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Manchester Animation Festival Reveals Online Line-Up For 2020

Manchester Animation Festival, the UK's biggest animation festival has announced that it is the latest event to move its 2020 edition online. MAF had previously announced that they hoped that by November the festival would be able to go ahead as normal but organisers were making contingency plans. Now, with new restrictions imposed on the UK, it's clear that would not be possible, so instead you'll be able to take part from the safety of your own home.

The Virtual MAF will continue to host the same mix of screenings, panels, masterclasses and showcases as normal, just in a new form, as revealed in the new line-up. Headline events include a look behind the scenes of new stop-motion film The Inventor which will feature the voices of Stephen Fry, Daisy Ridley and Matt Berry. The film's writer/director Jim Capobianco (previously a story artist and writer at Pixar) will take part in a Q&A.  The virtual iteration of the festival's traditional Family Day will include a sculpt-along with Jim Parkyn, sculptor at Aardman Animation.

Alison Snowden and David Fine of Snowden Fine Animation, directors of  Oscar-winning short  Bob's Birthday will be recipients of the prestigious Fellowship award. Accordingly, the festival will host a retrospective of their work and host a live Q&A with the couple.

The shorts programme remains central to the event and the winners will be announced on November 27. 

Taking place at MAF for the first time on November 19 will be Industry Day, sponsored by Brown Bag Films, hosting a range of live events to give animation professionals valuable insight into the industry.  Linking to the Industry Day, MAF Marketplace will return in virtual form, linking animation companies and studios to share their work and meet with festival delegates. Virtual stalls will allow professionals to chat with each other, network, chat and share their work Companies and organisations .attending and sponsoring the MAF Marketplace for 2020 are Jellyfish Pictures Ltd, Marks & Clerk, Animation Toolkit, the Young Audiences Content Fund (BFI), Blue Zoo, Brown Bag Films, Toon Boom and the University of Salford. 

Festival director Steve Henderson says:

We're delighted to welcome the animation community back to MAF for another year of animated activity all from the comfort of their own homes from the 15-30 November. Everything you know and love from the Festival has gone digital from stunning short films to mesmerising masterclasses, feature films and we've also expanded our programme this year to showcase more industry events, a digital marketplace and social events. Going online gives us the perfect opportunity to make MAF accessible to lots more people and welcome them all to the Festival. It’s with thanks to the valued and continued support of our partners and sponsors that after a heck of a year, we’ve got a programme that everyone can enjoy and we look forward to welcoming friends old and new to MAF 2020.


Manchester Animation Festival takes place November 15-30 and tickets and passes are on sale now. Passes are £25, with an Early Bird Discounted price of £20 available until October 21. Otherwise individual events are £5, with workshops priced at £12. The pass does not include feature films or workshops as places are limited but pass holders can receive a discount on feature films as an add-on.

Events listed as 'Live' will also be viewable afterwards, but events listed as 'Live Only' will not. Select events will be viewable worldwide, the rest will only be viewable in the UK.

For full details and to buy passes or tickets, visit the festival website here.