New animation and visual effects festival to come to Bournemouth

Posted on Thursday, November 22 2012

An exciting new animation and visual effects festival will come to Bournemouth next summer.

The BFX festival will celebrate the best in British visual effects and raise awareness of the industry – as well as cementing Bournemouth’s reputation as a leading creative hub.

The festival is being organised by The International VFX Hub; a collaboration between the National Centre for Computer Animation at Bournemouth University (NCCA) and the Faculty of Media and Performance at the Arts University College Bournemouth (AUCB).

It was officially launched at events at the BAFTA headquarters in London – attended by industry leaders including representatives from Universal Pictures and Framestore – and Bournemouth Pavilion.

Professor John Vinney, Vice–Chancellor of Bournemouth University (BU), said: “I think it is a brilliant initiative.

“It is a great chance for Bournemouth University to work with the AUCB on a project that is really critical for the area and will really help to put Bournemouth on the map as a centre of excellence for animation and visual effects.”

The festival will take place across Bournemouth and will be open to the public – with planned events including a conference, workshops, screenings and panel discussions.

At the heart of the festival will be a competition for visual effects students from around the country – who will stay free of charge in halls of residence at BU and work in teams to produce a short visual effects or animated sequence using the state–of–the–art facilities at both universities.

They will be mentored and judged by industry experts and the winning students will receive an internship at a leading UK film and visual effects studio.

The festival will also be used to highlight visual effects as a career option for school children.

Peter Truckel, who has worked in the visual effects industry for over 30 years and is director of the VFX Hub in Bournemouth, said: “BFX will be different from other festivals, because as well as appealing to professionals and to people already in higher education, it will also focus on attracting an audience of pre–GCSE students and their families, with the aim of making them aware of visual effects and animation as a career option.

“We have the opportunity to create something that could change lives and open doors that many people don’t even know exist.”

Visual effects is the fastest growing area of the film industry, with turnover and employment expected to continue increasing.

The BFX festival will be financially supported by industry body Creative Skillset and has the backing of a host of internationally renowned animation studios, including Framestore, Double Negative and The Mill.

Alex Hope, managing director of Double Negative, which has provided visual effects for films including The Dark Knight Rises and The Bourne Legacy this year, said: “BFX is something that I have been hoping would happen for a very long time so I’m thrilled and very excited.

“I think it’s a great way to spread the word about the visual effects industry and show to schoolchildren where they should be going and studying – a place like Bournemouth, which is about the best there is in higher education in our industry.”

He added: “Visual effects is one of the great unsung businesses in this country – we are amazingly good at it, we’ve won Oscars for doing it, there are many people who have a very wonderful and fulfilling career in it and I wish that more schoolchildren knew that it was out there for them to come and join in.”

For more information about the BFX festival and competition, visit