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London Animation Fest Announces 2012 Lineup

The London International Animation Festival returns to the Barbican for its second year with an exciting and intriguing collection of animated films from around the world.

The London International Animation Festival (LIAF) is the UK’s largest festival of its kind with 280 films from 30 countries and with 10 competitive categories, featuring the whole spectrum of creative animation. The magnificent programme will features several British premieres alongside a selection of exciting satellite events, while overall showcasing the very best in new animation from around the world.

The festival will open on 25 October with a preview of For No Good Reason, a film that explores the connection between life and art through the eyes of iconic artist Ralph Steadman who will attend the screening for a post-screening discussion along with Charlie Paul (director) and Kevin Richards (animation director).

Among the many other highlights are the never-before-seen pilot films of the iconic Klasky Csupo Studios in California (who made the original Simpsons shorts, Rugrats and Duckman); a look at the emerging Japanese animation scene, including a masterclass and screening with the most internationally successful short-form auteur animator Koji Yamamura; and from the Czech Republic music video director Tomás Lumák will presenthis feature film debut Alois Nebel (Czech Republic 2011).

The festival will also be home to a variety of ScreenTalks and special presentations including a 2-day industry event in which topics such as The Future of Animation in the UK and The Art of Animated Film Titles will be explored. There are also several programmes and hands on workshops especially for children including the Make a Spooky Film Workshop in which BAFTA award-winning Kevin Griffiths will guide audiences through the various stages of ‘cut-out’ animation and the art of adding spooky soundtracks.

The festival will wrap up with Best of the Fest, showcasing a collection of the greatest films from LIAF chosen by judging panels and audience votes.

For 11 days the LIAF, which will take place in the new Barbican Cinemas 2&3, will be the centre of the international animation universe.

Tickets and programme information: www.barbican.org.uk/film Full programme is available online at www.liaf.org.uk

LIAF Opening Gala: For No Good Reason - Thursday 25 October, 6.30pm A very special screening of For No Good Reason, the brand new feature film exploring the connection between life and art through the eyes of seminal British artist, Ralph Steadman. Johnny Depp pays a call on his friend and hero Ralph Steadmanand we take off on a high-spirited, lyrical, raging and soulful journey discovering the life and works of one of the most important radical British artists of modern times. To top the evening off we‘ll follow the screening with an onstage discussion with For No Good Reason Director Charlie Paul and the Animation Director Kevin Richards about the animation processes in the film.

Technique Focus – Live Action / Animation Hybrid (cert 15*) - Thursday 25 October, 9.30pm

Blending live action and animation has come a very long way over the years. This programme showcases some of the most complex – and some of the simplest – examples of this avenue of animated creation.

International Programme 1 (cert 15*) - Friday 26 October, 6.30pm

The best of recently released short animated films from all over the world, carefully chosen from 2000-plus entries. They come in from every corner, they use every technique, they can be funny, dramatic, eye-popping, subdued, documentary or autobiographical. The one thing they have in common is that we think they’re the pick of the crop. There are also competition programmes focusing purely on abstract animation and longer shorts.

International Programme 2 (cert 15*) - Friday 26 October, 8.45pm

The best of recently released short animated films from all over the world, carefully chosen from 2000-plus entries.

LIAF Presents: Amazing Animations (cert U*)– Saturday 27 October, 11am Part of Framed Film Club Extra Animation, like childhood, can be just full of wonder with the biggest pleasures being the simplest ones. This programme carefully chosen for our littlest and most special audience strips away all the soft-sell toy ads and the over-the-top blockbuster-style special effects and just delivers up a programme of wonderful films full of simple joys. Join us in the cinema foyer from 10am for a special chance to try out your hand at making a short animated sequence with BAFTA-award winning animator Kevin Griffiths.

Lithuanian Animation Retrospective (cert 15*)- Saturday 27 October, 2pm

Lithuanian Animation has a history dating back one hundred years. In the beginning was one of the greatest pioneers of animation, self- taught filmmaker Ladislas Starewitch. This retrospective, spanning almost 100 years and lovingly put together by animation historian Dasa Vanova, features puppet, hand-drawn, cutout, shadow theatre techniques and computer generated films and a very dark streak of humour that runs throughout. Dasa Vanova will introduce this screening and take questions afterwards, along with Urte Budinaite, Lithuanian animator, whose film Independence Day is screening.

