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1st November 2023

Preview: Manchester Animation Festival | MAF 2023

Manchester Animation Festival is back at HOME cinema with everything from the long-awaited Chicken Run sequel to Lego stop motion workshops
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Preview: Manchester Animation Festival | MAF 2023
Photo: MAF 2023 Poster, Designed by Will Becher @ MAF 2023

Manchester Animation Festival (MAF) returns once again this year with a line-up of animated features, shorts and workshops at Manchester’s HOME cinema and beyond. Spanning across six days packed with all things animation, the festival attracts everyone from animation fanatics to newcomers to the medium. 

In previous years it has screened films such as the Oscar-nominated Flee and winner of last year’s Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. This year sees the festival showing Hayao Miyazaki’s much anticipated The Boy and the Heron alongside a special gala screening for Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, both coming off recent screenings at the London Film Festival. However, MAF is no stranger to a premiere either as it will be showing many films in the North for the first time and even some UK premieres too.

Amongst our picks for the festival beyond its headline screenings are the Michael Morpurgo Adaptation of Kensuke’s Kingdom and a 50th-anniversary screening of the animated fantasy classic Fantastic Planet

kensuke's kingdom still
Photo: Kensuke’s Kingdom: Playing In Competition at MAF 2023 @ MAF 2023

Beyond the many feature films is also a line-up of international short films in competition for their line-up of industry-recognised awards. These screenings really are a medley of everything contemporary animation has to offer, in previous years these so-called ‘mixtapes’ have shown everything from French black comedy to simplistic line drawings. MAF is at the heart of the UK’s animation community, describing itself as the UK’s largest animation festival, yet it also consistently looks outwards and scours the globe to find animators who are truly pushing the medium forward. 

In addition to all of this, a large part of the festival is also running talks and workshops about the wider animated industry. Some of these workshops are ideal for families such as the beginner level ‘Lego Stop Motion Workshop’ whilst others are more geared towards industry folk with talks on topics such as AI and storyboarding. This sees the festival go beyond HOME and take over other spaces inside Bridgewater Hall and The Anthony Burgess Centre. 

So, whether you want a taste of the latest international animation has to offer, to see the behind the scenes process of the new Chicken Run or want to see some of the year’s most talked about animation, Manchester Animation Festival has you covered. 

MAF 2023 will run from 12-17 November 2o23 in-venue and 18-30 online . Tickets and passes are on sale now.

Daniel Collins

Daniel Collins

Head film editor and writer for The Mancunion.

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