There’s no better way to say it, but wow, what a weekend! After a 20 year absence, Lauren Orme and her team resurrected the Cardiff Animation Festival with a bang. Here’s a review of our weekend experience at the festival.

Dotty the Cardiff Animation Festival 2018 Mascot, created by Sculpt Double
Dotty the Cardiff Animation Festival 2018 Mascot, created by Sculpt Double

Films, Masterclasses and People

We knew, based on the Animation Nights (organised by the same team), that it was going to be a good weekend, but we quickly realised from the programme announcement that we were in for a treat.

We set out to see and do as much as we could throughout the weekend, which resulted in seeing over 70 short films and three feature-length films with masterclasses. We also attended many valuable talks and met a lot of lovely people from within the industry, as well as passionate students from across the UK – The animation industry is full of the friendliest and enthusiastic people.

Each of the Masterclasses gave their unique insight into the industry. Our favourites and most valuable to ourselves came from the Hey Duggee Show and Tell, and the making of The Breadwinner, both of which gave quite an in-depth look at how their production process works.

Grant Orchard, Cardiff Animation Festival
Grant Orchard, the creator of Hey Duggee, gave us an insight to how the show was created with exclusive clips!

The CAF team totally knocked it out of the park for its first year, from the overall presentation of the festival in its branding, the idents before each film, the programming and the contagious passion behind the CAF team, ensured you were part of something special. It’s also important to mention the suitability of Chapter Arts Centre as a venue and the friendly staff, proving it was a perfect host for multiple screenings and talks at once, without having to leave the complex.

We’re proud to have sponsored this festival and given it the support to help it be the best it can be for its first year. We’ve come away from the weekend inspired, enlightened and excited to get back to work to make the best animations we can – and hopefully have a film to submit for next year!

Isle of Dogs Masterclass at Cardiff Animation Festival
After a screening of the amazing Isle of Dogs, we were treated to a behind the scenes masterclass from some of the crew

Highlights

Apart from the many short films, some of our highlights from the weekend included:
– Hey Duggee Show and Tell
– The Breadwinner & Masterclass
– Isle of Dogs & Masterclass
– Chuck Steel Exhibition

Chuck Steel Exhibition - Cardiff Animation Nights
The ‘Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires’ exhibition gave an in depth look at the crazy detail of the models and sets from the upcoming feature film

Lastly, the JC team each picked out one favourite short film from the weekend – which was no easy task!

Late Afternoon

Emily exists between two states, the past and the present, but she struggles to connect them.

Dir. Louise Bagnall

Catherine

A tragic comedy of a sweet little girl, who grows up to be a crazy old cat lady.

Dir. Brit Raes

 

Death of a Father

Caught in a web of age-old rituals post his father’s demise, Babu realises the banality that surrounds death.

Dir. Somnath Pal

Notable Mentions

As difficult as it was to narrow down our favourites, here are the other films we loved for one reason or another:

Did you attend?

How was the weekend for you, what did you see and do and what was your favourite film?

On behalf of the Cardiff Animation Festival team, they’re asking for feedback which will go towards putting on an even better festival next time. If you can spare a few minutes, you can help them out by filling out the feedback form here: http://www.cardiffanimation.com/feedback

Cardiff Bay-based animation studio Jammy Custard will be a proud sponsor of the first Cardiff Animation Festival. The 4-day event held at Chapter Arts Centre will showcase some of the best animation from all over the world, as well as Q&A’s, Masterclasses, Workshops and Industry events.

Cardiff Animation Festival 2018 Passes on Sale

Cardiff Bay-based animation studio Jammy Custard will be a proud sponsor of the first Cardiff Animation Festival. The 4-day event held at Chapter Arts Centre will showcase some of the best animation from all over the world, as well as Q&A’s, Masterclasses, Workshops and Industry events.

It will provide local animators and creatives with an opportunity to meet and share work with like-minded individuals travelling from across the UK and further afield, to Europe’s youngest capital city. 99 short films will be screened as well as highly acclaimed feature films.

The festival is organised by the same team that has run the Cardiff Animation Nights in the city since 2014, a non-profit, community-based organisation that wanted to go one step further and showcase the region’s talent to the broader industry.

Dani Abram, Co-Organiser and Head of Marketing for the festival, is encouraged by the potential for Cardiff to continue making its mark on the industry:

“We’re so excited that Cardiff is becoming such a creative and supportive hub. The animation industry has long since thrived here, and it looks set to grow and grow, the addition of a dedicated animation festival is yet more proof of that!

We’ve been holding animation screening events in this city for well over 3 years now, bringing independent animated short films from around the world to a growing community of artists and fans. We hope the festival will attract the focus of the wider industry, with guests and filmmakers travelling from as far as India to attend, representing some of the industries most exciting studios!”

Early Man Screening at Cardiff Animation Festival
Aardmans Early Man will be showing followed by a Q&A with the Animation Director Merlin Crossingham

Cardiff Bay-based animation studio Jammy Custard will be a proud sponsor of the first Cardiff Animation Festival. The 4-day event held at Chapter Arts Centre will showcase some of the best animation from all over the world, as well as Q&A’s, Masterclasses, Workshops and Industry events.

It will provide local animators and creatives with an opportunity to meet and share work with like-minded individuals travelling from across the UK and further afield, to Europe’s youngest capital city. 99 short films will be screened as well as highly acclaimed feature films.

The festival is organised by the same team that has run the Cardiff Animation Nights in the city since 2014, a non-profit, community-based organisation that wanted to go one step further and showcase the region’s talent to the broader industry.

Dani Abram, Co-Organiser and Head of Marketing for the festival, is encouraged by the potential for Cardiff to continue making its mark on the industry:

“We’re so excited that Cardiff is becoming such a creative and supportive hub. The animation industry has long since thrived here, and it looks set to grow and grow, the addition of a dedicated animation festival is yet more proof of that!

We’ve been holding animation screening events in this city for well over 3 years now, bringing independent animated short films from around the world to a growing community of artists and fans. We hope the festival will attract the focus of the wider industry, with guests and filmmakers travelling from as far as India to attend, representing some of the industries most exciting studios!”

Jammy Custard Animation is looking to obtain larger productions in years to come. Matthew Creed, Head of Animation at Jammy Custard said that supporting the festival was an excellent opportunity to connect with others and work towards the development of the local industry:

“We’re thrilled to be a sponsor of this festival and impressed with the work that’s already gone into it. The support they have managed to arrange from organisations like the British Film Industry Network and BAFTA Cymru is something we’re all proud of.

The team have been hard at work with their Animation Nights for some time now, which in turn has strengthened the animation community/industry in Cardiff. I always come away from those nights inspired and eager to get animating the next day so I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the festival.”

4 reasons why you should go to the festival, even if you’re not an animator:

  1. First and foremost – it’ll be fun. There will be films produced for a range of ages and tastes
  2. Demand for animated content is growing – If your business is looking for talent, this may well be the place to find it
  3. Have a go – there will be workshops available so you can try your hand at animation, whether your 8 or 80.
  4. A chance to network – there will be social opportunities to meet creatives from across the city and from some of the big UK production studios.

For more information about the festival and purchasing full festival or event-based passes, please visit: http://www.cardiffanimation.com/