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Viewster Launches Big Online Animation Festival

Winners to share US$50,000 as #VOFF5 launches with fully-curated showcase of more than 140 animated shorts from 37 countries.

Zurich, Switzerland –Viewster, the only online video service with its own global film festival, is launching the latest edition of the Viewster Online Film Fest #VOFF5: Animated Worlds (12 – 26 March), with films that bring to life some of the finest animated worlds – from far-off galaxies to worlds within our heads (the trailer can be viewed here). The festival has been fully curated and has a new jury of leading industry talent, who have been recognised by the likes of BAFTA and the Emmys.

#VOFF5 is the world’s largest online showcase of animation content, with the hand-picked festival selection covering the best global talent, from students to award-winners. There are over 140 short films from 37 countries, all of which have been selected on the merits of production quality and for their imaginative scope. The films comprise of various animation methods across 2D, 3D, CGI, stop-motion and cel animation. Each film in #VOFF5: Animated Worlds is listed in the festival catalogue, available to view online

The festival winners will get a share of the $50,000 USD prize fund, making #VOFF5 the biggest prize fund in the world to reward purely animation talent. The final films will be chosen by the jury from the shortlist, following the public voting period when fans will watch, discuss, share and vote for their favorite entries.

The new jury for #VOFF5 consists of:

  • Prolific voice-actor Yuri Lowenthal (Sasuke Uchiha in Naruto and Ben Tennyson in Ben 10, numerous video game credits such as The Prince from The Prince of Persia series)
  • Athena Yvette Portillo (Lucas Film producer of Star Wars Rebels and line producer on Clone Wars)
  • Samantha Youssef (Toronto International Film Festival award-winner for La Fuga Grande and character animator and director, with credits for Disney, Ubisoft and Filmax International)
  • Two-time Emmy winning animator Christophe Vacher (credits include work on Transformers: Prime, Despicable Me, 9, Enchanted, Fantasia / 2000, Hercules and Beauty and the Beast)
  • BAFTA-nominated animator Michael Schlingmann (credits include work on Corpse Bride, Paranorman, Alice in Wonderland)

Kai Henniges, CEO, Viewster, said: “#VOFF5 cements our festival’s position as a global fandom destination, where fanboys and fangirls can connect with each other and interact with the filmmakers around the content. The films in this edition of the festival are truly impressive and are a testament to the amazing talent out there, and the imaginative variety of styles and subjects in animation. Viewster is a global first-stop for fresh Anime content, and our catalogue has a wealth of complementary content across sci-fi and fantasy, so #VOFF5: Animated Worlds will play directly into our audience’s tastes.”

The fifth edition of #VOFF hosts a number of award-winning creations and talent, including:

  • Posthuman (USA) - Screamfest ‘Best Animated Short’-winner starring the voice of Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica)
  • The Silence Beneath the Bark (France) – Oscar nominated short which was also nominated for the Annecy Cristal and won the best animated short at the Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival
  • ARK (Poland) - SIGGRAPH ‘Best of Show’-winner which was also accepted into official selection at Cannes, from director Grzegorz Jokajtys (animation/digital arts credits include Star Trek, Iron Man 2, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth)
  • Golem (Germany) - Won Rising Star Award at the Canada International Film Festival and Audience Award at the Creative Arts Film Festival, and is from director Tobias Wiesner (animation/digital arts credits include Game of Thrones, The Hobbit trilogy, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Hugo). The soundtrack is from renowned film composer Cliff Martinez (Drive, Solaris, Only God Forgives, Spring Breakers)
  • Way Home (South Korea) – directed by Oscar-nominated Erik Oh (Brave, Monsters University and the upcoming Pixar films Inside Out and Finding Dory, Oscar-nominated for his latest film The Dam Keeper)
  • The Gift (Chile) – crowd-funded film screened at over 90 festivals and has received numerous animation awards

Source: Viewster

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