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London International Animation Festival 2014

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
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What Better Way to Spend the Day than Watching Cartoons?
london international animation festival
Image from www.liaf.org.uk


I never grew out of loving cartoons, and although a little embarrassed to admit it, about half my DVD case is dedicated to animation. Whether it be the Golden Age hilarities of Warner Brothers shorts or musical Disney feature films, I can't get enough.

Some people, however, still think that cartoons are just for children. They couldn't be more wrong. If you watch many of the early cartoons from the 1930s - 1960s, a lot of them have adult content, themes, or things that a child wouldn't understand.

The London International Animation Festival was set up in 2003 to dispel the popular misconception that cartoons are purely for kids by screening a broad range of intelligent, entertaining, and provocative current films from around the world.

Over ten days, from the 24th October - 2nd November, there will be gala premieres, retrospectives, Q&A's with filmmakers, workshops, audience voting, and the Best of the Festival screening. Most events will be held at the Barbican Centre with standard tickets costing 11.50 adult, 10.50 seniors, and 2 for under 15s. There are also festival passes available, which gives you entry to everything.

If you are limited to how many shows you can go to, The Opening Night Gala and Closing Gala are the best choices, because they both present the festival highlights. The premiere will provide a teaser of things to come and focus on Norman McLaren's influences on filmmaking, while at the closing events, judges will choose the best screenings and bring them altogether for an encore.

There are too many events to list, but I thought I would highlight a few of my personal choices:

Flipbook Challenge
25th October, 1pm



A flipbook is when you create an animated scene by quickly 'flipping' through pages of a notebook. Each page will have an image slightly different from the last so that it looks like the scene is moving. For this workshop you will learn how to make your own flipbook, and enter it into the flipbook challenge contest.

The International Competition Programme

With over two and a half thousand entries from all over the world, judges have picked out the top hundred or so new cartoons to showcase over the course of the festival. They will be spread out the screening across seven shows.

Scratch, Crackle & Pop!
26th October, 10am

Discover how to make an animated film without a camera, using a technique from the 1930s.

The Best of the Next

For cartoons to continue we need people to continue making them. This programme showcases the best twenty-five films created by the next generation of animators, from sixty schools around the world. The programme is split into two events.

Late Night Macabre
29th October, 9pm

Truly proving that animation is just as much for adults as it is kids, we leave behind cute fuzzy characters, and see a fearsome collection of 'haunted' animation.

British Showcase
30th October, 7pm

Celebrating our national talent, this is a rare opportunity to see British shorts on the big screen.

Animation Industry: Breaking into Animation for Television
31st October, 12.30pm

A must for anyone wanting to pursue a career in television animation. In this Q&A session a panel of industry experts will share their knowledge and experience.
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Why? Fun for film lovers
When: 24th Oct - 2nd Nov
Phone: 020 7638 8891
Where: Barbican Centre
Cost: 11.50 adults, 10.50 concessions, 2 children
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