Category Archives: Events

NFTS launches new animation course with Aardman

The NFTS (National Film and Television School) has launched a new animation course in partnership with the Aardman Animations to meet the growing demand for animators in the UK.

The exciting new three-month Certificate in Character Animation course will be taught by industry professionals, including main tutors Loyd Price, Head of Animation at Aardman (Nightmare before Christmas, Chicken Run, The Curse of the WereRabbit, Flushed Away and Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists) and Mathew Rees, Supervising Senior CG Animator (commercials for clients such as Serta, Chevron, British Gas, Hershey’s as well as work on Pirates!).

The Pirates! from Aardman Animations.

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists from Aardman Animations.

Loyd Price said: “The UK is very much a powerhouse of animation at the moment. Our continued success at Aardman and that of others such as the NFTS means that people are travelling to the UK from all over the world to learn our style of stop frame and CG animation. We’d like to build on that success by developing home-grown talent to work in this exciting entertainment industry.”

The Bristol based studio has enjoyed continued popularity at both the box office and the Academy Awards. It has won four Oscars and had 10 Oscar nominations including the animated feature film Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, which was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film this year.

The NFTS’ stop-frame animated film Head Over Heels was nominated for Best Short Animation this year – the only film school nominated for an Oscar in 2013. The School’s stop-frame animated film Miss Todd is also a finalist in the Oscar qualifying 2013 student Academy Awards (a competition it has previously won 5 times) and its charcoal-drawn animated film Magnificent Lion Boy is the only UK film school film in Cinéfondation at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

Nik Powell, NFTS Director said: “We’re looking for applicants with a real passion for animation to join this flagship course.”

Jon Wardle, NFTS Director of Curriculum and Registrar added: “This course will give participants a chance in a life-time opportunity to train with Aardman animators and gain the highest level of animation skills that can help them get jobs in this growing industry.”

The 12 –week intensive course will take place at Aardman’s Bristol headquarters and provide the core practical skills needed to become professional animators. The majority of the course is practical with participants working on animation exercises to improve their skills, knowledge and experience. This will also be supported by animation theory. It culminates in a short character animation sequence – pre-planned and boarded – to showcase the skills learnt during the course.

Don’t miss out – Apply before the Friday 21st June 2013 deadline for the Certificate in Character Animation course that starts in September 2013.

VIEW Award Contest 2012 call for entries

The VIEWFest, Digital Movie Festival is scheduled for 19 – 21 October 2012 in Turin, Italy. During the festival the VIEW Awards 2012 will take place. The contest plans to widen its scope with new themes, new subjects and include digital work from both students and non-students.

The deadline for entries is 15 September 2012. Works by students will be especially welcome, since VIEW prides itself on being the place to express and discover new digital talent. If you have completed an animated short with 3D animation and / or VFX in 2011 or will complete it in 2012 you are invited to enter.

Further details and entry forms are available on the VIEW Conference website.

Here are the winners from 2011:

Best Short:
“De Riz ou d’Arménie”
by  Hélène Marchal, Samy Barras, Romain Blondelle, Céline Seille, della scuola Supinfocom Valenciennes.

Best Design:
by Pawez Debski, FUMI Studio

Best Environment Design:
“La Détente”
by Pierre DUcos & Bertrand Bey

Best Character:
“A Morning Stroll”
by Grant Orchard, Studio AKA

Best Digital Visual Effects:
“Paths of Hate”
by Damian Nenow – Platige Image

International Animation Festival Hiroshima 2012 announced

The 14th edition, HIROSHIMA 2012 will be held from August 23rd to 27th, 2012.

The Hiroshima International Animation Festival is a biennial manifestation held in Hiroshima City in August, endorsed by Association Internationale du Film d’Animation (ASIFA). Under the spirit of LOVE & PEACE, the festival has been dedicating to the advancement of visual media art culture in general, by promoting international cross-cultural exchanges through the development of animation art.

It is a comprehensive animation festival, featuring competition programs to choose the Grand Prix, Hiroshima Prize and other prizes out of many latest animation shorts submitted from around the world. The festival also offers many special programs including retrospectives of masters and talented filmmakers, feature animations, high quality student works, animations for peace, for children, as well as seminars, symposiums, workshops, exhibitions, and educational film market, etc.

Competition entries will be accepted from February 1st to April 1st, 2012.

Contact details; HIROSHIMA 2010 FESTIVAL OFFICE, 4-7 Kako-rnachi. NaIKa-Ku, Hiroshima 730-08 2 JAPAN.
Phone: +81 82 245 0245 Facsimile: +81 82 245 0246

IdeasTap: Short Animation Competition winners announced

IdeasTap competition winner Smile by Chloe Rodham.

The London Barbican teamed up with IdeasTap, the creative network and funding body for emerging arts talent, to launch a new competition which showcases and celebrates the best new British animators of this generation.

