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Animation Now! Great Britain

The permanent section «Animation Now» proposes to focus on the contemporary aspects of animation, analyzing a nation, a technique or a theme in its results in connection to the current state of this art form.

Recent British animation, alongside the critical and box-office successes of Aardman Animations by Peter Lord and Nick Park (Wallace & Gromit), offers a host of independent filmmakers with extreme variety of styles who have succeeded in collecting many international acknowledgments. The range of techniques and expressive solutions chosen by British animators spans from the refined animation of objects by the likes of David Anderson (Door) to the imposing "theatrical" puppets of the former Aardman collaborator Barry Purves (Screen Play), from the scratched and essential drawings of Mark Baker (The Village) or Phil Mulloy (Intolerance) to the etchings on film of the eclectic Paul Bush (His Comedy) and the Oscar obtained for the original visual "plasticines" of Daniel Greaves (Manipulation), creator of inexhaustible technical explorations, the perfect symbol for a school which, today more than ever before, seems to avoid any form of conformity. A school which although continuing to follow well established traditions, like that of plasticine or puppet animation (as demonstrated by the young Robert Morgan with his cronenberghian The Separation), embraces ever more accomplished experimentation, from the disturbing cut-out animation of didactic illustrations by the video-maker Run Wrake (Rabbit) and the grafts on live footage of Jonathan Hodgson (Feeling My Way), reaching the amazing technical achievements of Tim Macmillan (Ferment), creator of the «time-slice camera», which was subsequently used, with enormous mass media emulation, for «bullet time» made famous by Matrix.

With these ten films an attempt was made to give credit to the inventive strength of the British branch of animation cinema, which since the 1990's, has been guiding the entire European sector with ever increasing authority. To this we must add the praise due to the filmmakers and the films included in the « Prize of Prizes» competition, a testimonial to the success achieved by those from Albion: the veteran Joanna Quinn (Dream and Desires - Family Ties), Gaëlle Denis, of French origin (Fish Never Sleep, and subsequently City Paradise), the young and upcoming recent Oscar winner Suzie Templeton (Dog e Peter & the Wolf), and also to the computer graphics generation represented by Robert Bradbook (Home Road Movies), Marc Craste (Jojo in the Stars) and Ian Gouldstone (Guy 101), Aardman's anticonformist Luis Cook (who, for The Pearce Sisters, used drawings instead of puppets), as well as to the aforementioned Hodgson (The Man with the Beautiful Eyes).