Joanna Quinn <3 Newport!

Joanna Quinn and her partner in (animated) crime Les Mills, co-founders of the multi-award winning animation studio Beryl Productions have played an integral part in the development of Animation here at Newport. In recognition, Joanna became an Honorary Fellow of University of Wales, Newport in 1999. Find out more in an extract from The Silurian, our alumni magazine…

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Ben Cady reflects on Ottawa success

Screen Media Academy Wales caught up with Newport Film School graduate Ben Cady following his wins at Ottawa at the end of September…

How do you feel about winning the awards at Ottawa and the competition you were up against?

I’m really delighted that my film has been awarded these prizes. I was so pleased just to get my film into Ottawa International Animation Festival.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to go to the festival because of work, which was a great shame, as I would have loved to see the other films there. I didn’t scour the internet looking at what I was ‘up against’. I don’t think filmmakers see the festivals like that. When you go to festivals, it always feels like they are a celebration of all the films there, rather than a competition between them. I don’t think it enters many animator’s minds that we might actually win something, we are just happy to be in the festival.

I was certainly very surprised when an email from Ottawa arrived one night, telling me I had won two prizes, and asking for an acceptance email!

What impact do you hope this will have on your career?

I don’t know, my career doesn’t really exist yet, so I’ll have to see!

The main thing that makes the Ottawa awards so exciting is that it is such a big festival, with so many interesting animation folks attending. It means that the film gets ‘noticed’ a bit more, which is always a good thing.

The Goat and The Well has won five prizes now: these two at Ottawa (best undergraduate film and NFB public Prize), Best student film at Be There in Corfu, Best student film at Animated Exeter and Best of Festival at Ffresh. I’m sure that these are all brilliant to have to my name, and will help me in the future.

I’ve been able to go to some of the festivals that The Goat and The Well has been shown at, which are really good places to meet other animators, discuss ideas, and watch films. Its also great to sit in a cinema and hear the audience’s reaction to your film! Filmfest Dresden and Stuttgart are two festivals that really stand out for me. Although they are two totally different German cities, both festivals were so friendly and accommodating. I also really liked Flip Festival, which is in Wolverhampton. It’s in a brilliant little arts building, and because of the festival’s small size, everyone gets to know everyone, which is great. I’m sure getting to know lots of people in the animation world is a good thing for an animation career!

What are you doing at the moment?

I’m at the Royal College of Art in London at the moment, studying for an MA in animation. I just started my second year here. Its an exciting time because we are all developing our final films, its brilliant to see them all start to take shape. My film is going to be about people. It will be more observational, and less formally structured, than The Goat and The Well, though it will still be character-based. I want it to exploit the spatial ambiguity of drawn animation: the white paper ‘void’ that can be anything you want it to be. (I have just completed my MA thesis on this topic.) I want the new film to be funny, and it is especially important to me that it is actually entertaining. I absolutely don’t want to make a ‘really arty film’ that nobody understands, just to make myself feel smug!

Any inspirational notes for those currently studying animation?

I don’t think I’m qualified to give inspirational notes! Animation is such an inspiring medium anyway. Here are a few things that inspire me about animation:

  • You can sit in a dingy room for a year or two scribbling away, and then, a few weeks after your film is finished, cinemas full of people, on a totally different continent, can be enjoying it.
  • Its a great tool to boil things down. You only show what you need to show, it can be very simple, minimalist and economic. In the best films, that simplicity hides something that is actually very poignant or complex. Mark Baker’s films are an amazing example of that.
  • It is an excellent way to create performance. You have so much control over every movement, and you can make every gesture count. An animated character is entirely ‘fake’ but it can seem more real than reality!
  • It’s a perfect medium for comedy, but it’s equally perfect for tragedy.
  • It is a medium where anything is possible!

Thanks Ben! Please keep in touch.

Ben Cady’s graduation film The Goat and The Well is one among many awarding-winning animations available to watch in our Hall of Fame gallery.

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Newport animators make Encounters Official Selection – plus festival success from Newport Film School filmmakers!

