about the festival, visit www.cardiffanimation. com