Anim18 – A Celebration of British Animation

Led by Film Hub Wales and Chapter (Cardiff), the initiative aimed to raise the profile of British animation, to showcase the innovative and diverse nature of the art form, to recognise that animation is not solely for young audiences and to celebrate the talent involved in its creation with audiences, exhibitors and funders alike.

While the season has now ended, you can still find programming inspiration and resources below…

Our ultimate goal was to support the development of a more collaborative, inclusive and sustainable British animation sector. We believe our work has contributed to that goal, and by gathering the collective force of enthused and passionate partners across the UK (and beyond) we maximised cultural impact.

We were supported in our work by a comprehensive network of 94 project partners alongside specialists in the field of animation, with an Advisory Group formed of representatives from BFI archives and programming, British Council, British Animation Awards, BAFTA, NFTS, Animate Projects, Animation UK, Into Film, and UK animation festivals.

Featuring more than 2,544 events and 286 participatory activities, our reach extended to more than 150 venues, with work taking place indoors and outdoors, from urban to rural communities, from the UK to Canada, and from major arts venues, museums, libraries, schools and universities to small community group settings.

Our programme was formed of a diverse range of activity, from uniquely curated workshops and events, through to national collaborations and newly commissioned work. As well as achieving a renewed and enhanced profile for British animation with a broad audience base, Anim18 supported the development of talent, the celebration of heritage, and prompted collaborative conversations around the creation, development and exhibition of animation, which will continue into the future.

You can view the report below or download as a PDF.

We created a host of resources for animation programming and participation:

Timeline of British Animation
A brief history of British animation with trivia and downloadable poster.
Designed by Firecatcher with facts curated by Sandra Greatorex (QUAD), Kieran Argo and Anim18.

Animation Pack
A quick guide to British animation with activities to try.As part of Anim18 we put together a special Animation Pack. Featuring a Quick Guide to British Animation, a Pop-Up Animation Station, Props Sheet and tips and activities for programming and participation, It’s chock full of ideas! Created in partnership with Derby QUAD (content) and Firecatcher (Design).

Access & Inclusion
Support for programming accessible events.

Programme Notes
Specially curated notes to accompany key titles:

Curated shorts packages
View the Anim18 Film Directory for booking details of the following packages:

Black British Shorts
Curated by Anim18’s ICO FEDS scheme applicant Umulkhayr Mohamed, this collection of celebrated the talented generation of new black British animators includes:

Leeds Animation Workshop Shorts
This women’s filmmaking collective offered us access to their unique collection of engaging and challenging films, designed to get people talking.

Young at Heart Shorts
Film Hub Wales curated a programme of short films made for and by young Welsh people. The animations tell a wide selection of stories ranging from the lived experience of young travellers to the political histories of women in WW2.

Scottish Animation Shorts
Two programmes of Scottish animation selected for Glasgow Short Film Festival by animator Ross Hogg.

Anim18 Commissions
As part of Anim18 we commissioned a series of brand new animations and experiences, celebrating and showcasing British animation from early cinema to new technologies. We experimented with new ways of creating, screening and performing work, and placed a core focus on access and inclusion.

Anim18 VR Gallery
Working with Derby QUAD and V21 Artspace, we created an innovative virtual gallery for showcasing British animation through emerging technologies.  The VR exhibition space is a digitally mapped version of QUAD’s physical gallery space, with capacity to exhibit a range of animations in 3D environment.  The gallery was installed at Derby QUAD from November 2018 to January 2019, and included shorts from the Anim18 programme as well as a range of animations created during the season.

Featured Artists: Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara, Ian Gouldstone, Jessica Ashman, Kate Sullivan, Leeds Animation Workshop, Leo Crane, Noriko Okaku, Osbert Parker, Pixelheads (National Videogame Museum), Ruth Coggins, Samantha Moore, The Light Surgeons, AniJam UK winners.

The VR Gallery will be available for open access via Steam and online. The virtual exhibition framework can change and develop through on-going participatory work, and will be used as a tool to educate about virtual reality and curation in the digital space.

