The Cambridge Animation Festival
Nearly 250 films were shown during the festival. Animation and persuasion was its main theme. It also included programmes of British, American and experimental films. David Jefferson reports on the British professional and student programmes.
The Cambridge Animation Festival shows were held in the Arts Cinema which is in the centre of Cambridge, near the market square at the end of a broad alleyway. It is a small cinema, one might say intimate, because it is possible to look round and see everyone who is there at a glance. There is no balcony and the projection is done through a system of mirrors so that the projection box is actually on the floor above the cinema auditorium. The 16mm films were shown on a couple of projectors set up at the back of the cinema in with the audience. One was a double banded machine which had a habit of showing films silent or several seconds out of sync. This did not seem to worry the projectionist who got half way through several films before finding the sound.
The Festival ran from Tuesday morning to Sunday evening. The programme was carefully structured so that films were shown in related groups; American, British, student work, women’s films and those on the Festival theme which this year was ‘Animation and Persuasion’. Even the films in this category were grouped to cover various aspects, most of which were to do with going to war or not going to war. Films trying to persuade us to buy a Rolex watch or drink Babycham did not come under this heading.
There were some late night shows of feature films at the Arts Theatre as well as the Arts Cinema. In between programmes one could go to the Festival club room in the Roof Garden Restaurant of the Arts Theatre. Here refreshments were served appropriate to the time of day and a party atmosphere developed during the evening.