Sunday, November 29, 2009

Leeds Pals films now on YouTube

The award winning animated film "Leeds Pals", made my pupils at Kell Bank CE Primary School is now on You Tube! if you've been following the news about this film on BBC Look North, BBC Radio York or the local press, this is what it's all been about! The film commemorates the 750 people who died from the Leeds regiment on July 1st, 1916 and draws on the expertise of the entire community including local artist Simon Palmer. It was an absolute joy to help KellBank realise their ambitions to make this film. To see all 5 animated Nidderdale films on the big screen, visit us at St Cuthberts Primary School on Monday at 6.30. It's free entry and all are welcome to attend.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Notes from a small shed

Check out animators Steve Warne's brilliant post on 4mations "The Astronomers Sun". I first had the pleasure to meet Steve when I was training in feature film storyboarding at Aardaman Animations last year. He was studying animation at the Edinburgh College of Art and had hit the jackpot doing work experience at Aardman. Well, he's still at the ECA (now in his final year) has spent more time at Aardman (he's even animated a shot on Shaun the Sheep) and spent most of his summer holidays animating some of "The Astronomers Sun" most heartwarming shots. He is a prodigiously talented young animator, and a great guy to boot. I can't wait to see his graduation film.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Nidderdale animated film wins 2 awards at Fresh Flix Film Festival!

Well, WOW, another week and two more awards!

The animated short, “Leeds Pals”, made by pupils at Kellbank Primary School as part of my Big Lottery Awards for All community animation project, took home 2 prizes at Fresh Flix, part of the Encounters Short Film Festival in Bristol on Saturday! It won Emerging Talent: 12 and Under and the Best of the Festival Audience Award. The judges were Noel Goodwin from the British Film Institute, Anne Threkold from the UK Film Council and filmmaker Geoffery Taylor.

The film commemorates the 750 people who died from the Leeds regiment on July 1st, 1916 and draws on the expertise of the entire community including local artist Simon Palmer.

“The Lion at Home” (Anim8ed Stories/Bricknell Primary School) was also shown in the same category making this its second nomination along with “Cool it” (Creative Partnerships/Creative Junction/Animation Station/North Oxfordshire Academy) which was nominated in the 13-15 category.

Kellbank Primary took their pupils all the way to Bristol to see their film play in the festival. The film was up against live action as well as animated films, which makes it even more satisfying.

Head Teacher Kathleen Allison said, “I thought the whole event was fantastic. For our pupils to see their work brought to life on the big screen, was an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

Commenting of their success, pupils said:

“I was speechless when I found out we had won because there were so many good films.”

“I was amazed to win because we are such a small school and it was such a big competition.”

“I really enjoyed the whole experience, drawing the soldiers and making the animation. Winning was just the best.”

Encounters is the umbrella title for two of the UK's leading film festivals, now combined, with a host of cross-over attractions, at venues in and around the Harbourside area of Bristol, UK. . Kell Bank Primary School will creating their next animation entry with the help of an HD Web Cam and some Pro Animate animation software thanks to prize sponsor Kudlian Software.

The resulting films can be seen closer to home at St Cuthbert’s Primary School, Pateley Bridge on Monday 30th November at 6.30pm, completing a tour through Nidderdale. Village halls have been packed with appreciative audiences who have enjoyed watching all the films and were delighted to have this unique glimpse of life in the Dale past and present.

Right: School Governer, Ian Whittiker accepting the award. He said, “The response of the audience to the showing of our film was one of the most moving experiences I've ever encountered.”

A special news report was broadcast on BBC Look North Leeds tonight and on Sunday Radio York running an interview at 11am. Maybe I'll see some of you on Monday at Pateley Bridge!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Immersion emergence wins BAF award!

Well what an amazing day Saturday was! "Immersion Emergence" won Best Film Produced by Young Animators at the Bradford Animation Festival 2009!

A tale of doomed love, the story of Sohni and Mahiwal is one of the world’s classic tragic love stories. Told in cutout animation and inspired by Arpana Caur’s painting “Immersion, Emergence”, was made by year 8 pupils at Titus Salt School, Bradford and inspired by a trip to Bradford’s Civic art gallery, Cartwright Hall. Produced as part of the anim8ed stories educational outreach programme which I am currently delivering for the national media, supported by DCMS. The Jury said, “We were very taken with the style, which expressed the narrative very well. We were extremely impressed by the discipline exercised in this school project, which achieved the set task within the self-imposed limits. The combination of warm colours, coherence and depth makes this film an all round achievement.” The school also won a copy of ToonBoom Studio.
Titus Salt School richly deserve this award as they proved to me last year the value of Anim8ed in a secondary school contest. Brining in the music department and running after school workshops were examples of the commitment and value Titus Salt School placed on the education programme. Congratulations!

My sincere hope is that, particularly in the present funding climate, this award will go some way to creating awareness of the value and quality of the work we have been doing with Anim8ed, and help make it possible for these type of project to continue into the future.
It was wonderful to see so many people connected to Anim8ed Stories at BAF. I also presented a special preview of the BAF Kids: ASIFA Workshop Screening. ASIFA Family Learning Animation Project: I Have A Dream, followed by a live interview on BBC radio Leeds. And that was all before the late night party! Quite enough excitement for one day!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

3 nominations at Fresh Flix!

The Lion at Home, (Anim8ed Stoires/ National Media Museum/Bricknell Primary School/ Ferens Art Gallery Hull), Cool it!, (Animation Station, Creative Partnerships, North Oxfrodshire Academy) and Leeds Pals (Kell Bank Primary School, supported by the Big Lottery through Awards For All) have all been officially selected to screen in competition at Fresh Flix: Young Peoples Short Film Festival 2009.

"The Lion at Home" and "Leeds Pals" are playing in the 12 and Under programme and "Cool It" in the 19 and under programme. The film will be eligible for the following awards: Emerging Talent: 12 and Under, Emerging Talent: 19 and Under & Best of the Festival Audience Award. The awards will be announced at the main Encounters Short Film Festival Awards Ceremony on Saturday 21 November at 19:00 at the Watershed.

Encounters Short Film Festival is celebrating its 15th year showcasing new talent in filmmaking and providing a platform for emerging filmmakers to screen their work. Over 150 films in competition will be screened over five days with a chance of winning one of 12 awards and up to £15,000 of prizes. The films and animations are a selection of the best new dramas, comedies, music videos, documentaries and animation from 58 different countries.

Fresh Flix will be celebrating its first year with screenings, workshops and events all in support of young people’s creativity in the short film format.

Congratulations to everyone involved!