So, after some procrastination, here's the next festival report: the Canterbury Anifest.
This was only a one-day thing, so it wasn't as eventful a stay as Bacup, however, it was still a fun event (despite the fact that I had to trudge for about half-an-hour through driving rain to get to the location). The B&B was also pretty nice (smaller than the first one, though).
This fest did of course feature shorts, but there were a couple of great talks as well. The first I went to was the Bob Godfrey Retrospective. Bob Godfrey is, of course, one of the geniuses responsible for Roobarb, among other things. A particular highlight of the talk was a showing of one of his earliest works, "Watch the Birdie" (which isn't anywhere online), a particularly hilarious and charming paper cutout animation about...well birds. While it's useless for me to say it, I hope you all get to see it someday as it is truly wonderful.Next up was the Competitive Shorts screening (which I was in). The only thing I really want to highlight from this is a film by Tom Senior, "One Nice Family Photo". It has a really, really rough, sketchy, painterly look to it that can seem cheap but that I feel Tom pulls off masterfully. It's not even rotoscoped (an easy approach to resort to with this kind of style).
It also features the best dog I've ever seen (well, maybe second best to Roobarb!)
I spoke to him and he's a really smashing bloke, so check out his website (which kicks the shit out of mine) and take a look.
The second talk was "Baahind the Scenes of Shaun the Sheep", which was, unsurprisingly, about Aardman's first animated children's series, Shaun the Sheep. I hadn't actually seen any of it before and it's pretty good (you can see a few episodes on Youtube). It's definitely nice to see old-fashioned stop-motion used on a successful and wide-reaching cartoon.
After that was the awards ceremony, at which I picked up the Creative Sound Design Award (which I felt kind of awkward accepting as Kenny Evans at Kingston gave me massive amounts of help with it). Tom got both the Technical Achievment and Audience Awards, so well done to him!
So, a short but interesting festival. Next is Filmstock, which was my personal favourite and promises quite a large entry. Coming soon!