Teesside's Annual International Animation Festival
International Festival of Animation

Thursday January 31 - Friday February 1

Animation 2002 will take place at the University of Teesside on January 31 and February 1 2002.

Following on from last years hugely successful event which brought together past-masters such as Ray Harryhausen and future stars like Michael Dudok De Wit who went on to claim the Oscar for his short film Father and Daughter, the 2002 event has a hard act to follow. However, it seems that organisers Chris Williams and Siobhan Fenton have managed to achieve the impossible. The line up of speakers and workshops is to say the very least impressive.

The whole event has a more themed approach than in previous years, with each session focussing on a particular medium or subject. Feature films, short films, pop videos and humour in animation are just some of the areas that will come under the spotlight during the two-day event.

Speakers are descending on Teesside from around the globe, and include Mark Baker and Neville Astley (Astley Baker), Barry Purves, Bill Plympton, Marie Manton and Chris Shepherd (Slinky Pictures) and friends from British animation and effects powerhouse Framestore. This years 'in conversation with' special guest is award winning animator Paul Driessen. Topping the bill, the organisers are delighted to announce that Phil Tippett and his partner Jules Roman have accepted an invitation to join them at next year's event. Phil and Jules will close proceedings on Friday.

As well as the usual happenings, delegates will be able to attend workshops by renowned 'Acting for Animators' author Ed Hooks, a firm favourite with last years crowd. Cosgrove Hall will also host a number of workshops in which they will discuss subjects such as writing and utilising Flash as a production tool. Softimage will be back to teach some of the finer points of XSI and ToonBoom Technologies will also be giving attendees a chance to do some 2D work with USAnimation.

The event will again play host to the Regional Screenings of the Public Choice section of the British Animation Awards, where delegates and the general public will get the chance to watch some of the very best cutting edge animation and vote for what they think is the best. The last time this event was hosted in Teesside, the audience was second only in size to that which attended the regional screenings at the home of the awards in London.

This years event will also be screening a number of selected films including Bill Plympton's 'Mutant Aliens', Barry Purves new film 'Hamilton Mattress' and the short 'Hubert's Brain' by Wild Brain Inc.

There is also a whole range of events going on in and around the town centre this year as the event spreads it's wings to involve a wider audience. An exhibition of animation models made by MacKinnon & Saunders will be shown at Middlesbrough's Craft Centre and animation will be screened every day with large format projectors on to the side of a building in the centre of Middlesbrough. The UGC multiplex will also be screening classic animated movies every night of the week to make this year's event a real festival of animation.

The finishing touches are being made to the programme as this article is being written, and the organisers continue to hold back further details until they can be confirmed, a decision that was taken after being disappointed at other conferences where supposed speakers just didn't make it.

University of TeessideUndabo.com