Monday, March 14, 2022

Gallop Behind The Scenes of 'It's Pony' at Cardiff Animation Festival 2022

Cardiff Animation Festival announces its full programme for April 2022.

Tickets on sale now!

Events include masterclasses with Nickelodeon’s It’s Pony, BBC & HBO’s His Dark Materials, Aardman Animations, Netflix’s City of Ghosts and Oscar® nominee Joanna Quinn – plus animated karaoke!

Cardiff, Wales – Cardiff Animation Festival (CAF) has announced the full programme for its return to Cardiff on 7–10 April 2022. For the first time, CAF will be both online and in person, with online events running from 7–24 April. 

This year, the festival runners have crammed over 60 events into the in-person programme and 30 online, including feature films, shorts screenings, workshops, industry panels, masterclasses, networking opportunities, parties and more. Stand-out guests include the Oscar®-nominated Joanna Quinn, the animation team behind groundbreaking feature Flee, and Elizabeth Ito, creator of Netflix’s City of Ghosts

The Heads of Creature Effects from the BBC and HBO series His Dark Materials will be in attendance to run a puppetry masterclass revealing secrets from the hit television show, whose third season is scheduled for release this year. Other masterclasses include a ride behind the scenes of Nickelodeon’s It’s Pony; a delve into the life of an Aardman animator with Carmen Bromfield Mason; a look (or a listen) into what goes into blending sound with animation with Skillbard; and an exploration of a multi-award winning career with animation legend Joanna Quinn animating live on stage.

CAF will bring multi-Oscar®-nominated feature film Flee to the Cardiff big screen, with a Q&A with Art Director Jess Nicholls and Animation Director Kenneth Ladekjær. The festival will screen two Japanese features: innovative hand-drawn indie musical comedy On-Gaku, and the Welsh premiere of Summer Ghost, with Q&As with the directors of both films. The video adaptation of Jessica Ashman’s animated musical performance Dawta will also be followed by a Q&A with Jessica herself.  

The Z to A of Studio Ghibli will be full of insights, trivia titbits, theories and more, presented by the hosts of podcast Ghibliotheque. The festival will also host Scripts Out Loud, a team of professional voice actors who will perform a new animation script live on stage, as well as offering 1-2-1s for new writers. Writers can also hear from the team behind Milkshake!’s Circle Square who will be running a masterclass on writing for children’s animation.

Joining forces with Clwstwr and AHRC’s Research in Film Awards, CAF will host a full day of events dedicated to the climate emergency and how the animation industry can help fight it. This will include a workshop exploring innovative creative workspaces as part of CAF’s Clwstwr- and Ffilm Cymru-funded Green Cymru project. CAF will also shine a light on neurodivergent animation talent through screenings, Q&As with neurodivergent filmmakers, and a workshop exploring the barriers facing neurodivergent talent within the animation industry. 

For those attending in person, there will be many other opportunities to meet people, develop skills, and have fun. Social events will include CAF’s Pen/Pals sessions (with free coffee/drinks provided; chatting and doodling encouraged), dog life drawing, an animated music video discotheque, and a 360º animated karaoke party at Cultvr Lab.

On the opening night of the festival, the monthly social Cardiff Animation Nights will take over Depot, a huge warehouse in central Cardiff, for a night of short films, street food and fun. And each morning, CAF attendees will be able to join filmmakers from the 102 short films in competition for Q&As, coffee and croissants.

The final night of the in-person festival will bring the prestigious CAF Awards ceremony, closely followed by the closing night party, a chance to bid the festival farewell in style.

As well as the extensive in-person line-up, several online-exclusive events are also scheduled, including a Q&A with Elizabeth Ito, creator of Netflix’s City of Ghosts; industry panels, international filmmaker Q&As, collaborations with Cape Town International Animation Festival (CTIAF), and a character design workshop for all ages. In addition, online attendees will be able to catch up on in-person events they may have missed.

Lauren Orme, the festival director, comments,

“I’m so proud of the CAF22 programme. We’ve packed it full of so many in-person and online events that we couldn’t be more excited about. I can’t wait to share the amazing films, hear from our incredible guests and party with everyone at animated karaoke!”

Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, says; 

“I’m delighted that we’re able to support this event and to once again see the return of cultural events and being able to welcome in-person audiences is something we’ve looked forward to for a long time. The festival has an exciting and varied programme of films, including some Welsh premiers and is a real showcase of local and international talent and expertise.”

