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Manchester Animation Festival Becomes Academy Award Qualifying Festival


The Manchester Animation Festival is the largest animation event in the UK. It has now been announced that has been selected as an Academy Award-qualifying festival. It is the only animation event in the UK and the only Manchester film festival to earn the honour. Only a handful of festivals in the UK qualify.

So what exactly does it mean? It means that winners of MAF's Short Film awards are eligible to be submitted for the Best Animated Short award at the Oscars, without requiring the standard theatrical run. Providing the film otherwise complies with Academy rules. 

Manchester Animation Festival was established in 2015, and has gone on to become the biggest event of its kind in Britain. It takes place over six days and includes screenings, film competitions, workshops, panels, talks and masterclasses, as well as expanding to include a family day and industry forum. Past guests have included top talent from Aardman, Cartoon Saloon, ILM, Blue Zoo,  Locksmith Animation, Netflix, Walt Disney Animation Studios and more.

"It’s an honour to represent both Manchester and the UK animation community by being listed alongside some of the most prestigious film events in the world as an Academy-qualifying festival," said Festival Director Steve Henderson. "We look forward to welcoming audiences and showcasing some of the best animated short films from around the world in Manchester this November."

The festival is open to entries until July 28. Winners of the awards will be presented with the iconic statuettes designed by Mackinnon & Saunders, who produced the puppets for Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio and Fantastic Mr Fox.

The 2023 Manchester Animation festival will take place 12-17 November at Home Manchester.