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2011 Melbourne International Animation Festival (MIAF)

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by Vanessa (subscribe)
WeekendNotes Chief Editor / Chief Writer / PR & Communications.
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The Melbourne International Animation Festival (MIAF) is a major annual Melbourne event which showcases the very best in animation from all around the world.

Image appears courtesy of Melbourne International Animation Festival

Animation in the past decade has certainly grown in popularity, not only with kids and adult audiences (a phenomenon which Salon's Andrew O'Hehr has subtitled "kidult-oriented animation"), but also with the advancements of technology, many have tried their hand at creating an animated short, for example the 2011 winner of the Tropfest Short Film Festival Damon Gameau and his short film 'Animal Beatbox,' which reportedly cost only $80!

Gameau, an actor who has appeared in Underbelly and Balibo (2009) noted he is a novice in animation when accepting the top honour - "I'm quite new to stop animation, but I find it a quick and versatile way to express any idea that may be lurking in my head."

Animation is a limitless artform and the eight day festival aims to explore all the different types of animation and animation techniques. The program is divided into six competition categories;

  • International Programs

  • Here the very best short films from all over the world will be screened!

  • Supinfocom
    This program brings together the very latest productions from the students of the renowned Supinfocom (Supérieure d'informatique de communication), a specialist University with campuses in Valenciennes, Arles (France) and Pune (India). Here you will see the future of animation!

  • Australian Showcase

  • Australian animation is thriving, particularly with Shaun Tanh's recent Oscar win for 'The Lost Thing', which recalled fellow Australian animator Adam Elliot's 2004 win with 'Harvie Krumpet'. This selection of short animated films will focus on the latest productions from Australian animators, who will be on hand to participate in Q&A sessions after the screenings.

  • Abstract Showcase

  • This is the home of experimental animation.

  • Long Shorts

  • View some of the lengthier entrants of the competition.

  • SIGGRAPH Highlights

  • The very latest productions from the annual Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) conferences, which are held in the USA and Asia. Pixar often unveil their latest productions at the prestigious event, which focuses on CG films.

  • Late Night Bizarre

  • As the title suggests, this is the home for the animated films which cannot be categorised! Expect the unexpected!

There are also several other programs on offer besides the in-competition screenings including;

  • Technique Focus

  • Each year the festival focuses on an animation technique and in 2011 there will be a focus on 'Cut-Out' animation, as used in the first episode of South Park and in Terry Gilliam's animated sequences in Monty Python's Flying Circus. This style of animation is still in vogue, despite the advancement of technology, and often it is seen in many modern music videos as well as children's television series such as Angela Anaconda, Blue's Clues and Charlie and Lola. The program will include screenings of the very first 'Cut-Out' animation productions, to some of the modern examples which often utilise software programs, for example season 5 and onwards of South Park.

  • Focus On Poland

  • This program will showcase the very best in Polish animation.

  • New York's Who's Who

  • The New Yorkers have their own film program - so exactly how do the animators in 'the city that never sleep' see the world?

  • Goodbye Mister Christie - Phil Mulloy

  • A program featuring the works of award winning British animator Phil Mulloy, who is well known for his distinctive cutting edge animation.

  • Best Of The Next: The International Graduate Animation Festival

  • View the latest productions from up and coming filmmakers from all around the world. This film program is composed of short films from 25 countries and over 60 schools.

  • International Panorama

  • A chance to view some of the features, which only just missed out on being part of the competition!

There are also four retrospective programs, including programs on the United Productions of America (UPA), whose most famous creations include 'Mr. Magoo' and 'Gerald McBoing-Boing,' as well as a program dedicated to London's Royal College of Art animation department, which is celebrating 30 years.

There are also programs dedicated to Austrian animation and digital art culture - in particular Six Pack Film and Prix Ars Electronica. Two forums are also scheduled, a free 'Careers Forum' presented by Holmesglen and 'Animation 101s'.

All these special events are just a preview of the upcoming festival program, which will be held at ACMI. For all the very latest check Facebook and Twitter and see the full schedule here. For the ticketing details see here.
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Why? The Melbourne International Animation Festival (MIAF) is a major annual Melbourne event which showcases the very best in animation from all around the world.
When: 19-26 June 2011
Where: ACMI
Cost: Single Session $15:00
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