It appears that the hard work has paid off for two BA Animation graduates of the University of Wales, Newport as their equally quirky stop-motion short films are selected to compete in the International Encounters Film Festival 2011.

The hours spent making intricate models and sets, animating, directing and editing have produced two highly imaginative graduate films: ‘John and Betty’ by Alex Hancocks and Luke George, and ‘The Man Who Was Afraid of Falling’ by Joseph Wallace.  Both films will be screened at Animated Encounters, which takes place at the Arnolfini Theatre in Bristol from 16-20 November 2011.  The films will be eligible for the festival’s Grand Prix Award with its prize of £2000.

‘John and Betty’ is the tale of an elderly couple who are happily married until John’s un-healthy obsession with solving crimes leads him to grow dangerously suspicious of his wife.

‘The Man Who Was Afraid of Falling’ is described by filmmaker Joe Wallace as a four minute short about an old man whose life is transformed after a falling plant pot sparks a bizarre series of paranoid reactions. The film has sparked interest at several other festivals, including Canterbury Anifest where it is in competition in the categories of Best British Film and Best British up and coming Animation Talent.  Read more about the film and Joe’s creative journey here.

Meanwhile, the BA Film & Video students and graduates at Newport have also been pretty busy. We would like to offer our congratulations to Craig Lewis, UWN BA Film & Video, whose film ‘Solitude’ is being screened at the Portobello Film Festival in London this month.

Also, congratulations to Keri Collins, a UWN Film and Video grad from 2005, whose latest short film, ‘Funday‘ has been selected for this year’s Raindance Film Festival. The film was shot by recent UWN graduate Craig Dean Devine, and produced by other UWN MA grads Stephen Hanks and Ryan Hooper. The film was described by Tony Grisoni (Writer of ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ and ’Tideland’) as “Deliciously melancholic”.

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Animation Newport 2011 Graduation Show

We are proud to announce the Animation Newport 2011 Graduation Show on Thursday 23rd June to which all our industry friends and partners are invited! This is a chance to check out the stunning and diverse range of work produced by this year’s talented crop of students, with a complete spectrum of animation production on show—from 2D to 3D via 3D stopmotion!

There will be a programme of events, including an industry panel discussion (to coincide with the Newport Transform@Lab), plus ‘Where Next?’, a panel featuring graduates from the last ten years talking about how they got into the industry. Invited speakers are graduates currently employed at Aardman, Double Negative, Tinopolis, Framestore and Dinamo among others. There will also be a chance to wonder around our award-winning new City Campus, soak up the ambiance and admire the work. Most importantly, the awards show and drinks reception will kick off at 5.30pm.

Please RSVP to animationnewport2011@gmail.com to reserve your place at the awards show—we hope to see you there!

Facebook event now scheduled here.

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Why study here?

Not only is our award-winning course fantastic, we are also mightily privileged to be housed in a purpose built, award-winning new building. Can things get any better? Well actually, yes they can. With a great new building comes great new equipment forging great new opportunities. We think so, our students think so, and I hope you will think so to.

Thank you students (and one staff!) for your contributions and special thanks to Alex and Luke for your continuing efforts!

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Our third year students are brilliant!

Our third year students are brilliant! Really, truly fantastic! So brilliant in fact they have created a blog space dedicated to promoting their graduation films and degree show activities–yay for them! Join us in celebrating just how wonderful they are by checking out their promotional trailer and student profiles. Check back soon for more information regarding this years’ degree show and screening activities.

Further info available at animationnewport2011.wordpress.com.

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‘Pie’ in progress: two 3rd years discuss why Newport

As part of our on-going commitment towards providing students with an excellent learning experience, we thought we would share some of our student’s thoughts with you. Here we discuss with two final year students, Luke George and Alex Hancocks, their work, inspirations and aspirations.

Animation Newport: Hello both. Would you like to tell us a little bit about yourselves?