Assessing the Barbican Animate applications were: BAFTA-winning animator Mike Please; Jayne Pilling, the Director of the British Animation Awards; Wallpaper Art Editor Meirion Pritchard; Robert Rider, Head of Cinema at the Barbican; and Tim Webb, the animator of A is for Autism and Senior Tutor at the RCA.

The winners are:
Betty by Jessica Wainwright.
River Wolf by Helen Woolston.
Rewind by Chris Butcher.
Forget Me Not by Lottie Kingslake.
Smile by Chloe Rodham.
Refrigeration by Matt Waruszynski.

The awards will be presented on 8 September 2011 at the Barbican Art Gallery in London.

Details of the winners can be found at

The 8th London International Animation Festival August 26 – September 4

LIAF 2011 hits the screen with 10 days of the best new animation combined with diverse collection of themed, retrospective and special programmes. From August 26 – September 4 at the Barbican, the Horse Hospital and the Rio Cinema, LIAF will undoubtedly become the centre of the international animation universe. You’ll see a comprehensive line-up from award winners, outstanding industry veterans, inspiring independents, stupendous studios and those wonderful newcomers exploring their talent on screen for the very first time.

LIAF is the UK’s largest festival of its kind, bringing the best new animated films from every corner of the world to London audiences, and showcasing the whole spectrum of creative animation. This year the Festival features 280 films from over 30 countries, most of them British premieres, divided into 8 competition programmes, plus a series of satellite events.

Programme info

Booking info for the Barbican screenings

Pixar director is featured speaker at VIEW 2011 Turin, Italy

VIEW Conference is Italy’s most important event on Computer Graphics, Interactive Techniques, Digital Cinema, 3D Animation, Gaming and VFX. This year the dates are 25 – 28 Oct 2011. VIEW Conference is followed by the VIEWFest Digital Movie Festival.

Sharon Calahan, the Pixar Director of Photography who created the look of Ratatouille and has just finished work on Cars 2, will present lighting design at VIEW 2011.

Sharon Calahan

Sharon joined Pixar Animation Studios in 1994 as lighting supervisor on the studio’s first feature film, Toy Story. She then served as director of photography on A bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille and Cars 2. Sharon knew at the age of three that she wanted to be an artist for Disney. She went on to study graphic design, illustration and photography. Following art school, she began her career as an art director for broadcast television and video production. Prior to joining Pixar, she was a lighting director at Pacific Data Images completing commercial work, longer format television and graphics packages.

More info from:

Gulp – The World’s Largest Stop-Motion Shot With A Nokia N8

Nokia and Aardman Animations have set another Guinness World Record for the ‘World’s Largest Stop-motion Animation Set’ with their follow up short film: Gulp, shot entirely on the Nokia N8, after having set a record for the ‘Smallest Stop-motion Animated Character’ last summer with Dot.

As part of Nokia ’s on-going campaign to bring amazing, authentic uses of mobile technology to life, Nokia has partnered with Aardman Animations and Wieden + Kennedy once again to create Gulp, a new animation filmed on the Nokia N8.

The film explores the life of a little fishing boat when the tide goes out. As the sea ebbs away oilskins and nets come to life manifesting a lone fisherman, out to find the catch of the day.

When he sets off across the sea he encounters an ocean vista of waves, gulls, clouds and fish all created using giant sand animation, carved in the beach itself. As the fisherman hauls in his sandy catch he is swallowed by a huge sea monster. Trapped inside the beast’s cavernous stomach, he accidentally sets off a chain reaction and is catapulted back to the surface, too late to save his catch from escaping back into the ocean.

Shot entirely on the new Nokia N8 smartphone, Gulp showcases the smartphone’s Carl Zeiss optics and its 12-megapixel photography capabilities. Three phones elevated 36 meters above the ground on a cherry picker on a beach in South Wales, UK, shot a canvas of 42.71 meters x 24 meters creating the ‘World’s Largest Stop-motion Animation Set’. The phones were mounted in a custom built rig inside a specially designed Peli Box and operated remotely by the camera crew in order to capture the huge images.

8th annual Flip Animation Festival call for submissions

The home of Flip is the “Light House”.

FLIP International Animation Festival will return to the Light House Media Centre, Wolverhampton, UK in October 2011. The organisers are inviting animators from all around the world to submit films of up to 15 minutes in length.

Films will be judged by a panel and the winning animators will be announced during the festival. The festival will include a screenings of young people’s animation and therefore welcome submissions from animators below the age of 18.

The festival runs from Thursday 27 to Saturday 29 October 2011. Flip is an eclectic mix of educational workshops for young people to experimental animation for grown ups; from industry led panels to feature film screenings and from international showcases and retrospectives of short films to spotlights on animation studios.

The closing date for festival submissions is 31 August 2011.

