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Cardiff Animation Festival Full Programme Revealed

Cardiff Animation Festival
is due to return for its fifth biennial edition this year. The event has grown with each iteration, to become one of the UK's largest animation festivals. This year is again a hybrid festival, with both an in-person portion 25-28 April held at Chapter, Cardiff, and online events running until May 12. Tickets are now on sale and the full program has been announced.

96 short films will screen in multiple programmes, coming from 23 countries and all in competition for the CAF Awards (including the Audience Award). Plus, there will also be a programme platforming neurodivergent animators, curated by Different Voices.

The Feature Film selection will include Blue Giant, the musical anime about an aspiring jazz musician, Keiichi Hara's The Lonely Castle In The Mirror, the Oscar-nominated Robot Dreams,  the Cesar-winning French film Chicken For Linda and the multiple British Animation Award-winning Kensuke's Kingdom, based on the children's novel by Michael Morpurgo. The latter, which was partly made in Wales, will be accompanied by  Q&A with director Neil Boyle, art director Mike Shortenand and head of compositing Neil Martin.

Masterclasses will be held by some of the talent behind some of the world's best loved animated films. Live-action puppeteers and makers Eliot Gibbins and Josh Elwell, who worked on the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary and Christmas Specials will share their hybrid approach to collaborating with design, fabrication and VFX teams on the new episodes. Animator Tina Nawrocki talks all things Cuphead. Producer Jamie Badminton talks Peppa Pig, as the worldwide smash hit celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. And Welsh Welsh sound designer, composer and voice artist Phil Brookes will conduct a live foley session on stage.

Workshops will include Factory's art director Jamie Stockley on prop making for animation, filmmaker Mary Martins teaches how to catch directly onto 16mm film, and Tina Nawrocki leads a character design workshop, encouraging participants to create their own Cuphead-esque boss designs. The brilliant named One Bum Film Club returns to Chapter's foyer. CAF will again be collaborating with Cape Town International Animation Festival to showcase the best in African animation.

Thursday, April 25 will see the festival's regular Industry Day. Events include a panel discussion on entering the animation industry, funding opportunities and a keynote presentation from Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe and Lucid Games.

A drawing and walking tour of Cardiff will be led by local artist and animator Briar White, while an animation exhibition will be held at Cardiff Umbrella. The 48-hour Quick Draw animation challenge will return, inviting entrants to produce an animation during the festival.  The festival will also feature relaxed and baby-friendly screenings, evening socials including karaoke and additional online events such as filmmaker Q&As hosted by animator and podcast host Terry Ibele.

All events will be captioned and BSL interpreted.

Cardiff Animation Festival Producer Ellys Donovan said "We live and breathe animated films, and the highlight of our year, every year, is sharing our pick of the best new films with audiences in Cardiff and online. We also aim to support our audience’s wellbeing, factoring in points to rest, enjoy meals together and socialise. Inspiring, world-class animation in a stimulating, bustling festival - it’s a treat for all audiences."

 Tickets and full program details are available here.