LAIKA & Aardman Animations Headline Bradford Animation Festival
Guests from two of the world’s leading animation studios will descend on the National Media Museum in Bradford this November for the 19th edition of the Bradford Animation Festival, which takes place from 13th – 17th November 2012. US Studio LAIKA (Coraline, ParaNorman) headline this year’s festival alongside Bristol based Aardman Animations (Wallace and Gromit, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists) in another exciting edition of BAF, which celebrates the best in new animation from around the world.
LAIKA’s Mark Shapiro will attend BAF to present a behind the scenes look at the making of the studio’s latest feature animation, ParaNorman, the tale of a misunderstood boy who can speak with the dead and takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse. Mark, Marketing & Brand Manager at LAIKA, will also take part in a Q&A session prior to a screening of ParaNorman in 3D.
Bristolbased Aardman Animations, creators of the much loved Wallace and Gromit series & Chicken Run, jointly headline this year’s BAF programme alongside LAIKA. Will Becher joined Aardman Animations in 2003 as a trainee animator on Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit; since then he has established a reputation as one of Aardman’s top freelance animators, working with the company on commercials, series (Shaun the Sheep, Creature Comforts) and broadcast films (Wallace and Gromit A Matter of Loaf and Death). Will attends the festival this year to offer an insight into his career and talk about his work as character lead animator on Aardman’s latest hit feature The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be awarded posthumously to John Halas, co-writer / director of the first British animated feature film Animal Farm (1954) in commemoration of 100 years since the birth of the seminal animator. A documentary about the filmmaker’s achievements Animated Utopia; The Life and Achievements of John Halas, 1912 – 1995, written and directed by Paul Wells, will have its final cut World Premiere at the festival. John’s daughter Vivien Halas will attend the festival to sit on the BAF Jury alongside Erik Van Drunen from the Netherlands Institute for Animated Film and Pavel Horáček, Programme Director at AniFest in theCzechRepublic.
Additional festival guests confirmed for BAF 2012 include award winning filmmaker Robert Morgan, writer-director of The Cat With Hands, a dark tale of a cat that wants to be human and stop-motion horror animation Bobby Yeah, which screened at Bradford International Film Festival and Fantastic Films Weekend earlier this year. Robert will be in conversation with Rob Nevitt as they discuss his career and screen a retrospective of his award-winning work.
Chuck Jones’ only granddaughter Valerie Kausen will be in conversation with Professor Paul Wells talking about her recollections of working with her grandfather and the work of the Center for Creativity. BAF has programmed a classic selection of Chuck Jones’ shorts to screen at this year’s festival.
The BAF 2012 ident is designed by BAFTA award winning director, writer and producer Chris Shepherd. His multi award-winning films include The Broken Jaw, Silence is Golden and Who I Am and What I Want produced with artist David Shrigley. Most recently, he’s curated the series Random Acts for Channel 4.
BAF 2012 will showcase over 140 films from countries all over the world including China, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, France, UK, Estonia, Latvia, Israel, USA, Russia, Brazil and Canada. Confirmed feature animations showing this year include: Brave, The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists and ParaNorman.
BAF Game 2012 takes place as part of the Bradford Animation Festival this year from 13th – 14th November. Headline speakers confirmed to date include Neil Thompson, Director of Art & Animation at Canadian studio BioWare, creators of the world conquering Dragon Age and Mass Effects series; Lucas Hardi concept artist and designer on Bethseda Games Studios’ groundbreaking The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim; Christine Phelan, animator on Valve’s epic online battle arena game Dota 2 and polish developers CD Projekt RED, creators of the multi award winning The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. For the first time this year, BAF Game, organised by the National Media Museum in strong partnership with the University of Bradford and Game Republic, will also offer pass holders additional crossover events featuring as part of the main BAF programme.
The principal sponsor of BAF 2012 is Bradford College. Bradford College provides facilities for Animation, Film, Games Technology and Photography in both Further and Higher Education
The Department of Creative Technology at the University of Bradford, partner for BAF Game 2012, organises the festival strand in conjunction with BAF and provides venues for a selection of events and talks