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SPARK ANIMATION 2015 Kicks off October 21

SPARK ANIMATION 2015 includes a special presentation of ‘The Iron Giant: Signature Edition,’ the Western Canadian Premiere of ‘Extraordinary Tales,’ and the Western Canadian premiere of Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda’s ‘The Boy and the Beast.’

Presented by the Spark Computer Graphics Society, the SPARK ANIMATION 2015 Film Festival, Industry Conference, Business Symposium, and Career Fair runs October 21-25 at the Vancity Theatre and The Dance Centre in Vancouver, B.C. The event celebrates creativity, inspiration and innovation in animation around the world.

FILM FESTIVAL — October 21 to 25, 2015

A showcase and celebration of the best of animation arts from around the world, from independent animation to special premieres, the SPARK ANIMATION festival offers a chance to enjoy some of the most recently acclaimed animated films on the festival circuit.

The festival kicks off with the SPARK Animation Celebration where this year’s Jury winning shorts will be presented. New programs this year include a collection of animated music videos titled “Musical Interlude,” “Not Just for Kids,” a block of kid-friendly animated shorts and “Genre Mash,” a collection of short films with sci-fi and fantasy themes. Programs making a return this year include “Mothers of a Medium,” celebrating animation by female artists as well as “Late Night Snacks,” a collection of shorts with mature themes.

In addition to a special presentation of The Iron Giant: Signature Edition, SPARK ANIMATION will present the Western Canadian Premiere of Extraordinary Tales, an anthology adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe stories featuring narrations by Guillermo del Toro, Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee and Roger Corman. On Sunday, October 25, SPARK celebrates the work of Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda with the Western Canadian premiere of The Boy and the Beast and a retrospective screening of his anime classic Summer Wars.

Proceeds from the Film Festival screenings from October 21-24 go to the Breakfast Club of Canada, an organization that provides breakfasts to 150,000 students every day in 1,328 schools across Canada.

Proceeds from the October 25 screenings will go to the Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) Care Fund in memory of VIFF’s and Vancity Theatre’s Sumit Guha. Sumit was an invaluable supporter of SPARK.  

Festival Films: $10 to $14 / Group Discounts available


The Spark Animation Festival in partnership with WIA (Women in Animation) will also present “Make it your business! A symposium on the art and industry of animation.” The Symposium will consider the role of women in the animation industry today and provide insight from some of the world’s top animation filmmakers, producers and executives on how to take your project from concept and pitch, to financing, through to monetization. This promises to be a very special and exciting day. #SPARKWIA

There is a great lineup of over 20 guest speakers, including:

  • Brandon Oldenburg, Moonbot Studios
  • Daisuke “Zen” Miyake, Tonko House
  • Delna Bhesania, Bardel Entertainment
  • Jenna Boyd, former VP Animation Development, Nickelodeon
  • Kirsten Newlands, DHX Media
  • Warren Franklin, Comic Animations -- and more…

Regular: $70 // Students with ID: $50

The Business Symposium Day Pass will provide access to all the business panels, closing keynote and the cocktail reception.

CONFERENCE -- October 23 to 24, 2015

Featuring speakers from Pixar, Walt Disney Animation, Aardman, Blue Sky, Moonbot Studios and Cartoon Network, who have worked on many blockbuster films such as Frozen, Big Hero 6, Fantasia 2000, The Emperor’s New Groove, Finding Nemo, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, SpongeBob Squarepants and Adventure Time, to name but a few.

A Conference highlight presentation is “Getting Under the Hood: Remastering The Iron Giant.” Beautifully made, The Iron Giant is a perfect blend of computer and traditional animation. This very special panel brings together animators from the original, as well as those that worked on the new version including: Ken Duncan, Michel Gagné, Wendy Perdue and Dennis Venizelos. If you missed seeing it 16 years ago, The Iron Giant: Signature Edition will be screened immediately following this unique conference panel.

Other highlights include: “The Super Story Behind the Pixar Short Sanjay's Super Team,” Blue Sky Studio’s “The Peanuts Movie: Bringing Iconic Characters to Life,” Disney Animation Studios character designers Jin Kim and Borja Montoro, and Kent Osborne, the Emmy Award-winning head writer of Adventure Time.

Individual conference presentations: $25 each.

CAREER FAIR -- October 24, 2014

Don't forget to polish those demo reels, dust off your resumes, and prepare your questions for this year's top recruiters. A full list of participating studios is available online. Visit often!

Career Fair: Free (registration required)

Source: Spark Computer Graphics Society 

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.