Students join in major animation festival

04 December 2017

Dozens of BA (Hons) Animation students picked up some top tips when they attended one of the UK’s largest animation festivals, supported by Leeds Arts University.

Manchester Animation Festival, staged at creative art venue HOME, brings together animators from across the globe and showcases new and ground-breaking animation films.

This year’s highlights included a focus on the best of BBC Children’s programmes, an examination of the world of Aardman and a Fellowship award for writer Josh Weinstein, whose works includes The Simpsons, Futurama and Gravity Falls.

There were also masterclasses from leading experts in storyboarding, scriptwriting, and character and animation design.

The festival also featured the prestigious “Short Film International” competition and “Industry Excellence” awards for 2017, and a retrospective on Ivor Wood, a pioneer of stop-motion animation responsible for many classic children’s programmes including The Magic Roundabout, Postman Pat and Paddington.

At this year’s festival, the University sponsored a high-profile event featuring Tom Box, managing director of award-winning Blue-Zoo Productions, responsible for children’s programmes including CBeebies’ Tree Fu Tom, Alphablocks, and Numberblocks.


More than 60 students and staff from the University attended the event.

Michael Smith, Couse Leader BA (Hons) Animation, said: “The festival is an opportunity to watch and celebrate animation from all around the globe, and listen to panels discuss and debate issues about animation. Unsurprisingly, this year’s hot topic was Brexit and the effect it might have on the UK animation industry.

“The festival also provides an opportunity for students to get involved in masterclasses to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of leading animation professionals.”

Now in its third year at HOME, the festival is overseen by Steve Henderson, a former Leeds Arts University lecturer and editor of online animation magazine Skwigly.