Luke George: I’m 22, originally from Redhill in Surrey, and there isn’t much else I’d rather do than use my creativity in some form or another. At school my first obsession was drawing uncontrollably doodling over every scrap of available paper. Alongside drawing was sculpture, I have always found translating my ideas and drawings into 3D objects very satisfying. After Santa bought me a small television for my room I would regularly get in trouble for staying up into the small hours watching anything and everything that the then four channels would throw at me. One year, my granddad bought himself a video camera which, naturally, I claimed as my own! I would often borrow it off him to make little films and very crude stop-motion animations with my toys, pressing the record button twice as quickly as possible to get my frame. With my love of film and art, animation was an inevitable choice.

Alex Hancocks: My first experiences of animation came while I was very young and I started making very crude short films using toy cars and bits of plasticine. When I got to school I decided to try and make a proper film called The Shed with sets and puppets etc. The film won first prize in the national competition BECTA Creativity in Digital Media Awards 2005. It was then that I decided this was what I wanted to do.

AN: What led you both to study animation at University of Wales, Newport?

AH: Having been down to visit Aardman I had asked about universities and the best ones to look at, I had also been looking at the Skillset website and their accredited courses which is where I saw Newport. I went to various open days and interviews and the one that stood out to me by far was Newport.

LG: I looked at many potential universities to continue my path to becoming an animator, and Newport stood out to me as the most exciting and interesting option. The reputation was strong and the freedom of creativity they seemed to offer was very appealing. I had decided after my interview that it was the right place for me, and luckily, I was offered a place.

AN: You are currently in your third year working on your graduation film. Can you tell us a little bit about that and why you chose to work together?

LG: Our graduation film is about an old couple who are retired, and happily married until the husband, John, grows un-justifiably suspicious of his wife, Betty, and events unfold to a dramatic conclusion. It is a stop-motion film with just two characters. After the initial idea pitching session at the start of year, it was brought to my attention that my film was ridiculously ambitious for one man to complete. I then decided to approach Alex and proposed the idea of us joining forces, to which he agreed. Our outlook, and vision for the film were similar, and we had briefly worked together before to good effect. His idea had a good plot, but lacked distinctive or believable characters, whereas mine was the exact opposite, so we put my character as the lead man in his film, and the rest is history. In reflection, it was certainly a good idea to work together, as it has not only enabled us to be more ambitious, but has richly improved the creative process, I would highly recommend to any future third years to seriously consider it.

AH: We started out working separately on different ideas. After the initial pitch however we saw a similarity between both of our ideas and our influences. We found our ideas would merge together really well, so we decided to team up and I can honestly say that so far it has been a fantastic decision and I can’t understand why more people haven’t done so! Like Luke says, I would highly recommend future third years do the same. It really helps in terms of the amount you can do as well, we can delegate tasks and each take responsibilities. I, for example, have taken responsibility for building the set while Luke has been focusing on making the puppets.

AN: Sounds great. So what do you hope to do when you graduate?

AH: I plan to try and get a job animating somewhere, try to gain some valuable industry experience so that one day I might direct some of my own films. I also plan to try and enter the film into as many festivals as possible to try and get myself noticed.

LG: After I graduate, I hope to find success in festivals and a career in model-making. The puppets for our grad film have been my responsibility, as this is the path I’d like to start on at least. Although I do enjoy writing, directing and animating, I feel my main strength and source of fulfillment is in character design and model-making.

AN: How do you think Newport has helped you so far?

LG: Newport has been instrumental in my development, as it has provided a place for me to develop my own ideas and skills in a free and creative environment. I have been pushed to improve and strive for perfection. Having such a diverse spectrum of peers has helped a lot also, as it has allowed me to see other styles and ways of doing things. Newport has also been great for preparing me for the big, bad world, as they tell you straight what the industry is like, and how to go about seeking employment.

AH: I think that Newport has really helped me to question the work that I do and the way that I work. I think over the three years I’ve really learnt to appreciate how difficult it is to create a successful film and I have constantly been encouraged to step outside my comfort zone when working and to create films in ways that I wouldn’t usually think about. This has, on some occasions, worked really well, on others it has resulted in failure but all of these situations have taught me something, and even the mistakes have been invaluable lessons. Also, the connection with Skillset Media Academy Wales and the location of Newport itself is a really positive aspect, which gives us loads of opportunities for work placements, studio visits and masterclasses etc.

