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Anim18 – a celebration of British Animation – Launches at Cardiff Animation Festival

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Anim18 – a celebration of British Animation – launches this week at the Cardiff Animation Festival (19-22 April), before taking in venues and festivals right across the UK until November.

The jam-packed programme sets the tone for Anim18 which will showcase the best of British talent right across the UK. From childhood favourites to experimental shorts, it will run right through to November, with screenings, workshops and pop-up events that aim to put British animation – past, present and future – firmly in the spotlight.

Led by Film Hub Wales and Chapter, it is fitting that Anim18 is being launched in Cardiff. The four-day programme will include guest speeches from key figures, including queen of Welsh animation Joanna Quinn, and the unveiling of a newly commissioned animated trailer (created by Only Motion).

Audiences will also have the opportunity to come face to face with the puppets and miniature sets that feature in the Bridgend-made stop motion film Chuck Steel: Night of The Trampires.

Bridget Phelan, Art Director of Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires working on puppets ahead of Cardiff Animation Festival this weekend which kicks off Anim18 – a UK wide celebration of British animation.

Cardiff Animation Festival will continue throughout the weekend (19th-22nd April), featuring a preview of Oscar-nominated feature The Breadwinner and a huge programme of 99 short animated films. There will also be masterclasses, filmmaker Q&As as well as behind-the-scenes screenings, industry events, panels and parties.

Working with the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) and partners such as Into Film, Anim18 will take in a vast number of venues and a further 12 festivals including Belfast Film Festival, Birmingham’s Flatpack Film Festival, Leeds Young Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Encounters in Bristol, and Manchester Animation Festival.

Hana Lewis of Film Hub Wales ahead of the launch of Anim18 – a UK wide celebration of British animation.

Sally Griffith, Director of Cinema at Chapter and Director of Film Hub Wales, says:

Chapter and Film Hub Wales are very proud to be leading on this initiative and we are proud to launch Anim18 at Chapter. Cardiff has long been recognised as a home for animation, from the early outings of Jerry The Troublesome Tyke to animators such as BAFTA-winning 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.

Lauren Orme, Director of Cardiff Animation Festival and independent animator, says:

The work Film Hub Wales, Chapter and the Anim18 team are doing for animation in the UK is amazing. We’re building a brand new animation festival in Cardiff, and their support has been invaluable. I’m honoured that Cardiff Animation Festival will host the main launch of Anim18, and really excited for what Anim18 has in store across the country for the rest of the year.

Anim18 highlights include Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, which was made in the UK, and Aardman’s Early Man. Brand new commissions will be unveiled while screenings will celebrate classics such as Animal Farm and Watership Down.

Supported by a wealth of project partners, the UK celebration is set to explore the history of British animation, from early techniques to modern technologies such as gaming and VR. The programme complements BFI Animation 2018, the year-round celebration of animation.

Hana Lewis of Film Hub Wales explains:

Audiences will have the chance to discover diverse new voices and techniques breaking into the industry and enjoy British animated classics, such as Animal Farm and When the Wind Blows, in superb cinema settings across the UK.

“It’s an opportune and exciting time for the BFI Film Audience Network to celebrate the historic culture of British animation in the UK and explore the future. From commercial, to cult, pop-culture and children’s programming, British animation can appeal to all ages.

Audiences will have the opportunity 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.

Anim18 is supported by the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery, and by the British Council and Arts Council England. The initiative aims to generate renewed interest in British animation, bring classic titles back to the big screen, and support innovation and experimentation by emerging UK animators.

Ben Luxford, Head of UK Audiences, BFI, says:

This hugely exciting and compelling programme showcases the striking and unique animation that has been produced in the UK since the early 1900s. In a year which sees the BFI celebrate all aspects of animation we are especially happy to support Film Hub Wales in bringing this varied and fascinating work to new audiences across the whole of the UK.

The UK-wide celebration will explore four main strands:

  • Politics and Persuasion: Animations that aim to inform and persuade, including  propaganda films, public information films, social justice campaigns and features with a political message or agenda.
  • Young at Heart: Showcasing childhood favourites with intergenerational appeal, from kids TV to family-friendly films.
  • Breaking Boundaries: Exploring the best in experimental animations and technological innovations, including computer animation, gaming and VR.
  • Connections: Tracing British connections in international animations.

Showcasing and celebrating inclusion, special projects will focus on Women in Animation while activities are also planned in partnership with the BAME in Games network. There will also be events for young audiences and curators.  It will be the first UK-wide programme to work in tandem with the newly launched BFI FAN Access for All, Inclusive Cinema Strategy led by Film Hub Wales, and will bring together a newly developed network of industry expertise, exhibition partners, and community focused organisations.

Further launch events will happen in England at Birmingham’s Flatpack Film Festival, in Northern Ireland at Belfast Film Festival, and in Scotland in partnership with Edinburgh International Film Festival.

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 Listings and further information below.

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