MediaActive worked with Theatre Severn to engage an animator-in-residence and create a developing installation over a period of several months.  The work responded to the variety of creative activity happening in the building, and resulted in an exhibition of drawings, test pieces, new animations created by young people, and Q&As with resident artist Raj Maheru, plus Sam Moore, Sam Gainsborough and Ed Bulmer.  Work culminated on indoor screens and outdoor projections on the Theatre Severn building and in pop-up spaces around Shrewsbury.

New animation from artist in residence Raj Maheru, mashups of work from experimental animator Cyriak by young participants, indoor and outdoor projections of work in unusual spaces (including underpasses and rooftops).

Sound in Pictures:

Adventures in Visual Music
How do we ‘see’ music? This commission with The Light Surgeons and Live Cinema UK explored the relationship between sound and visuals through participatory engagement with experimental animation. Workshops were delivered with d/Deaf and hearing participants at Stour Space in Hackney Wick, and investigated different ways to interpret of sound into animation and animation into music.  The project worked with a number of artists using a range of techniques, and utilised haptic devices to enable participants to experience sound through vibrations. It culminated in a series of brand new animations, original musical compositions and a sold-out live performance at Rich Mix, London with live BSL interpretation of both speech and music.

The commission acted as an R&D pilot for a larger scale project now in development, engaging with the d/Deaf community and generating innovative live cinema experiences.

Scratch n Sniff Cinema Presents…
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Working with Scratch n Sniff Cinema Presents… and Aardman, we created a fun and immersive sensory cinema experience.  Specially curated scents were selected to accompany key moments of a classic British title – Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, giving audiences the chance to smell everything from bunny burps to Stinking Bishop. We launched at Aardman HQ and toured to venues all around the UK.

The experience includes bespoke scratch cards, number panels, cue sheets and event guidance.

Untold Tales
We worked with Animate Projects to commission a series of brand new micro-shorts, premiered on Instagram.  The shorts were created by 7 contemporary animators, who were given the brief to unearth stories from the UK that have previously been unheard. The work created brought fresh perspectives to the British animation canon.

Featured animators are Jessica Ashman, Leo Crane, Ian Gouldstone, Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara, Osbert Parker & Laurie Hill, Kate Sullivan.

The Untold Tales were embedded into the Anim18 VR Gallery. and screened around the UK including rooftop projections at Theatre Severn. They have been accepted into film festivals and have already won awards, including Kate Sullivan’s ‘The Stereoscopic Society’ at LA 3D Movie Festival.

Scottish Animation:

Stories Brought to Life | Abstraction & Experimentation
Glasgow Short Film Festival worked with animator Ross Hogg to deliver a sold-out series of specially curated events showcasing the heritage of experimental animation in Scotland.  The programme celebrated the centenary of Orcadian filmmaker and poet Margaret Tait, and showcased Scottish animations that play with the form and structure of filmmaking.

Scottish Animation: Stories Brought to Life
Foregrounding early works by the likes of Neil Jack, Lizzy Hobbs and BAFTA winners Ainslie Henderson and Will Anderson, this selection demonstrates a broad range of animation techniques, with works exploring self-reflexivity in their approach to storytelling. Also featuring works by Donald Holwill, Cat Bruce, Jim Le Fevre and Swatpaz (Davey Ferguson).

Scottish Animation: Abstraction & Experimentation
A selection of innovative short films which play with the form and structure of filmmaking.  With the focus shifted to the more visceral aspects of filmmaking – movement, timing, colour and sound – we are able to observe how some of the filmmakers included in the ‘Stories Brought to Life’ programme handle a more oblique and abstract approach to animation. Featuring works by Margaret Tait, Donald Holwill, Robert Duncan and Lesley Keen.

Stop Look Listen
Sensoria Festival worked with to create an innovative live performance combining visual remixing of archive animations and a specially composed soundtrack.  Premiering at Abbeydale Picturehouse as part of Sensoria Festival, the commission showcased a range of public information films exploring the Politics & Persuasion strand.

Featuring titles from 1929 to 1982, Stop Look Listen takes us on a journey through the art of persuasion, taking in the creepy and nostalgic along the way.

You can view an overview of all our Partners, Projects and Venues below or download as a PDF.

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