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Highlights at the Melbourne International Animation Festival 2014

Yuzuha Oka

Wed Jun 11 2014


BUDDING animators will have much to be inspired by at this year’s Melbourne International Animation Festival. Yuzuha Oka has the highlights for students wishing to gain momentum in their animation careers.


Animation enthusiasts and students rejoice! The annual Melbourne International Animation Festival is returning to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image for another year, jam-packed with everything to celebrate the beloved medium.

From June 19 – 29, MIAF will be hosting a variety of events from forums to conferences and features a dense program of more than 400 animations from around the world including Australia.

It’s a lot of ground to cover, so naturally if you can’t decide where to start, we’ve narrowed it down to a program we think is best suited for Melbourne’s international student community.

Careers in Animation Forum
Thursday, June 26 (7.00pm); Free entry

The Careers Forum will offer students a chance to interact with industry experts. Image: Ben Landau via MIAF official website.

The careers forum will offer students a chance to interact with industry experts. Image: Ben Landau via MIAF official website.

If you dream of a career in animation, this is a forum students and graduates alike should consider attending.

Presented by Holmesglen, this free and popular event sees established animation panelists share their experiences of working in the industry.

From the transition from school to scoring your first job, this forum will give insight into many areas of the industry for aspiring animators. Professionals will also be on hand to provide advice about internships, building an eye catching portfolio and to talk about the specialised skills needed to further oneself in the industry,

The latter portion of the forum will be thrown open to the audience, allowing budding animators an opportunity to ask whatever questions they may have for the experts.

Moderated by festival director, Malcom Turner, the panelists speaking at this forum include:

  • Craig Ross – Holmesglen with a background in Advertising/ TV commercials
  • Mark Sheard – Viska Toons, TV commercials and TV series
  • Rod Clifton – 20 years in Animagrafx, currently self employed.
  • Steve Moore – Past student (1 year in the industry), 500 Digital Media
  • Paul Hellard – Immediate past editor of

Best of the Next: International Student Festival
Sunday, June 22 (Multiple times)

A vast selection of films from emerging artists around the world will be on display in Best of the Next. Images via MIAF official website.

A vast selection of films from emerging artists around the world will be on display in Best of the Next. Images via MIAF official website.

Described as a festival within the festival, this program features the best works going around from emerging animators.

The Best of the Next event showcases graduation reels selected from more than 900 entries from almost 30 countries! With three international sessions showcasing work from around the world as well as one special screening from works withinin Australia, Best of the Next is the platform for which animators ought to aspire towards.

If you think you need a hit of inspiration by the young talents selected in this program then catch a glimpse of the future of animation and perhaps one day you’ll be apart of this program!

RENDER Animation Conference
Friday, June 20 – Saturday, June 21 (10.00am – 5.00pm)


Following a hugely successful introduction from last year’s festival, the RENDER Animation Conference returns for another year of discussion and presentations from animation experts around the world.

Keynote presentations cover topics from funding, creating and distributing an independent animated feature, (presented by Melbourne’s own Academy Award-winning animator, Adam Elliot) to the challenges and rewards of fusing Western and Asian animation philosophies, lead by Singapore-based German animator, Hannes Rall.

In addition to being a forum for insightful discussion, the conference acts as a great place for students to network with established animation artists, professionals and other like-minded students.

The Stressful Adventures of Boxhead and Roundhead
Friday, June 20 (6.00pm)

New York-based Elliot Cowan’s animated feature, The Stressful Adventures of Boxhead and Roundhead, will have its world premiere at MIAF 2014. Cowan is originally from Melbourne and undertook a postgraduate year at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Since then, he’s worked in Tasmania on various commercials, worked in London and has seen his award-winning Boxhead and Roundhead series become a feature film.

No doubt someone that students and graduates can look up to, aspiring animators can see for themselves how Cowan’s work has evolved. He will also be a guest speaker at the RENDER Keynote Presentation on Indie Features on Saturday, June 21.

The Melbourne International Animation Festival draws its way into ACMI on June 19 and ends in June 29. For more information on the festival, including program information and ticketing, refer to the festival’s official website.