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Manchester Animation Festival Unveils Full 2017 Program

Festival to feature exclusive screenings, sneak previews, and master classes from key industry figures and directors 

The directors of ‘Loving Vincent’ will discuss making the film in an appearance at the Manchester Animation Festival, set for Nov. 14-16.

Manchester Animation Festival announced the program for its 2017 edition, set for Nov. 14-16 at HOME, the city’s center for international contemporary art, theater, film and books.

This year’s Fellowship Award goes to Josh Weinstein. He’s currently working on Matt Groening’s new show Disenchantment, and previously worked on Groening’s pop culture juggernaut The Simpsons. Further credits include the new Danger Mouse, as well as show-running the Manchester-made Strange Hill High. The award presentation will take a look back at Weinstein’s career.


  • There’s an exclusive screening of The Breadwinner, made by Cartoon Saloon, creators of Academy-Award Nominated Song of the Sea. The film’s technical director Mark Mullery will present a master class on the film.
  • Will Becher, animation director of Aardman’s hotly anticipated feature film Early Man will reveal how the studio create their varied worlds.
  • The directors of Loving Vincent will discuss bringing Van Gogh to life using a staggering 65,000 oil paintings; the film will also show at the festival.
  • There’s a profile of animation powerhouse Blue Zoo.
  • Nexus will run a session on VR, AR, and Rumpus will talk about how they adapted Bertram Fiddle for touch screen.
  • There will be special preview screenings of Tehran Taboo, Don Hertzfeldt’s new short and My Entire High School Sinking Into The Sea.


  • A panel will look at the future of the animation industry in a post-Brexit Britain.
  • There’ll be a discussion of the cherished works of Ivor Wood, and an exploration of TVs recent success story The Twirlywoos. Off The Leash and Factory will discuss animating the drawings.
  • Local companies will showcase their creations in Making it in Manchester.


  • The Industry Excellence Awards, sponsored by Sue Terry Voices, awards excellence in scriptwriting, storyboarding, character design and character animation.
  • The Short Film Awards show the best films from around the globe with more than 1,100 films submitted from 70 countries. MAF is proud to be the first dedicated animation festival to present animated VR shorts in competition.


On Sunday, ahead of the festival, a family day with the BBC has some free screenings for families, along with a package of short films for children, and a preview of The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales. For more details on this, visit


  • Skwigly’s quiz challenges festival goers on their animation knowledge, and there’s an exhibition of Altrincham-based Mackinnon & Saunders’ work on some of animation’s beloved characters.
  • A series of workshops provide insight into the skills needed for a career in animation from people in the industry.

Festival Director Steve Henderson says:

“We’re delighted to be able host this year’s festival at HOME and present a reflection and celebration of what has proved to be a very strong year for the animated art form. We’re looking forward to welcoming delegates in November to our workshops, master classes, panel discussions, retrospectives and screenings; there is sure to be something for all animation fans here in Manchester.”

Tickets and passes are on sale now, for more details see

Source: Manchester Animation Festival

Thomas J. McLean's picture

Tom McLean has been writing for years about animation from a secret base in Los Angeles.