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Hand-picked films to premiere at Animex

27 October 04

Somewhere in the heart of the Tees Valley there is trouble brewing – a cat fight to end all cat fights, a struggle of good versus evil and it’s here for your viewing pleasure in glorious, animated Technicolour.

Animex International Festival of Animation, organised by the University of Teesside in Middlesbrough, is gearing up for the sixth year running and to celebrate the wealth of talent in the area the event will be showcasing five new pieces of work from some of the brightest names in the industry including Good Cat, Bad Cat.

Good Cat, Bad Cat is just one of the showreels being premiered at Animex Production, the part of the festival co-produced by Middlesbrough Council Arts Development and Animex. The film is the brainchild of two of the regions most exciting animators. Up-and-coming Seed Animation Studios, specialists in 3D computer animation have joined forces with Curtis Jobling, the designer of the country’s most famous construction workers, Bob the Builder.

The film features the misadventures of a pair of very different sibling cats. Good Cat is a paragon of virtue and loveliness and winner of such accolades as the ‘Goodermost Cat Ever’ award while Bad Cat on the other hand is the antithesis of all his brother stands for. Bad Cat is mean-spirited, evil and sly with a heart that is blacker than a very black thing that has been left in the sun to dry out, been stamped on, steam-rolled, burnt, shredded, burned once more then painted black for good measure…basically he’s a very bad moggy!

Animex Production has hand-picked five films from working animators in the North-East to create shorts that will be showcased to an audience that will include some of the most prolific names in the industry.

Continuing the animal theme Seed Animation Studio will also be previewing Freerange Farm which is a series of ‘twisted’ animations that focuses on the intense power struggle between the four main animal groups, the Pigs, the Sheep, the Chickens and the Cows – described by Seed Animation Studio as George Orwell’s Animal Farm meets Chicken Run meets South Park.

Other animation treats includes The Stalking, a dark Hitchcockian style tale of a country farmer who becomes the victim of a disturbing bovine obsession by Andrew Johnson. Husband and wife animation team, Rob and Jan Jefferson have created Clubthumb which centres around the efforts of a ventriloquist who attempts to rid himself of his bug-bear doppelganger using fire, water and a snub-nosed .38. Also screening is Parapraxis, a film by University of Teesside graduates Dan Calvert and Aaron Blenkin.

The event, which is being held at Middlesbrough’s UGC Cinema on 1 February, will also include a guest industry panel with speakers John Bullivant, Managing Director of Kickback Media and Tom Harvey of Northern Film & Media, who are also part sponsoring Animex Production. Following this special screening at Animex Production the five films will then be shown throughout the rest of festival.

Animex spans over a five-day period from 31January to 4 February. The festival will include an array of spectacular events whose roots are firmly planted in the creative side of animation. These include Animex Talk, a two-day event packed with talks, presentations and panels featuring some of Hollywoods finest and Animex Game which features a group of industry insiders, including Rhianna Pratchett, daughter of author Terry, spilling the beans about the inner workings of the games industry.


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