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Cardiff Animation Festival announces His Dark Materials, Bob’s Burgers, Moominvalley and more!

The festival returns 2-5 April - early Bird Festival Passes on sale now!

Cardiff Animation Festival has added further announcements to their April lineup, including masterclasses and Q+As with key talent behind His Dark Materials, Bob’s Burgers, Moominvalley and The Rubbish World of Dave Spud.

The four-day celebration of animation for everyone will showcase some of the best animation from all over the world for adults, families and filmmakers.

Audiences will get a chance to step into the many worlds of His Dark Materials, and learn how the show’s many creatures were animated. Produced in Cardiff, the hit television show produced by Bad Wolf and New Line Productions for BBC One and HBO, based on the novels by Philip Pullman and starring Lin Manuel Miranda launched to 7.2 million viewers in November, making it the most-watched new British show on any channel in five years. Brian Fisher and Eliot Gibbins, the show’s heads of Creature Effects, will take Cardiff Animation Festival audiences behind the scenes, showing how traditional puppetry, cutting-edge VFX and a sprinkling of Dust combined to bring daemons and armoured bears to life.

Cardiff Animation Festival’s 2020 theme is “green”, and as part of an exploration into how to make the festival more green, this year’s programme will feature a virtual guest. Welsh animator Simon Chong will join the festival via video link from LA, where he now lives and works as a Director on Fox’s Bob’s Burgers after his fan-made Bob’s Burgers and Archer crossover animation got him noticed by show creator Loren Bouchard and landed him a job on one of the most-loved animated series on television around the world. Simon will give an insight into his unconventional career, and what it’s really like to work on your favourite show.

On Sunday 5th April, festival-goers will be invited to step into the magical Moominvalley, with a rare chance to see episodes of the animated show starring Matt Berry and Rosamund Pike on the big screen. A Q&A with Episode Director Avgousta Zoureldi will give audiences of all ages a chance to learn more about the making of Gutsy Animations’ beautiful TV adaptation of writer-illustrator Tove Jansson’s classic stories about the Moomins.

Ed Foster, creator of Illuminated Films’ hit animated CITV comedy The Rubbish World of Dave Spud, will tell the story of his 16 year journey from student film to directing his own series, and the origins of underdog, unlikely hero and unwitting creator of chaos Dave Spud and his family. With a voice cast featuring Gina Yashere and Johnny Vegas, and animation by Cardiff’s Cloth Cat Animation, the show’s ratings have been far from rubbish since its launch in September.

Following her recent Skwigly article responding to new statistics on inclusion and diversity in the UK’s VFX and animation sectors, animation art director and illustrator Tanya J Scott will chair a discussion on inclusion in the animation industry, with a panel of animation and VFX creatives discussing how we work towards a fairer and more diverse workplace.

Events in partnership with ScreenSkills will give new and emerging talent a chance to network and learn from established professionals across the animation industry. Young audiences will get to meet and learn from animators and sound designers with a schools programme in partnership with Into Film. Cardiff’s long-running Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival will bring a selection of some of their favourite Iris Prize-nominated animated shorts to Cardiff Animation Festival.

The festival will screen its selection of 118 animated short films in competition across seven themed programmes for adult audiences and two for children. Themed programmes will focus on mental health, neurodiversity, our relationship with our environment, and will feature animated comedy, documentaries and experimental animation, including many of this year’s Oscar- and BAFTA-nominees. Maryam Mohajer, winner of this year’s Animated Short BAFTA with her film Grandad Was A Romantic, which is also screening in competition, will share insight into her work with a talk hosted in collaboration with Creative Mornings Cardiff on Friday 2nd April.

Rounding off a day of short films, education, careers and industry events on Thursday 2nd April, the festival will celebrate its launch with Cardiff Animation Nights. Run by the CAF team since 2014, Cardiff Animation Nights brings some of the best animated short films from around the world to Kongs in Cardiff City Centre for free every two months. This month’s Cardiff Animation Nights event saw record audience numbers, with 230 people coming together to enjoy independent animated short films.

Cardiff Animation Festival 2020 is funded by Ffilm Cymru Wales and Film Hub Wales, as part of the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) and sponsored by Cloth Cat Animation, Picl Animation, the University of South Wales, Cardiff Metropolitan University and by the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Fund with contributions from UK animation productions.

Cardiff Animation Festival 2020 will run from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th April at Chapter, an independent arts hub and cinema space in Cardiff. Cardiff Animation Festival passes are on sale now, with a limited number of reduced-price Early Bird passes available at cardiffanimation.com/2020-passes