Spark Computer Graphics Society, presenting Spark Animation 2017 in Vancouver, BC from Oct. 26-29, has set up a delectable variety of films and fare from around the world for this year’s edition. The event combines a film festival, industry conference, business symposium, career fair and exhibition, designed to celebrate creativity and innovation in animation. (http://sparkfx.ca).
The Film Festival kicks off with a jam-packed Thursday program, beginning with the inaugural Women in Animation Diversity Awards, recognizing outstanding contributions to diversity and inclusion in the industry by organizations, individuals and specific films. The ceremony will be followed by the Western Canadian premiere of The Breadwinner, with Oscar-nominated director Nora Twomey in attendance. (GKIDS releases the film in the US Nov. 17.)
Opening night continues with the presentation of the SPARK Lifetime Achievement Award to legendary animator Glen Keane (Beauty and the Beast, Tangled; director, Duet), who will present the Canadian Premiere of his latest short Dear Basketball, a collaboration with NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and composer John Williams. The evening will be capped by the SPARK Animation Celebration showcase of the year’s Jury-winning shorts.
On Friday, SPARK puts a Spotlight on France, presenting three new features and a shorts program: Patrick Imbert and Benjamin Renner’s The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales (Western Canadian Premiere), Alexandre Heboyan (in attendance) and Benoit Philippon’s Mune: Guardian of the Moon, and Guillaume Renard and Shoujirou Nishimi’s gritty graphic novel adaptation Mutafukaz.
Festival highlights also include the Canadian Premiere of the stunning Chinese fantasy feature Big Fish & Begonia, and short programs themed Made in Canada, Find Me Unafraid, After Dark, Mothers of a Medium and Revolting Rhymes and Other Tales. SPARK Animation will close with the Canadian premiere of Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower.
The Animation for a Cause initiative returns for the second year, with SPARK partnering with Covenant House Vancouver. Net proceeds from festival screenings will be donated to help the city’s more than 1,400 homeless youth.
Ticketing and full schedule available online.