Lauren Orme, who ran the animation strand at CIFF this year, chats to YellowDog about independent animation in Cardiff and gives an exclusive insight into exciting news for animation lovers. Over to you Lauren!
Cardiff Animation Nights (CAN) started around 2 years ago after a conversation with Joanna Quinn. She is a great connector of people and put me in touch with Jon Rennie at Cloth Cat Animation. After a few chats, I started up CAN and it has grown so much in that time.
I want there to be an animation festival in Cardiff and CAN started as a means to that end. It became a lovely thing in itself and long may that continue. It was our springboard to bring animation to Cardiff Independent Film Festival (CIFF) for the first time last year.
Getting a shortlist of animated films is tough. We shortlisted 31 films for the animation at CIFF this year. In the pre-selection jury, we had arguments over basics like ‘is this animated enough to be an animation.’ There wasn’t a set judging criteria for us, so judging was subjective to some degree.
It excites me that a lot of film makers came to the animation strand at CIFF this year. There were six continents represented! Unfortunately, it was hard to find films from Antarctica.
Animators don’t get out enough so with CAN over the last few years and our animation strands at Cardiff Independent Film Festival, it’s a chance for us to get out of our bedrooms and studios and watch some films. When I was directing films from home a lot, sometimes I would go to Tesco just to talk to the ladies on the checkouts because I could spend a whole day without talking to a real person.
The International Animation Festival Cardiff stopped many years ago; it was a shame because it was pretty big at one point and I think that it needs to exist. I don’t want to leave it to chance that someone else is going to do it.
The big news…
Cardiff Animation Festival (CAF) re-launches next year. I’m so excited, this has been a dream of mine and a dream shared by everyone that has come on board. We’ve all been dreaming together and now we can finally announce that CAF is happening in the spring of 2018.
Our goal is not to make CAF the biggest animation festival. There are some amazing animation festivals around the UK run by amazing people. For us, it is about being a part of that network and collaborating together to grow together.
I want it to be a social festival. I want people to think they are going to come to Cardiff to watch some great films, meet some great people, and have great times. It is a simple vision but one that is really important to me.
Cardiff will be an animation hub. We’re not as big as London or Manchester but people should associate Cardiff with animation like they do with somewhere like Dublin which also has its own animation festival; a festival is a crucial part of raising the profile of talent in the city.
The catalyst for my chats to get CAN and therefore CAF started was a film called ‘Oh Willy’.
It is a film made by Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels. It has an hilariously surreal and amazing ending. I saw it at Animateka in 2012 and I remember thinking it was the best thing I had ever seen.
I just wanted to show more films like this to more people. 2 years later, we ran our first CAN and the rest is history.
If you haven’t already, check out Dani Abram’s top 3 CG films not to be missed at CAF 2018