AN: What’s the best thing about studying at Newport?

AH: I would have to say that the best thing would be the diversity and the focus on storytelling we have here, we’re not forced to study just one medium such as traditional drawn animation or computer-generated imagery for example. Instead we are encouraged to first develop an idea and then pick the style or technique that best supports that idea. This is certainly clear to see as we move into the third year and everybody is creating their graduation films, there seems to be a real variety of different styles and techniques, instead of thirty-odd people all creating the same thing. That might be what some people want but not what I want. I want to be telling great stories and entertaining people. Here at Newport everyone’s different, different stories, different techniques, different people.

LG: The best thing about studying in Newport is the sense of community spirit and diversity, especially within the animation course.

AN: Thanks for your time and good luck with your film!

Luke and Alex’s graduation film entitled Pie is currently in progress. To follow the action as it unfolds please visit lukeandalex.wordpress.com.

www.alexhancocks.com
www.lukegeorge.co.uk

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Newport animation students’ work to feature in BBC4 Documentary

Animation students at Newport’s University are looking forward to seeing their work featured across the UK on BBC FOUR next week, after completing an exciting collaboration with BBC Cymru Wales.

The Children who built Victorian Britain (Tuesday 1st Feb 9pm, BBC FOUR) uncovers new evidence about the lives of British child workers during the industrial revolution.

Newport students worked with staff from the BBC Cymru Wales Graphic Design department to produce a fresh and creative take on the challenge of illustrating historic experiences prior to the age of photography. The animations illustrate the testimonies of child workers across Britain during the industrial age.

Caroline Parsons, Programme Leader in Animation at the International Film School Wales, part of the University of Wales, Newport said:

“This collaboration allowed our students to work with some of the most creative and professional animation teams in Britain.

“It is exceptionally challenging to document very moving testimonies from an age when technology did not allow a permanent record to be kept. By using a wide variety of animation techniques, we were able to provide a visual interpretation which I believe did more justice to the stories being told than ever could have been achieved with the use of actors.”

Christina Macaulay, Executive Producer for BBC Cymru Wales said:

“We were delighted to have the chance to work with the Newport students and also some recent graduates from the animation course. Staff from BBC Wales graphics team also did some of the animations. It was exciting to be able to let all the animators, students and professionals alike, off the creative leash and see what they came up with. The finished film has a real mix of styles and is all the stronger for that. We were thrilled with the quality, imagination and creativity that shines through in these animations and are very grateful for the opportunity to work with the Newport students.”

Jenny Hann, Head of Design at University of Wales, Newport added:

“It is clear that the creative industries will be one of the big areas of growth for Wales in the coming years. The University is determined to help that growth and provide the skills needed. Forming relationships, like this one with BBC Cymru Wales, is very important in developing the skills we have locally and ensuring that the talent is in place to boost this area of the economy.”

“This was a bold and ambitious project. We appreciate the opportunity the BBC has given our students, some just in their first year of the BA (Hons) Animation course. The diverse range of techniques used by the BBC staff and our students, including stop motion, rotoscoping, traditional hand drawn and CGI methods have come together to create a diverse moving patchwork illustrating the live and stories of the children of the revolution. As the programme’s presenter, Professor Jane Humphries points out during the programme, there are few visual records of this time in history – animation can capture the children’s stories and bring them to life”

Further information and a selection of the animated clips can be found here.

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Newport Film School students celebrate nominations for Ffresh Awards 2011

Animators, documentarians and fiction students from Newport Film School are celebrating an unprecedented 17 nominations (including every nomination in the ‘factual’ category), for the 2011 Ffresh Student Moving Image Festival of Wales.

Newport is well placed to scoop the major film awards in both the under-graduate and post-graduate categories.

“This is a vindication of the adventurous and creative film courses we run at Newport,’ said Christopher Morris, Head of the film school, ’what is particularly pleasing for us is the amount of 1st and 2nd year work that has been nominated this year along side the graduation work – I wish all our students the best of luck!”

