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AniJam UK: Are you jammy enough to win?

// News

This summer, animators across the UK are invited to take part in the first ever nationwide 48-hour animation challenge.  With regional heats in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, a public vote and exclusive prizes up for grabs, AniJam UK aims to inspire and showcase new work from emerging and established talent.

The series of AniJams takes inspiration from previous events delivered in the South West of England since 2012 by WONKY and Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival.  This year they will extend nationally as part of Anim18 – a celebration of British animation taking place across the UK, led by Film Hub Wales and Chapter (Cardiff), with the BFI Film Audience Network and a wealth of project partners.  The challenge will culminate in a prize-giving event at Manchester Animation Festival.

The regional heats will take place in cities from Bristol to Belfast, hosted by partners including Derby QUAD, Leicester Phoenix, Glasgow Short Film Festival, World of Film Festival, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Chapter (Cardiff), Young FAN, Rich Mix (London) and Nerve Centre (Belfast). Animators aged 18+ can compete for free in teams of up to 5 people, creating an original film based on a secret theme. The short films can be in any style of animation and from 15 to 90 seconds in length. Up to three films will be selected from each regional heat to form a shortlist eligible for final awards.  The shortlist will be screened at a range of venues including Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival in September, and Manchester Animation Festival in November, and the competition will be opened up to public vote online at

As well as the Public Choice Award, there will be a Grand Prix selected by a panel of industry experts, including representatives from key UK film and animation festivals, studios and organisations such as BAFTA Cymru and the BFI.  Prizes include bespoke trophies created by Animation Toolkit, delegate tickets to key UK festivals, and distribution by ShortsTV – ‘the global home of short movies’.

Animators who would like to take part in the AniJam UK challenge should visit for details of venues and the wider programme, and to register a team.

The AniJams form part of the wider Anim18 programme, which runs until November. This explores the history of British animation, from early techniques to modern technologies such as gaming and VR.  As well as AniJams, audiences will have the opportunity to see newly remastered films from the BFI National Archive’s unique animation collection and get involved in additional pop-up activities such as GameJams and VR exhibitions. They will even be able to smell their way through Scratch n Sniff screenings of Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, experience live musical soundtracks, and singalong to 50th anniversary screenings of Yellow Submarine.

Anim18 is supported by the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery, by Arts Council England and the British Council. The initiative aims to generate renewed interest in British animation, bring classic titles back to the big screen, and support innovation and experimentation by UK animators. The programme complements BFI Animation 2018, a year-round celebration of animation.

Hana Lewis of Film Hub Wales says;

We are thrilled that an eclectic range of UK exhibitors, from venues to film festivals, are coming together to develop new animations during Anim18, merging film watching, making and understanding as part of one celebratory programme.

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said;

Arts Council England is very pleased to support Anim18 and the AniJam project which will allow established and emerging talent to create new and innovative work. It’s a great opportunity for the public to have their say, voting for the best ideas, as well as audiences across the country and online experiencing animation and the visual arts in new ways. It is funded by the National Lottery, which is your money being invested back into your project and we want as many people as possible to share in its benefits.


How much does it cost to take part?
There’s no charge for participants.

Who can sign up?
Teams of 2 to 5 people, aged 18+

How do you register a team?

What are the prizes?

  • Film distribution (with Shorts TV)
  • Festival passes
  • Bespoke trophy (courtesy of Animation Toolkit)
  • And more!

When and where are the regional heats?

27 – 29 July 2018 Bristol (with Encounters)
10 – 12 August 2018 Manchester (with Manchester Animation Festival)
York (with Aesthetica Short Film Festival)
Derby (with QUAD)
London (with Young FAN)
Cardiff (with CHAPTER)
Glasgow (with Glasgow Short Film Festival/World of Film Festival)
Belfast (with Nerve Centre)
17 – 19 August 2018 Leicester (with Phoenix)

More details at

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Lewis Heriz
@themooks @skwigly Yeah! That's when it becomes << actual magic >>
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James Howard
@lewisheriz @skwigly That first time you see it move is such a buzz and then you add sound and it just enters a whole new stratosphere.
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Lewis Heriz
@themooks @skwigly I know it's kind of obvious, but I used to see it as 'important but secondary'. I don't see it as secondary any more.
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James Howard
@lewisheriz @skwigly Sound does bring it to life.
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