Festival passes, which give access to all ticketed in-person events at Chapter Arts Centre, are on sale now for £80 (£55 conc). Online passes, which allow access to all online events, are also on sale for £20. Tickets for individual events will be on sale from today, Thursday 10 March. 

The full programme, plus tickets and passes, are available on

About Cardiff Animation Festival

Cardiff Animation Festival is a non-profit Community Interest Company. The CAF team have been running animation events in Wales since 2014; 2022 will be the third biennial festival. The first, in 2018, was held primarily at local artistic hub and cinema space, the Chapter Arts Centre. The inaugural festival reached total admissions figures of 5515. 

The second Cardiff Animation Festival, in 2020, was one of the first animation festivals to switch from in-person to completely online. Over 4000 viewers attended from at least 21 different countries.

Cardiff Animation Festival 2022 is funded by the Welsh Government, Ffilm Cymru Wales, BFI Network Wales and Ymddiried through the Owen Edwards Scholarship Fund, supported by Film Hub Wales as part of the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN), made possible by the National Lottery, and supported by ScreenSkills Animation Skills Fund with contributions from UK animation productions. The festival is sponsored by Picl Animation, Twt Productions, Tiny Wizard Studio, Cloth Cat Animation, Bomper Studio and Sun & Moon Studios.


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Further information

Chapter is one of Europe’s largest and most dynamic arts centres with cinemas, theatres, exhibition spaces, studios, a café, award-winning bars, over 60 cultural workspaces and more.
Chapter has an international reputation for excellence, innovation and collaboration. It offers an ever-changing programme of the best performance, films and exhibitions from Wales and from around the world.

About Ffilm Cymru Wales
Ffilm Cymru Wales is the development agency for Welsh film. We are dedicated to advancing and sustaining a strong film industry for Wales; one that we can all be proud to call our own. We do this by providing funding and training to emerging and established Welsh filmmakers, offering exciting cinematic experiences to audiences across Wales, engaging people of all ages and abilities in creative learning, and developing new skills and career paths for people through a range of training programmes. Recent credits include Dream Horse, Censor, Eternal Beauty, The Feast / Gwledd, I Am Not a Witch and Ethel & Ernest.
For more information, please see

About Film Hub Wales
Film Hub Wales (FHW) celebrates cinema. We support organisations that screen film, from film festivals, to societies and mixed arts centres. Working with over 315 Welsh exhibitors, we aim to bring the best British and international film to all audiences across Wales and the UK. Since Film Hub Wales set up in 2013, we’ve supported over 250 exciting cinema projects, reaching over 480,000 audience members.

We’re part of a UK wide network of eight hubs funded by the British Film Institute (BFI) which form the Film Audience Network (FAN), with Chapter appointed as the ‘Film Hub Lead Organisation’ (FHLO) in Wales.

We are also proud to lead on the UK inclusive cinema strategy on behalf of BFI FAN. 

About BFI Network
Made possible through National Lottery funding, BFI NETWORK exists to discover and support talented writers, directors and producers at the start of their careers. We collaborate with film organisations and leading cultural venues across the UK to offer funding for short films, support for the development of first features and provide a range of professional and creative development programmes.

Ymddiried (The Welsh Broadcasting Trust) is a registered charity, established to promote and support educational activities in relation to television, film, radio and digital services. Its aim is to expand and enrich the range of skills and experience of media professionals of the future; offer practical opportunities for newcomers, and facilitate access to the media for communities in Wales.
The Owen Edwards Scholarship Fund was established in memory of a former trustee who was dedicated to establishing a television service which reflected the aspirations and interests of communities across Wales. There has been a massive increase in media outlets and services, of which a new generation of users and content providers have taken ownership.

Picl Animation is an animation studio and production company in central Cardiff, working across broadcast, commercial projects, short film, music video and animation for live performance. A key part of Picl’s mission is to create animation with a purpose, that is socially and environmentally responsible. As a registered B Corp™, Picl is verified as a business that meets the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability, and all of Picl’s work is climate positive.

Twt Productions is all about creating quality entertainment and educational content for children and young adults to enjoy, on their TVs, tablets – and in their imaginations. 

Tiny Wizard Studio is a creative agency where anything is possible. Tiny Wizard helps businesses communicate better with their audience by helping them understand anything and everything, with spellbinding, captivating design and animation.

