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Animated Exeter: Guaranteed to draw a crowd

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: February 14, 2013

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SHIFTING its focus from large-scale projection to games for its theme this year is the city's annual Animated Exeter festival.

Among the firms in the exciting line-up are Moshi Monster creators Mind Candy and British visual effects company Double Negative, whose film work includes new Bond film Skyfall.

Thousands of people will be descending upon the city during the February half term to enjoy what has become the largest public animation festival in the UK.

During the six-day festival, which will run throughout the city from Monday, February 18, to Saturday, February 23, visitors can take their picks from the best of British animation in all its forms, as well as enjoying various games events.

The award-winning Visual FX house Double Negative will be giving an exciting presentation and insight into its work at Exeter Phoenix on Friday, February 22, at 10.30am. The talk will be followed by an opportunity to learn more about Dragonframe, the latest image capture system for stop-motion animation and was recently used in Paranorman and Frankenweenie. Meet the developers and learn about their software from 2pm.

Mind Candy, the London-based creator of children's hit Moshi Monsters – the online world of adoptable pet monsters – will make its first appearance in the South West.

Its experts will be talking about animation for gaming, and holding a game jam, at the same venue and on the same day from 3.45pm to 5pm.

During Animated Exeter expect to witness strange goings on in a series of live street games. Especially for Animated Exeter, games company Slingshot has created a street game inspired by Dartmoor-based award-winning author Phillip Reeve's The Exeter Riddles.

Players will race against time to save the destruction of Exeter's historical timeline and stabilise the heart of the city. Suitable for all games lovers, it combines action, animation and theatre to create a unique story-telling experience in which the player controls the action.

An intriguing outdoor finale, produced by Glasgow-based interactive performance company Mischief la Bas, will be held at Belmont Park on the last day of the festival.

The stories and games theme continues with Game City Nights, an exciting opportunity for gamers, developers and enthusiasts to network ideas.

The independent festival was launched in 1999 and now attracts around 20,000 visitors to the city while showcasing some of the finest work in international animation for audiences of all ages. It is supported by Exeter City Council and the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Coinciding with this year's Animated Festival, and bringing an ever bigger buzz of activities to the city, is Exetreme Imagination, Exeter's festival of writing.

It offers literature-based events for and by young people, as well as for older generations who wish to celebrate the achievements of the city's young people – and reminisce over their own childhood memories.

There is also a range of events for the more serious student of animation, including award-winning screen writer Alan Gilbey's Writing Workout. It is on at Exeter Phoenix, February 22, from 2pm to 5pm, tickets £20/£25.

The diverse range of events, running from February 16 to 24, includes author events, performances, exhibitions, films, story-telling, writing workshops and the Family Forum Festival.

For a full list of the events taking place during Animated Exeter visit www.animatedexeter.co.uk

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