The judges (all industry professionals) for this years competition also heaped praise on the entries from Newport.

“The film displayed a certain sense of poignancy and melancholy … whilst managing to retain a childlike sense of play,” wrote one judge.

“A lovely film, beautifully crafted. A love letter in the form of a poem. The editing was purposeful and the images truly compelling, creating a unique world. Inventive and inspiring,” enthused another.

Newport film students took 6 awards at last years Ffresh Awards held at the Aberystwyth Art Centre, including ‘Best In Festival’.

What is clear, is that the quality of the work at Newport is very strong,’ said Maggie Russell – the Chair of Ffresh 2010, “and I think the thing that I’d mark out about the films at Newport Film School is that they have a story”.

Graduates from Newport Film School are working right across the film and television industry in Wales and beyond.

“Indus Films has had the great pleasure of working with a number of graduates from the Newport Film School and they have all been outstanding,” said BAFTA award winning filmmaker and director of Indus Films, Steve Robinson, unlike graduates from many film and media courses, Newport graduates emerge ready to work in the television industry – as directors, camera operators, researchers, editors.”

Earlier in the year Hollywood based writer/director Sara Sugarman contacted the film school and was greatly impressed by the standard of the work.

“The work is so powerful and excellent. EXCELLENT. I am so happy at the prospect of working together with our Welsh film school”. A number of Newport students went to work with Sara on her latest feature film – VINYL, shot throughout the summer in North Wales. “Things are going great! The people you have given us are proving great!!!!’, she enthused during the shoot, ’really you should be proud – really enthusiastic!”

Deborah Perkin a senior producer from BBC Wales was equally complimentary about the student work:

Newport turns out imaginative and technically competent young film-makers. I had the pleasure of hosting a showcase of graduate films in Cardiff, and was impressed by the range and quality of the work, from animation to period drama, made on minimal budgets to high standards.”

Students from Newport have also been shortlisted for the 2011 Royal Television Society Student Awards (The winners of the RTS awards 2011 will be announced at Ffresh). Newport documentary students have won the ‘Best UK Student Documentary’ award for the last three years in a row.

“The films submitted by Newport to the RTS Student Awards consistently win not only the RTS Wales but also the Society’s UK awards competitions’, said Tim Hartley from the RTS, ‘the students themselves are well motivated and regularly attend RTS events where they readily engage with industry professionals. We are lucky in Wales to have an independent film school like Newport which ensures we continue to produce the next generation of film and programme makers”.

The Ffresh Student Moving Image Festival of Wales will be held at The Atrium (University of Glamorgan) in Cardiff (9-11th February 2011) and boasts an impressive selection of masterclasses and guest speakers from the film and television world – as well as the all important awards.

Below is a full list of all the Newport nominations and the judges comments:

Animation

The Goat and the Well, Ben Cady,
Newport Film School

A determined little goat, tethered to a well, causes endless problems for a short-tempered milking lady.

“With its short and sweet narrative, Goat and The Well appeals on all levels with good character animation and sense of comic timing, and sound design.”

Vovô, Luiz Lafayette Stockler,
Newport Film School

He was bald with some liver spots on his head…

“A touching account of a relationship told with sensitivity and a good technical execution.”

We Weren’t the First Ones Here, Kate Broadhurst, Emma-Rose Dade, Helen Dallat, Daisy Gould & Joseph Wallace,
Newport Film School

Old houses hold memories and stories of all their past inhabitants.

“A very complete study of what home is, it feels like a coherent and thoughtful film, although it could have benefited from better sound and colour grading.”

Experimental

The Perfect Wrestler, Christian Britten,
Newport Film School

An abstract study of the perfect wrestler. He dreams are consumed by the anxiety of being perfect. Will his innate obsession with success be his downfall? Stop! Look! Wait! Look again!

“What first struck me with The Perfect Wrestler was the rhythm, both through the dialogue/narration and in the editing. The film displayed a certain sense of poignancy and melancholy in what could only be described as the ‘presentation’ of the perfect wrestler, whilst managing to retain a childlike sense of play. It also managed to be experimental in technique but also story telling. The production levels were excellent and the film was beautiful shot with all parts well considered.”

