Manchester Animation Festival showcases the best and brightest talent in animation

Loving Vincent

Manchester Animation Festival returns on 14-16 November. The packed three-day event will showcase the best and brightest talent the animation industry has to offer. The festival is in its third year at HOME will feature a whole host of activities and events.

Selected highlights include an exclusive screening of The Breadwinner, made by Ireland's Cartoon Saloon, creators of Acadamy-Award Nominated Song of the Sea. The film's Technical Director Mark Mullery will present a masterclass on the highly anticipated film.

Will Becher, animation director of Aardman’s hotly anticipated feature film Early Man will reveal how the studio creates their varied worlds. The directors of Loving Vincent will discuss bringing Van Gogh to life using a staggering 65,000 oil paintings; the film will also show at the festival.

There’s a profile of animation powerhouse Blue Zoo. Nexus will run a session on VR, AR, and Rumpus will talk about how they adapted Bertram Fiddle for touch screen. And there will be special preview screenings of Tehran Taboo, Don Hertzfeldt’s new short and My Entire High School Sinking Into The Sea.

Elsewhere, there'll be the Fellowship Award, which this year goes to Josh Weinstein. He's currently working on Matt Groening's new show Disenchantment and previously worked on Groening's pop culture juggernaut, The Simpsons. Further credits include the new Danger Mouse, as well as show-running the Manchester- made Strange Hill High. The award presentation will take a look back at Josh’s incredible career.

The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner

The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales

The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales

A panel will look at the future of the animation industry in a post-Brexit Britain. There’ll be a discussion of the cherished works of Ivor Wood, and an exploration of TVs recent success story The Twirlywoos. Off The Leash and Factory will discuss animating the drawings. Local companies will showcase their creations in Making it in Manchester.

You can also expect the Industry Excellence Awards, sponsored by Sue Terry Voices, awards excellence in scriptwriting, storyboarding, character design and character animation. As well as the Short Film Awards, which show the best films from around the globe with over 1,100 films submitted from 70 countries.

On Sunday, ahead of the festival, a family day with the BBC has some free screenings for families, along with a package of short films for children, and a preview of The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales.

And if that wasn't enough, Skwigly’s quiz challenges festival goers on their animation knowledge, and there’s an exhibition of Altrincham-based Mackinnon & Saunders’ work on some of animation’s beloved characters. A series of workshops provide insight into the skills needed for a career in animation from people in the industry.

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Main image: Loving Vincent