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MAF Announces ‘Klaus’ Preview, Workshops, VR Competition


Festivals and Events


MAF Announces ‘Klaus’ Preview, Workshops, VR Competition

The Manchester Animation Festival (Nov. 10-14) has revealed more details of its 2019 program, sure to warm up the chilly English fall days!

In addition to the making-of session, MAF will present a preview screening of Netflix’s Klaus the day before its international streaming debut. The first animated feature from Netflix, this gorgeous, festive film is directed by Sergio Pablos, made by SPA Studios & AtresMedia Cine and follows a postman stationed on a frozen island above the arctic circle, who encounters a mysterious carpenter living alone in a cabin full of handmade toys.

Klaus joins an exciting lineup of feature film screenings which also includes the opening night presentation of Steven Universe: The Movie, courtesy of Cartoon Network. This long-form outing for Steve and the Crystal Gems is an epic, music-filled, adventure that overflows with more new songs and music than ever before.

In celebration of MAF’s five-year anniversary, the U.K.’s biggest animation festival will showcase the winners of past editions with two specially curated best-of-the-fest screenings offered free to the public.

Two additions have been made to the Industry Excellence Award Workshops program. On Tuesday, Nov. 12, Seb Burnett of Rumpus Animation will lead a Character Design Workshop. And partners Blu Zoo are lending Owen Fern to delegate a masterclass in the Character Animation Workshop.

Technical director Levente Sipos has been confirmed to join MAF for a Q&A after the screening of award-winning feature Ruben Brandt, Collector on Tuesday. The same day, animation legend Peter Lord will give a special introduction to Aardman Animations’ latest big screen outing, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.

Peter Lord

Peter Lord

Professionals won’t want to miss the newly added panels on the final day of the fest. In Toon Boom Harmony: A professional overview for artists and animators, 2D animator and educator Adam Oliver will talk about his own career and demonstrate why Harmony has become the industry-standard tool for animation production in thousands of studios around the world, offering tips for working with the software and sharing useful advice based on his experiences. In Getting Animated with the Young Audiences Content Fund, the team will be on hand to give advice and guidance to potential applicants and anyone who is interested in hearing more information about the BFI’s new Fund.



Further, MAF announced the selections for the Immersive Films program, which will be accessible for free at Gallery 1 at HOME from noon to 8 p.m. every day during the festival. The selection includes:

  • Nothing to Be Written (dir. Lysander Ashton) During the First World War millions of multiple-choice postcards were sent home by soldiers from the front lines. Nothing except a signature was allowed to be written on the card, communication could only take place through the prescribed phrases. Nothing to be Written is a VR artwork inspired by the messages on these postcards and the circumstances under which they were written and received.
  • Doctor Who: The Runaway (dir. Matthias Chelebourg) You’ve been in a collision. You wake inside the TARDIS. The Doctor introduces you to the person,​ or thing, you collided with. He’s a strange and magnificent ball of living energy called Volta.​ Part surly teenager, part bomb, Volta is very unstable. In fact, he’s primed to explode. Big time.​ Unless he can be returned to his home planet, sharpish. The problem is, a squad of galactic​ busybodies has other plans for Volta. Bad ones.
  • GYMNASIA (dir. Chris Lavis & Maciek Szczerbowski) Step into the stillness of an abandoned school and enter a place where the ghostly ephemera of a lost childhood await you. Recall the particular sights and sounds of a child’s world through the echoes of ball games, school lessons and choir recitals.
  • Drift (Immotion Studios) After losing his compass overboard, our seafaring hero dives into the ocean to rescue it and begins an underwater adventure of discovery and jeopardy. Shocked at the extent of man’s pollution of the ocean, he resolves to make a difference. An eco warrior is born.
  • Action Causes Reaction (dir. Jonti Picking) A 360 VR video for the animated Electro Pop band Savlonic, made using the Unity games engine, which the filmmaker learned to use over the eight weeks it took to create the film.
  • Songbird (dir. Lucy Greenwell) In this fairytale with a dark heart, you are transported to the island of Kauai in 1984 and into a painted replica of a lush cloud forest filled with colorful birds. Here, you are invited to search for the last known ʻōʻō, an iconic black bird with yellow leg feathers and a beautiful song, a bird whose existence has been threatened to the point of extinction.
  • Chuang: In the Pictures (dir. Qing Shao) Travel through the many abstract realities, and through the windows of the mind. You might find yourself in a magnificent library, or a secluded bedroom of a disabled little girl. It’s about self discovery, inner exploration.

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