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Manchester Animation Festival Announce 2016 Programme

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Manchester Animation Festival returns to HOME after a highly successful first year that saw sell out performances, screenings and events led by key figures from the world of animation, attracting a total of over 4,400 attendances over 3 days. The BFI is supporting this year’s festival with National Lottery funding as part of its Audience Development activity.


This year Aardman Animation co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton will be celebrating 40 years of the studio as they are presented with the festival fellowship award the festival will also screen a selection of their classic films.

Lupus Films will give audiences a behind the scenes look of their recent adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ masterpiece Ethel and Ernest, a BFI-backed film which will be released in the UK on 28 October. French studio, Folimage, best known for their award winning feature A Cat in Paris, will be welcomed to Manchester to present their latest project Phantom Boy. There will also be a unique opportunity to discover the technique and technology behind Blue Zoo’s immersive virtual reality short Hoodoo which will premiere at the festival. Ground-breaking UK director and producer Chris Shepherd will also present a masterclass and retrospective of his work.


Panel discussions at the festival include In the Frame: Women in Animation which promises a lively debate focusing on the representation of women in animated films, whilst In Your Own Time discovers the passion and determination behind seminal projects such as The Sandman with co-creator Ian Mackinnon, the explosive Chuck Steel with creator Mike Mort and the early years of Aardman presented by the company’s founders. Kovásznai: A Cold War Artist brings to life the art and craft of Hungarian cold-war animator György Kovásznai and the Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation share some of the treasures of their vast collection with a screening of the rarely seen short film Ray Harryhausen and Me, presented by foundation trustee John Walsh. The festival also takes a look at the latest animation books that dissect the world of animation and meet the authors behind them in Book Your Ideas Up.


The festival will screen a special preview of Michael Dudok de Wit’s critically acclaimed Studio Ghibli co-production The Red Turtle. The fascinating documentary about determined Disney animator Floyd Norman: An Animated Life also plays. Other screenings include Ethel and Ernest, Phantom Boy and an anniversary screening of the Ray Harryhausen classic Clash of the Titans screening from a 35mm print.


Not to be missed the competition screenings have been selected from over 900 entries, representing 63 countries celebrating the fantastic international wealth of animated achievement in the Commissioned Films, Short Films, Short Shorts and Student Films. Each of the categories will be awarded a prize each, the magnificent “Bee Award” created by master model makers Mackinnon and Saunders. The newly introduced Industry Excellence Awards will award individual contributions to Writing, Storyboarding and Character Animation the awards are complimented by special workshops hosted by Andrew Burrell (Script editor/writer Danger Mouse), Jez Hall (Storyboard artist Cosgrove Hall, Brown Bag Films) and character animator Bader Badruddin (character animator Blue Zoo). BAFTA-winning animator Joanna Quinn will be hosting a Life Drawing Workshop.

Skwigly will be there too, hosting The Skwigly Screening featuring some of our favourite short films as well as bringing  The Skwigly Animation Podcast LIVE to the festival and the Animation Quiz.

Manchester Animation Festival takes place at HOME on from 15 – 17 November 2016. Tickets and passes are on sale now, for more details visit

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