Cloth Cat Animation is an award winning studio and the largest animation production company in Wales. They are renowned developers and co-production partners currently working on a number of highly successful global brands. Based in central Cardiff, they have the facilities and expertise to take projects from development to international delivery with in-house creative talent and high-end technical support.

Current and recent projects include the Emmy nominated series ‘Luo Bao Bei’, ‘The Rubbish World of Dave Spud’, ‘Shane the Chef’, ‘Olobob Top!’, ‘Ethel and Ernest’, ‘Toot the Tiny Tugboat’ and ‘Boj’.

Sun & Moon are an award-winning and creative-led animation production studio based in Bristol, known for producing high-quality animation that’s packed with character.

ScreenSkills is the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based creative industries – animation, film, games, television including children’s and high-end, VFX and immersive technology. We work across the whole of the country to build an inclusive workforce with the skills needed for continued success, now and in the future.


Nickelodeon / Milkshake! Panels Information:

Saturday 9 April 2022
2:45pm | Chapter Cinema 2
£6 / £4 concessions or free with a Festival Pass

Come and enjoy some episodes of Circle Square, the latest show from Milkshake! Join Vanessa the dragon as she helps her friends Duster the dog, Isabella the bear, and all the other residents of Circle Square island.

As a special treat, Circle Square’s creators and creatives will be there to meet you and answer your questions about the show!

Dewch i fwynhau rhai penodau o Circle Square, y sioe ddiweddaraf gan Milkshake! Ymunwch â Vanessa y ddraig wrth iddi helpu ei ffrindiau Duster y ci, Isabella yr arth, a holl drigolion eraill ynys Circle Square.

Fel trît arbennig, bydd crewyr a chreadigwyr Circle Square yno i gwrdd â chi ac ateb eich cwestiynau am y sioe!

Sunday 10 April 2022
11:00am | Chapter Cinema 1
£6 / £4 concessions or free with a Festival Pass

Life is more exciting, fun, and unpredictable with a pony, as seen in Nickelodeon’s original animated series It’s Pony. The series follows the comedic adventures of Annie and her best friend, who just so happens to be an enthusiastic, unpredictable, and carefree pony. Created by Ant Blades and designed & animated by Blue Zoo, It’s Pony aired on Nickelodeon globally and is inspired by a short from Nickelodeon’s 2015 International Animated Shorts Program.

Saddle up, because this all-ages masterclass will take you for a ride behind the scenes of the hit show. Horsing around guaranteed.

Screenskills Presents: 
Sunday 10 April 2022
2:45pm | Chapter Cinema 1
£6 / £4 concessions or free with a Festival Pass

Circle Square is a new preschool animation showing on Channel 5’s Milkshake! Featuring Vanessa the dragon and a captivating cast of her neighbours, Circle Square celebrates different personalities coming together as one caring community.

In this masterclass for aspiring animation writers, we’ll be joined by head writer Myles McLeod, series writers Evgenia Golubeva and Dilpreet Kaur Walia, series director Greg McLeod, executive producer Helen Brunsdon and Kyle Jenkins, Executive Producer for Milkshake! Join them as they go behind the scenes on how to make a successful heart-warming show for children in the 21st century.

This event is supported by the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Fund with contributions from UK animation productions.

Mae Circle Square yn animeiddiad cyn-ysgol newydd sy’n cael ei ddangos ar Milkshake! ar Channel 5. Yn cynnwys Vanessa’r ddraig a chast cyfareddol o’i chymdogion, mae Circle Square yn dathlu gwahanol bersonoliaethau yn dod at ei gilydd fel un gymuned ofalgar.

Yn y dosbarth meistr hwn ar gyfer darpar awduron animeiddio, bydd y prif awdur Myles McLeod, yr awduron cyfresi Evgenia Golubeva a Dilpreet Kaur Walia, cyfarwyddwr y gyfres Greg McLeod, y cynhyrchydd gweithredol Helen Brunsdon a Kyle Jenkins, Cynhyrchydd Gweithredol Milkshake! yn ymuno â ni. Ymunwch â nhw wrth iddynt fynd y tu ôl i'r llenni ar sut i wneud sioe twymgalon lwyddiannus i blant yr 21ain ganrif.

Cefnogir y digwyddiad hwn gan Gronfa Sgiliau Animeiddio ScreenSkills gyda chyfraniadau gan gynyrchiadau animeiddio yn y DU.

Originally published: March 14, 2022.

Original source: Wales 247.

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