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Anticipation builds for Cardiff Animation Festival

11 Mar 2024 4 minute read
Lonely Castle in the Mirror

Tickets are now on sale for the fifth biennial Cardiff Animation Festival (CAF), which is set to bring screenings of 96 short films made in 23 countries around the world to the Welsh capital.

The festival is a hybrid event held in person from 25-28 April in Chapter, Cardiff with online events continuing until 12 May.


The full programme will include screenings of 96 short films made in 23 countries around the world, all of them in competition for the CAF Awards (including the Audience Award); plus a short film programme platforming the work of neurodivergent animators, curated by Different Voices.

Big names

Feature film screenings includie anime films Blue Giant based on a Japanese jazz-themed manga series in which a high-school student follows his dream of becoming a saxophonist and Keiichi Hara’s Lonely Castle in the Mirror, about a group of schoolchildren who discover a magical portal to a castle on an island; Spanish-French speechless tragicomedy and Academy Award-nominee Robot Dreams, which follows the friendship between a dog and a robot; Chicken for Linda, a French-Italian film about the precarious joys of childhood; and Kensuke’s Kingdom, a UK adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s children’s book of the same name, featuring the voices of Sally Hawkins, Cillian Murphy and Ken Watanabe, made in part in Wales and funded by Ffilm Cymru Wales. A Q&A with director Neil Boyle, art director Mike Shortenand and head of compositing Neil Martin will follow the screening. 

A Kind of Testament directed by Stephen Vuillemin

The festival will also include masterclasses led by the artists behind some of the world’s best loved and most well-known animated films, including; live action puppeteers and makers Eliot Gibbins and Josh Elwell, who worked on the Doctor Who 60th anniversary and Christmas specials, sharing their hybrid approach of collaborating with design, fabrication and VFX teams on the brand new episodes

There will also be classes helf by animator Tina Nawrocki talking all things Cuphead; Jamie Badminton, producer of the global smash hit Peppa Pig, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year; and Welsh sound designer, composer and voice artist Phil Brookes, who will host a live foley session on stage.

Packed programme

Other events will include: workshops by Factory art director Jamie Stockley on prop-making for animation; by filmmaker Mary Martins about scratching onto 16mm film; and a character design workshop by Tina Nawrocki, in which she’ll help participants create their own Cuphead-esque boss.

There will also be appearances from One Bum Cinema Club, possibly the smallest cinema in the world, hugely popular with audiences at previous CAFs in Chapter’s foyer; CAF will be collaborating with Cape Town International Animation Festival again to showcase their Best of CTIAF 2023 African Film Selection; Industry Day on Thurs 25 April, an industry-focused day of events inc. a panel discussion on entering the animation industry, funding opportunities and a keynote talk from Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe and Lucid Games; a Drawing & Walking Tour of Cardiff led by Cardiff-trained animator and illustrator Briar White; an animation exhibition curated by and held at Cardiff Umbrella; Quick Draw, a 48-hour animation challenge where all films created within 48 hours will be shown as part of the festival; plus relaxed and baby-friendly screenings; evening socials inc. karaoke and online events including live filmmaker Q&As hosted by animator and podcast host Terry Ibele.


Every event in the festival will be captioned and BSL interpreted.

Chicken for Linda

Cardiff Animation Festival Producer Ellys Donovan said: “We live and breathe animated films, and the highlight of our year, every year, is sharing our pick of the best new films with audiences in Cardiff and online.

“We also aim to support our audience’s wellbeing, factoring in points to rest, enjoy meals together and socialise. Inspiring, world-class animation in a stimulating, bustling festival – it’s a treat for all audiences.”

All tickets are on sale and the full programme is now on CAF’s website:

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