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Anim18: A Celebration of British Animation launching at Cardiff Animation Festival and venues across

A celebration of animation across the UK showcasing the best of British talent will be launched in April. From childhood favourites to experimental shorts, Anim18 will run right through to November, with screenings, workshops and pop-up events that aim to put British animation – past, present and future – firmly in the spotlight.

Anim18 will be launched at Chapter (Cardiff) as part of the Cardiff Animation Festival in April, with satellite launches around the UK. Working with the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) and partners such as Into Film, it will take in a vast number of venues and a further 12 festivals including Belfast Film Festival, Birmingham’s Flatpack Film Festival, Leeds Young Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Encounters in Bristol, and Manchester Animation Festival.

There will be events right across the UK including celebratory screenings of classics such as Animal Farm and Watership Down, new releases such as Aardman’s Early Man, and Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, which was made in the UK. Brand new commissions will also be unveiled.

Led by Film Hub Wales and Chapter (Cardiff) with a wealth of project partners, the programme will explore the history of British animation, from early techniques to modern technologies such as gaming and VR. It will complement BFI Animation 2018, the year-round celebration of animation. Audiences will have the opportunity to see newly remastered films from the BFI National Archive’s unique animation collection and get involved in pop-up activities such as anijams and gamejams. They will even be able to smell their way through Scratch n Sniff screenings, and experience live soundtracks and singalongs.

Anim18 is supported by the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery, and by the British Council. The initiative aims to generate renewed interest in British animation, bring classic titles back to the big screen, and support innovation and experimentation by emerging UK animators.

The UK-wide celebration will explore four main strands:

Politics and Persuasion: Animations that aim to inform and persuade, including propaganda films, public information films, social justice campaigns and features with a political message or agenda.

Young at Heart: Showcasing childhood favourites with intergenerational appeal, from kids TV to family-friendly films.

Breaking Boundaries: Exploring the best in experimental animations and technological innovations, including computer animation, gaming and VR.

Connections: Tracing British connections in international animations.

Anim18 will showcase and celebrate inclusion, with special projects focusing on Women in Animation, a partnership with the BAME in Games network, and events for young audiences and curators. It will be the first UK-wide programme to work in tandem with the newly launched BFI FAN Access for All, Inclusive Cinema Strategy led by Film Hub Wales, and will bring together a newly developed network of industry expertise, exhibition partners, and community focused organisations. There will be a newly commissioned trailer to celebrate the season, featuring original animation by Only Motion.

Hana Lewis of Film Hub Wales explains: “Audiences will have the chance to discover diverse new voices and techniques breaking into the industry and enjoy British animated classics, such as Animal Farm and When the Wind Blows, in superb cinema settings across the UK.

“It’s an opportune and exciting time for the BFI Film Audience Network to celebrate the historic culture of British animation in the UK and explore the future. From commercial, to cult, pop-culture and children’s programming, British animation can appeal to all ages.”

Anim18 Project Manager, Rebecca Goldsmith says: “Animation is like magic – it captures the imagination in a unique way, bringing characters and stories to life on screen. The UK has a strong heritage in doing this well, and we are excited to be shining a light on the animators and studios who have produced work at the forefront of innovation since the early beginnings of animation”

Ben Luxford, Head of UK Audiences, BFI, says: “This hugely exciting and compelling programme showcases the striking and unique animation that has been produced in the UK since the early 1900s. In a year which sees the BFI celebrate all aspects of animation we are especially happy to support Film Hub Wales in bringing this varied and fascinating work to new audiences across the whole of the UK.”

Anim18 will launch with an event in each of the four UK nations. The main launch event will take place at the brand new Cardiff Animation Festival at Chapter (Cardiff) from 19-22 April. This four-day showcase of animation will include a preview of Oscar-nominated feature The Breadwinner and a huge programme of 99 short animated films.

The festival in the Welsh capital will also celebrate Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires – the independent stop motion feature film everyone is talking about, made in a warehouse in Bridgend by Animortal Studio. Director Mike Mort will give audiences an exclusive look behind the scenes of the film, with the chance to come face to face with the incredible Trampires puppets, amazingly detailed miniature streets of LA, and meet the hero himself, Chuck Steel.

Sally Griffith, Director of Cinema at Chapter and Director of Film Hub Wales, says: “Chapter and Film Hub Wales are very proud to be leading on this initiative and we are proud to launch Anim18 at Chapter. Cardiff has long been recognised as a home for animation, from the early outings of Jerry The Troublesome Tyke to animators such as BAFTA-winning Joanna Quinn and Cloth Cat Animation, working today to surprise, challenge and entertain audiences. We're pleased to be able to celebrate that heritage and play a part in developing its future.”

Further launch events will happen in England at Birmingham’s Flatpack Film Festival, in Northern Ireland at Belfast Film Festival, and in Scotland in partnership with Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Anim18 organisers are inviting audiences to join in and contribute to a digital hub; a space to share film titles and resources, showcase activity that is happening across the UK, and celebrate the best in British animation.

“Anim18 is like a dream come true! Special Animation screenings and events all across the country! Even better - this spring there will be special screenings of animation by women. What a perfect time to be celebrating the wonderful contribution women make to the world of animation.” – Joanna Quinn, award-winning director (Beryl Productions).

Follow Anim18 at @anim18uk on Twitter to stay up to date.

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