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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Joe flies the flag for Welsh animation at prestigious European training workshop

A student from the University of Wales, Newport will get a boot-camp style taste of European animation training when he starts his journey through the prestigious Animation Sans Frontieres workshop series later this month.

The 8-week programme is run by and at four of the leading animation film schools in Europe: Filmakademie (Germany), MOME (Budapest), Les Gobelins (Paris) and The Animation Workshop (Denmark). The MEDIA-funded workshop, designed to strengthen networks between education and industry, will put students from across Europe through their paces with over-night presentations, industry pitches and studio visits over four workshop during the next 6 months.

Joseph Wallace, 21, studies BA Animation at the University of Wales, Newport, a lead partner of the Skillset Screen Academy Wales. A promising animator and a keen networker, Joseph has received funding support from both his university and Screen Academy Wales to act as an ambassador for Welsh animation education.

“It is a massive honour to be selected to represent my university and the Screen Academy Wales network”, Joe explained. “There is a sense of pressure but I’m so looking forward to working with students from all over Europe and learning from these amazing animation schools.”

A group of 16 students will travel to each the partner institutions for a two week learning module that will give an overview of the entire animation film production process, from concept development through to actual production management.

Bristol-born Joe currently specialises in 2D stop motion, and uses his flair for illustration to express his ideas. Outside of university, his passion for animation has been heavily influenced by the theatrical, with involvement in promotional artwork and directing at the Old Vic Theatre, and more recently in an off-beat animation theatre project for the Tabacco Factory, which integrates animation into live performance through puppetry.

His tutor, Caroline Parsons of University of Wales, Newport, explained: “Joe is one of only two students in the UK to have been offered a place on the ASF programme. It will provide an excellent opportunity for him to get a flavour of the European animation industry, and his taking part will help to establish links between Wales and the South West and animation schools in Europe. We’re confident that Joe will be a great ambassador for the University of Wales, Newport and Screen Academy Wales.”

Screen Academy Wales Project Manager, Hannah Raybould, added: “Joe is an enthusiastic member of our Student Panel and passionate about animation. We were delighted to help fund his participation in the programme and hope that he will be the first of many Screen Academy Wales students to champion Welsh animation within the ASF network.”

Written by Alex St.George


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