Factual

Barry and the Island, Michael James Moore,
Newport Film School

A wonderful Welsh holiday resort to a beautiful, but tragic mess. This documentary tells the story of Barry Island and explores its history and its slow demise in modern times. It’s a place that is now known as the home of Gavin and Stacy, but it used to entertain thousands of tourists with its clean beaches, pleasure park, and Butlins Holiday Camp. This used to be a holiday resort, where has it gone?

“Well constructed with excellent use of archive and an introduction, which hooks the viewer immediately. Creative and amusing with good interviews and well constructed argument. Excellent production, with good camera work and editing. A very professional and well authored film, which has great relevance in present times. “

Gold, Natalie Halket,
Newport Film School

A documentary focusing on a couple celebrating their personal views on marriage and how closely they feel about each other.

“Simple gentle amusing portrait of a marriage, but very effective as a short film where so much can be said in a short time, and other realities glimpsed at the same time. Good use of still photos and the idea to interview them separately works extremely well. The considered editing and intercutting brought out their characters and gave depth to the simple questions that had been asked. An excellent film that didn’t depend on music and effects to grab the viewer, but on the knowledge of the subjects and the construction of the narration whilst also making a comment on relationships in general.”

Neglected, Réka Roberts, Newport Film School

It isn’t fair to judge those we don’t know anything about, but how just is this world? Is it a world where people who are labeled a gipsy are all treated

“Excellent access to a difficult subject. Réka Robert’s interest in the travellers and her keen observation of them comes across clearly. There is a rich mix of actuality, observation and interview. The camerawork is rather shaky, but her passion to give these people a voice mitigates this.”

Post it Notes, Jonny Lewis,
Newport Film School

Short films exploring the relationship between the postal service and its customers.

“Very creative, well edited, and amusing. The film had a slightly weak structure, but something unusual was made out of the ordinary and as in many good documentaries, the film made you think about a subject in a new way and through different eyes.”

Terry, Andrew Gough,
Newport Film School

Terry was homeless and struggles with an alcohol problem. In this film, he talks about his life, his family, and his experiences of living on the street. He then watches a film of himself when he was living in a park and the brink of hypothermia, and discusses how his life is changing.

“A sympathetic and empathetic character with a simple, yet very effective concept of filming him watching himself from an earlier shoot. Some camera work out of focus, and inexplicable cut aways, but nicely held pauses. Good editing with well chosen music. The trust between Terry and the crew was very important for such a documentary and contributed to the very watchable film.”

Fiction (Post Graduate)

Identity Crisis, Valeriy Eremenko,
Newport Film School

When John wakes up in hospital, he not only has no memory of his accident, but also struggles to remember who he is. When a mysterious visitor arrives to shed light on his past, John struggles to reconcile what he learns, while his nurse makes romantic advances.

“This was an ambitious film with a strong sense of character and story-telling. It also had strong cinematography in terms of framing and camera movement, and a good use of music.”

Therapy for Beginners William Scothem
Newport Film School

A young man deals with his inner demons after his most recent relationship falls apart.

“The performances were convincing and the relationship between the two main characters was plausible and believable.”

Fiction (Under Graduate)

Runaway, Joshua Price,
Newport Film School

Based on the poem from an unknown child runaway performed by pieces of litter from around the city of Newport.

Short Shorts

Trauma, Lawrence Fowler,
Newport Film School

After catching a glimpse of a late night horror film depicting a serial killer terrorising a young child’s house, 7 year old James is let traumatised. Isolated and alone, can the youngster differentiate between fiction and reality during a weekend alone with his estranged aunty.

“The most striking aspect of this short film was its excellent camerawork and lighting. Although its story lacked coherence and originality, this film demonstrates a confidence in genre filmmaking.”

Post It Notes, Jonny Lewis,
Newport Film School

Short films exploring the relationship between the postal service and its customers.

“A visually playful documentary that features a fun, loose style. A contrary opinion from the point of view of the postman would have given it some balance but the storytelling was clear and it didn’t outstay its welcome.”