International Programme 3 (cert 15*) - Saturday 27 October, 4pm

The best of recently released short animated films from all over the world, carefully chosen from 2000-plus entries.

Flipbook Challenge (cert 15*) - Saturday 27 October, 4pm The London International Animation Festival is launching its first ever Flipbook Challenge and is now accepting entries. LIAF will be displaying the flipbooks throughout the festival (Oct 25th –Nov 4th) and the favourites will be filmed in animated action, then uploaded to social media sites. The competition is open to all and a special Flipbook Workshop will take place on Sat 27th September providing tips, techniques and of course, inspiration. To find out more about how you can become part of the first LIAF Flipbook Challenge go to www.liaf.org.uk

International Programme 4 Recent Japanese Shorts (cert 15*)  - Saturday 27 October, 7pm The best of recently released short animated films from Japan – this year’s LIAF country of focus – opens the window on what’s going on in the young Japanese animation scene.

Midori-Ko (Japan 2010 Dir Keita Kurosawa 55 min) (cert 15*)  - Saturday 27 October, 9pm In this dark sci-fi tale, 21st century Tokyo is a city at the edge of apocalypse. Little Midori is dreaming of a colourful vegetable world, but instead, as a teenager, she travels to a post-apocalyptic, surrealist, and grotesque future that looks like a Jan Svankmajer nightmare where there is a serious food shortage. Neither hunger nor her bizarre mutant neighbours weaken Midori’s vegan spirit. In the meantime, five scientists work in a lab and manage to develop “dream food”, which is both meat and vegetable. The problem is that Midori-ko –a sort of pumpkin with face and limbs– has no intention of being eaten. When Midori and Midori-ko’s paths cross, they will have to fight to stay safe from neighbours, scientists, and even their own instincts.

Midori-Ko will screen with two of director Keita Kurosaka’s acclaimed short films: Worm Story (Japan 1989 Dir Keita Kurosawa 15 min) and Agitated Screams of Maggots (Japan 2006 Dir Keita Kurosawa 4 min).

Children’s Animation Programme  (cert U*) (7 -12 year olds) - Sunday 28 October, 12pm Animation, like childhood, can be just full of wonder with the biggest pleasures being the simplest ones. This programme strips away all the soft-sell toy ads and the over-the-top blockbuster-style special effects and just delivers up a programme of wonderful films full of simple joys.

Animated Documentaries (cert 15*) – Sunday 28 October, 2pm Persuasive, illustrative and able to get over abstract details in attractive and compelling ways, animation is the perfect tool to document someone’s vision of the truth. These films – a selection of stylish and compelling short documentaries contain beautifully realised sequences and some of the most stunning animation in the festival.

International Programme 9 - Abstract Showcase  (cert 15*) - Sunday 28 October, 4pm A collection of in-competition, recently released films focusing entirely on abstract and experimental animation. Outstanding examples of non-narrative, highly imaginative cinematic art and some of the most intriguing, challenging and rewarding films in competition.

International Programme 5  (cert 15*) - Sunday 28 October, 6pm

The best of recently released short animated films from all over the world, carefully chosen from 2000-plus entries.

Alois Nebel (Czech Republic/ Germany/ Slovakia 2011 Dir Tomás Lunák 84 min) (cert 15*) - Sunday 28 October, 8.15pm Inspired by classic film noir and rendered in mesmerising black-and-white rotoscope, this dark-hearted Czech film traces the haunted memories and mysterious visions of a troubled train dispatcher through the shifting cultural and political landscape at the close of the Cold War. Alois Nebel is a sophisticated and serious-minded reflection on recent history that is technically stunning in its use of seductive black and white rotoscope animation. Director Tomás Lunák

will be a special guest at the screening to introduce the film and take part in a Q&A.

International Programme 6 (cert 15*) - Monday 29 October, 6.30pm

The best of recently released short animated films from all over the world, carefully chosen from 2000-plus entries.

International Programme 7 – Into the Dark (cert 15*) - Monday 29 October, 8.45pm The best of recently released short animated films from all over the world, carefully chosen from 2000-plus entries. They come in from every corner and use every technique. The one thing these 7 films have in common is that they are some of the creepiest, darkest films made in the last 18 months.

International Programme 8 – Long Shorts (cert 15*) - Tuesday 30 October, 6.30pm

Some films just need extra time to develop their themes, grow and draw us more comprehensively into their worlds. This competition programme is dedicated to showcasing the best of these longer films. If you find the regular competition programmes a bit of a roller coaster ride, this screening is your animation limousine.

