Melbourne Amateur Animation Festival kicks of tomorrow night, for one night only. We've been here in Australia now for a couple of months, and we've discovered a city full of animation activity.
We moved to Australia back in June of this year, with some inclination that there was a lot of animation activity in the city of Melbourne. We knew that Adam Elliot (the director of Mary and Max and the Academy Award-winning Harvey Krumpet) had a studio in the city, and that young gun Darcy Prendergast was in here too. Of course the festival was on our radar too. We didn’t know much beyond that. Since arriving, things haven’t stopped; we’ve been really pleasantly surprised! There is a constant flow of design and animation-related events happening here, and tomorrow night, the Melbourne Amateur Animation Festival kicks off! Immediately after arriving on June 15th we had the honor and pleasure to work as Judges for the Melbourne International Animation Festival (www.miaf.net). Malcolm Turner was a brilliant host and we had the opportunity to see the full selection of films screened at the festival. Being a judge also compensated for the fact that we had missed Annecy Animation Festival. We selected, along with our co-judge Andrew Hagan, “In the Air”, by Estonian filmmaker Martinus Klemet. It’s a really fantastic film and we hope that it continues to get plenty of exposure. We’re setting up our studio now in a fantastic deco building in the centre of the city, and have recently completed our company website (www.pachinkopictures.com). We’re really diving headfirst into the Australian Animation Scene! There is an incredible diversity of animation activity in the city, from production through to festivals and education. There are a large number of graphic design companies here in Melbourne, and the city is truly driven by a creative engine. Those same companies are moving into the area of animation and motion graphics, and so you tend to see a lot of animation coming from many different angles. While Sydney claims to be the heart of “commercial” animation, Melbourne seems to be the city with the creative edge in Australia. We’re going to maintain a regular account of the animation (and games) activity here in the city, and in the country to be best of our ability. It would be really great to see Australian animation represented more on the world stage! Tomorrow night sees the launch of the Melbourne Amateur Animation Festival (http://www.melbourneamateuranimationfestival.com). It’s the fourth animation event in as many months, following the Melbourne International Animation Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival, and the Melbourne Underground Film Festival, which each have a strong animation programme. Following on from MAAF, there is Reel Anime, a week of Japanese Animation. This town is crazy about film; we’ve even noticed how full the cinemas are. MAAF commences tomorrow night at 7pm at Thousand Pound Bend Cinema and Bar, 361 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Entry is $8 http://www.melbourneamateuranimationfestival.com http://thousandpoundbend.com.au/
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