Ice Cream, Rhiannon Tate,
Newport Film School

On a small beach in West Wales an Ice Cream vendor explains whats makes the place he lives and works at special.

“Fun observational documentary that features a very open and enthusiastic couple as its central characters. Although I would have liked to have known more about their motives, fellow vendors and some of the negative sides to selling ice cream at such a remote location, the fresh camerawork and confident editing kept me interested.”

Runaway, Joshua Price,
Newport Film School

Based on the poem from an unknown child runaway performed by pieces of litter from around the city of Newport.

“A pleasant surprise and an effective treatment of what could have been a heavy, overworked storyline. The idea could have gone further and used the environment and animation more inventively but the reveal of the true story gave it an emotional punch beyond standard drama.”

Welsh Language

Annwyl Plant, Catrin Doyle,
Newport Film School

Letter from a mother to her children; a tender expression of the inner world of a parent, her secrets and worries about the future.

“A lovely film, beautifully crafted. A love letter in the form of a poem. The editing was purposeful and the images truly compelling, creating a unique world. Inventive and inspiring.”

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Start as we mean to go on…

We are massively proud of the work our talented students produce here at Newport and it seems it is not just ourselves who appreciate the products of their labour. We can think of no better way to celebrate the launch of our new blog site devoted to showcasing our students’ work than to celebrate how others choose to celebrate our talent.

The animation festival circuit is of vital importance – for us, the very heart of the animation industry as a whole. Not only is it a great way to showcase new talent, but also—and perhaps even more importantly in this age of “social media”—as a way to get to meet people, face to face, in person. Without developing “networking skills”, many of our would-be-directors-of-tomorrow may well never get their work seen by those that really matter, the industry.

So it is somewhat overwhelming to discover that not one, not two, but THREE of our multi-award-winning graduate films (plus one additional film made by a graduate after he graduated!) have been so highly honoured as to be included in Acme Filmworks’ The Animation Show of Shows!

Since 1998, The Animation Show of Shows has selected the best in animated short films from the world’s most renowned animation festivals and presented them at the major animation studios to inspire their animators and directors. Now for the first time ever, the films featured in The Animation Show of Shows are available in this special DVD collection along with some of the most memorable animated short films of all time.

Here is a list of the relevant films as they appear in each volume:

Volume 2:

ASTRONAUTS
by Matthew Walker
* Best Graduation Film, Annecy International Animation Film Festival

Volume 24:

t.o.m.
by Dan Gray and Tom Brown
* Best Graduation Film, Annecy International Animation Film Festival

Volume 27:

KEITH REYNOLDS CAN’T MAKE IT TONIGHT
by Felix Massie
* Best Student Short, Anima Film Festival

Volume 34:

JOHN AND KAREN
by Matthew Walker
* Best Television Animation for Adults, Ottawa International Animation Film Festival

What those-that-matter have to say about these DVDs:

“Unfettered invention, heart, and ingenuity – these are the films that remind me why I love animation.”
– Chris Wedge, Director, Ice Age

“Here we have art and fun mixed together in the best possible way.”
– Ed Catmull, President, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios

“Animated Shorts are where animators can really push the limits of what animation can do! They can experiment with new techniques and methods of storytelling. These DVDs bring together some of the best shorts produced by some of the best filmmakers working today, doing things that can only be done in this amazing medium.”
– Pete Doctor, Director of Monster’s Inc.

“A rare opportunity to experience the unique and pure vision of these filmakers through both their story telling abilities and artistic imaginings.”
– Jill Culton, Director of Open Season

“These cartoons are the best in contemporary animation: quick, beautiful, funny, and surprising. Watch these inspiring shorts and you’ll get the itch to make your own!.”
– Matt Groening, Creator of The Simpsons

“A terrific collection – each a small animated portrait of the filmmaker’s wonderful wit or heart or wild imagination or all three!”
– Bob Peterson, Co-Director of Up!

We are so proud of you students – well done! Here’s some additional press and trailers for the first 3 box sets:

Check out the AWN Store for more details and full listings.

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