Klasky Csupo Retrospective (unseen pilots) - Tuesday 30 October, 8.45pm Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo created the iconic Klasky Csupo Studio in Los Angeles from scratch in a spare room in their apartment. It grew to become one of the true greats of the animation scene giving us the original Simpson’s shorts, the first three seasons of The Simpson’s TV series, the blockbuster Rug Rats series and movies, the utterly unique cult classic Duckman, a galaxy of ads, music videos and shorts – and it provided a home base for the great Igor Kovalyov to realise some of his greatest creative auteur films. This programme looks at the some of those highlights and takes a close-up look at their best UNSCREENED pilots. A treat from start to finish.

Make a Spooky Film Workshop - Wednesday 31 October, 10am A morning animating spooky films and an afternoon adding scary soundtracks, for children aged 10-14. BAFTA winning animator Kevin Griffiths will introduce the various stages of ‘cut-out’ animation and guide children step-by-step through the process of making their very own animated film. Children will learn how to use a camera, laptop and software to create their own Halloween-themed animations. The day will round off with a programme of specially selected spooky animated films, as well as a bonus screening of the completed animated productions of the day.

British Animation Showcase(cert 15*) - Thursday 1 November, 6.30pm

One of the LIAF’s most important and popular programmes. There aren’t many opportunities to see British animation on the big screen and each year LIAF probably shows more than any other event in the world. This is an opportunity to see what British animators are doing, how they’re doing it and how the artform is travelling.After the screening there is a chance to meet many of the animators, hear them talk about their films and ask them questions about their work.

Koji Yamamura Retrospective + Q&A with the director Thursday 1 November, 9:15pm Koji Yamamura is recognised as one of the masters of animation worldwide and undoubtedly the most influential and international Japanese independent animator of his generation. Koji Yamamura will be present at the London International Animation Festival to introduce this session of films and take part in a Q & A.

Koji Yamamura Masterclass - Friday 2 November, 9.15pm Join the inventive creator of more than 20 short films in this fascinating exploration of his artistic process that will both surprise and inspire.

LIAF/ Creative Skillset Animation Industry Event - Friday 2 November – Saturday 3 November

Creative Skillset have joined up with us to run our Animation Industry Event and we’ve got all manner of topics being covered, by special guests from a wide range of very different areas. Each of them are ready to impart their knowledge and answer your questions in four carefully chosen panel sessions. Sessions chaired by Saint John Walker, Creative Skillset.

To finity and beyond: The future of animation in the UK – Friday 2 November, 10am Government Tax breaks are heralded as making the UK a different place to do animation business. Aardman themselves proclaimed the tax credit would be "transformational" for the industry. So what are the implications for animation companies, freelancers and educators alike. Are we prepared? Will there be a trickle down effect, or will big business be the only ones to gain? We assemble together a group of campaigners, studio heads and educators to paint a picture of the industry in five years time. 

(Speakers to be announced, Please check the website for more details)

Moving Documentaries: animation, truth and lies (cert 15*) – Friday 2 November, 2pm

Persuasive, illustrative and able to get over abstract details in attractive and compelling ways, animation is still being used to document someone’s version of the truth, from propaganda to imagined visualisation of the microscopic or unseen in medical and architectural visualisation. How do animation documentary makers describe their practice, and what is special about the medium? Can the use of animation in documentaries always be justified? Is the agenda about accessibility, or dumbing down?

(Speakers to be announced, Please check the website for more details)

In a world….: the art of animated film titles  (cert 15*)  – Saturday 3 November, 10am We look under the bonnet of the film title sequence; and ask leading proponents how you get commissioned, who is in control, what are the pressures, and how much creative leeway do you have?

(Speakers to be announced in September, Please check the website for more details)

Sound in the Frame  (cert 15*) – Saturday 3 November, 2pm Anyone who works in animation knows the impact sound and music makes to an animated project – but just how important are their contribution in the making of an animated film? This session will be a general discussion, with examples of the influence of these two elements in the creation of an animation project.

(Speakers to be announced in September, Please check the website for more details)

The Best of the Festival (cert 15*) - Sunday 4 November, 4pm

This programme screens the highlights of LIAF as selected by both judging panels and audience. Awards are given for the best film in each session, ‘Best British Film’ and the overall ‘Best Of The Festival’.

Source: London International Animation Festival

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