More information and an application pack is available from:

Tate Movie Project “The Itch of the Golden Nit” premiered

Captain Iron Ears’ Pirate Ship. © Tate Movie Project 2011.

The Tate Movie Project’s The Itch of the Golden Nit was premiered in Leicester Square, London, on 29 June 2011 and will be shown at regional galleries over the summer. The film is the first of its kind – an animation made by children ranging from 5 to 13 years old. Thousands of drawings, sound effects and story ideas by children from across the UK make up the action-packed, half hour animation as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

The Itch of the Golden Nit follows 11-year-old hero Beanie on his mission to save his parents from Evil Stella and to return the Golden Nit to its rightful place at the heart of the sun, thereby saving the universe. It features the voices of David Walliams, Miranda Hart, Catherine Tate and Rik Mayall. The film was brought together by the Tate and Aardman Animations.

Aardman used CelAction2D animation software to maintain the hand-drawn quality of the characters. This enabled the production team to animate quickly whilst achieving a high quality.

Andy Blazdell, CelActionCEO, said: “Working with Aardman was a real highlight. It’s always a pleasure to see such talented people using our software and on a project of this scale, for such a worthy cause, we feel proud to be a part of it.”

CelAction2D is available for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Useful link:

Annecy Animation Festival 2011 the award winners

There were 223 films in competition and 7,000 accredited visitors at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in July 2011. British animators gained two awards; Grant Orchard got the Junior Jury Award for a short film for A Morning Stroll and Mikey Please got a Special Distinction in the graduation films section for The Eagleman Stag.

Feature film winners

The Cristal for best feature

Le Chat du Rabbin (The Rabbi’s Cat – 2009)

A rabbi, his daughter and a talking cat. Crazy Russians dreaming of the promised land, and Algeria, Africa and the promise of adventure. Drawing on paper and 2D computer.

Directed by Joann SFAR and Antoine DELESVAUX, France.

Special Distinction
• Audience Award

Colorful (2010)

A spirit wins the chance to live a second time and learn from its mistakes. It is transferred into the body of a teenager who has recently committed suicide. He will slowly understand the sense of this experiment. Drawing on paper ans 2D/3D computer.

Directed by Keiichi HARA, Japan.

Short film winners

The Annecy Cristal

Pixels (2009)

The invasion of New York by creatures of 8 bits! Live action and 2D/3D computer.

Directed by Patrick JEAN, France.

Special Jury Award

Big Bang Big Boom (2010)

A short unscientific film about evolution and its possible consequences. Technique – painting on walls.

Directed by BLU, Italy.

“Jean-Luc Xiberras” Award for a first film

Świteź, la Cité perdue (The Lost Town of Świteź – 2010)

An accidental traveller, drawn by mysterious forces, discovers the secret of a ghostly town which lies at the bottom of a forgotten lake. 3D computer.

Directed by Kamil POLAK, Poland, France, Canada, Switzerland, Denmark.

Special Distinction

Paths Of Hate (2010)

A short and thrilling tale about the demons that slumber deep in the human soul. 3D computer.

Directed by Damian NENOW, Poland.

Sacem Award for original music

Maska (2010)

Beautiful Duenna was created in order to carry out a certain mission. However, she will be forced to choose… Puppets.

Directed by Timothy QUAY and Stephen QUAY, Poland.

Junior Jury Award for a short film

A Morning Stroll (2011)

When a New Yorker walks past a chicken on his morning stroll, we’re left to wonder which one is the real city slicker. 2D/3D computer.

Directed by Grant ORCHARD, Great Britain.

Audience Award
• Fipresci Award

Luminaris (2011)

In a world controlled and timed by light, a common man has a plan that could change destiny. Animated objects, pixilation, photos.

Directed by Juan Pablo ZARAMELLA, Argentina.

Graduation film winners

Award for best graduation film
• Junior Jury Award for a graduation film

Plato (2010)

Falling from a height, straight somersaults, high altitudes and zig-zagging lines. Little chap, where is your cube? Between the distortion of reality and the rigour of imagination, welcome to “Plato”. Drawing on paper.

Directed by Léonard COHEN, ENSAD, France.

Special Jury Award

Trois petits points (2010)

A seamstress is waiting for her husband. 2D computer.

Directed by Lucrèce ANDREAE, Alice DIEUDONNÉ, Tracy NOWOCIEN, Florian PARROT, Ornélie PRIOUL, Rémy SCHAEPMAN, Gobelins, France.

Special Distinction

The Eagleman Stag (2010)

Peter discovers that if you say the word “fly” for long enough it sounds like you’re saying “life”. Though this is of no real help. Puppets, animated objects, after effects.

Directed by Mikey PLEASE, Royal College of Art, Great Britain.

A full list of winners can be found at

The next Annecy International Animation Film Festival will take place from 4th to 9th June 2012.