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FMX 2019 Announces ‘Spider-Man’ Talk, Indie Animation Track and ‘CatPlanets’ Trailer Reveal

Sony Pictures Imageworks VFX supervisor Danny Dimian will present work on hit animated feature; animators Sophie Koto Gate, Michael Frei, Boris Labbé and Tomek Popakul will share their distinctive work.

LUDWIGSBURG, GERMANY -- The FMX 2019 program is filling up. Plenty of confirmations can be announced that cover the grand diversity of animation filmmaking – from Wild and Strange indie animation to the Oscar-nominated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and the stop-motion film Missing Link. The Open Source track will set its focus on shared technologies that aim to bridge the gaps between image creation, visual effects, animation and sound. Additionally, the official FMX 2019 Animation Trailer CatPlanets is online.

Wild & Strange – From Black & White to Bright & Bold

Indie animation is playing a vital part in the animation industry, making the scene even more diverse than it already is. The Wild & Strange track, curated by Jeanette Bonds (Director/Co-Founder GLAS Animation), will feature some of the most inspiring indie animators and their unique stories. One of the artists who has been attracting a lot of attention in the field of independent animation is British filmmaker Sophie Koko Gate. The animation director is known for her strong artistic style, distinctive narrative sensibilities, and bringing bold and colorful characters to life. Sophie has been in the limelight of the indie animation community ever since she released her successful graduation short from Royal College of Art, Half Wet. Her most current work includes Darcy A/S/L, produced by Adult Swim, and Slug Life that continues her series of bright and expressive shorts films.

FMX is thrilled to have Sophie and three other amazing indie animation artists join the Wild & Strange track: Michael Frei, whose reduced yet powerful film Plug & Play has been an international success, will kick off the track talking about his latest project KIDS. He will be followed by Boris Labbé, whose latest experimental film La Chute has been receiving huge critical acclaim. Tomek Popakul, who is known for his films Black and Ziegenort, will round off the series of talks discussing his film Acid Rain, which recently premiered at Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

The Art of Animation – Of New Grounds and Missing Links

Danny Dimian, VFX Supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks, oversaw work on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse for Sony Pictures Animation. In the FMX track The Art of Animation, he will give a talk on the recently Oscar- and VES Award-nominated movie, which is the first animated feature film in the Spider-Man franchise and broke new grounds by combining computer-generated animation with hand-drawn comic book techniques. 

Another presentation in the The Art of Animation track will feature a look at the new stop-motion feature Missing Link (2019), produced by LAIKA. The presentation will be given by Steve Emerson, an Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisor. Steve contributed to all of LAIKA’s acclaimed works: Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012), The Boxtrolls (2014), and Kubo and the Two Strings (2016).

Further The Art of Animation confirmations will be announced very soon.

Open Source – Shared Technologies and Cross-Industry Cooperation

Open source software has become ubiquitous across the motion picture industry, providing a foundation for many of the visual effects and animation used in motion pictures today. Developed in partnership with the Academy Software Foundation, the Open Source track highlights cross-industry efforts to develop shared technologies for image creation, visual effects, animation and sound.

The track is curated by David Morin, Head of the Epic Games Lab Los Angeles and Executive Director of the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF). Created by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Linux Foundation, the mission of the ASWF is to provide a vendor-neutral forum for open source development across the motion picture and broader media industries.

FMX 2019 Trailer #2 – CatPlanets

In 2019, FMX will release four different trailers for the first time. Each of the areas named in the FMX subtitle – Animation, Effects, Games and Immersive Media – will be represented with their own trailers, each of them unique in technique, style, and story. After Wonderful World, standing for VFX, the second FMX 2019 trailer CatPlanets represents the FMX main category Animation. CatPlanets (created by students at Filmakademie's Animationsinstitut – Director: Yi Luo, Concept/Design: Tobias Pinegger, Animation: Patrik Knittel, Technical Directing: Paulo Morato Scatena, Producer: Lukas Ritter, Animation-/VFX-Producer: Michael Bohnenstingl) tells the story of what happens if cats don't get their way. As a girl refuses her cat a snack, she gets beamed into another galaxy, ruled by giant cats. Will the girl make her way safely through the chaotic universe and finally bring order to the whole cat mess?

FMX Forum – Main Partners

FMX is happy to announce that Animation Media Cluster Region Stuttgart (AMCRS) and Foundry are once again Main Partners. AMCRS will be back with a booth on the Marketplace, while Foundry invites the visitors to a Company Suite and their Workshops. Ftrack, SideFX, and SAE Institute will offer workshops as well. Allegorithmic, Dynamixyz, BenQ and Dazzle Picture will be joining the Marketplace. Further participants of the Recruiting Hub will be Mackevision, jangled nerves, eder, and Jellyfish Pictures, and for the School Campus, Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences, Hochschule Darmstadt - University of Applied Sciences, and TH Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences can be announced.

Tickets for FMX 2019 are available in the online ticket shop at (early bird rates until March 15, 2019).

Source: FMX 2019

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.