Newcastle International Animation Festival Competition 2017 / by Kian West

newcastle international animation festival 2017

The annual Newcastle International Animation Festival Competition is back again! Each year Newcastle and the Hunter deliver the animation goods with a diverse display of creative genius. This year’s competition is set to do the same!


Newcastle – your challenge for this year has been set - FUTURES OF NEWCASTLE!
We asked Jane Shadbolt, Lecturer at The University of Newcastle and part of the brains trust behind this genius festival, about Animation and what a GIF even is... 


Jane, why animation? 
Because animation is film-making awesomeness at 24 frames per second. I love it because it can be anarchic, funny, moving and stupid (sometimes all at the same time!) It’s an art form for the 21st century and I think it’s in a really exciting and creative place at the moment.

Can you explain what a GIF is to people that might not know what that means? 
A GIF is a really simple animation for the web, it can be a simple as a couple of frames or it can be a lot longer.  If you’ve laughed at a looping bit of footage online, you’ve experience the power of the GIF.  You can make them easily yourself online and they’re lots of fun to make and watch.

The project is asking people to "show us what the future of Newcastle will be in 100 years” does this create a picture in your mind? 
JETPACKS! Seriously we need more jetpacks. But I’m sure the creative folk of Newcastle could come up with something a bit better than that. I’m hoping for a mix of the outrageous, funny and thought-provoking because a lot can happen in a century.  Some things might remain just the same though, a kebab after a big night out is surely going to stand the test of time but maybe we’ll outsource dancing to robots. 

Newcastle seems to increasingly have brilliant projects like this popping up in the city, do you think there is a reason for all of this? 
Because Newie is a terrific place! It’s big enough to be entertaining and small enough to be friendly.  I think this century will be a great one for Newcastle, it’s got so much going for it and it can afford to do things a little differently (perhaps even better!) than its bigger sister cities in the rest of Australia. 

What else should Newcastle know about you and NIAF?
I’m a total animation nerd. Watching tons of innovative animation from all over the world is my idea of a great weekend and to be honest, I organise the festival because I’d love to have several hundred people to watch it all with! 

Get your GIF ready! Join the fun and the Facebook Group.