Cardiff Fest: the big celebration of animation is heading to the city 

As pandemic has been a boost on the animation industry, what can you do to get involved in?

The Cardiff Animation Festival is working to encourage people to enjoy the fun of animation. (Photograph: Cardiff Animation Festival)

The pandemic was a time filled with grey emotions, with lots of industries shutting down and people losing their jobs. However, the animation industry in the UK saw good growth.

For many people, staying at home meant spending more time watching television and animations proved to be a source of relaxation. This Cardiff organization is encouraging people to recognise the value of watching animation.

“We’ve been really lucky as an industry, animations have been kind of really resilient through the pandemic, and almost kind of seen a booming away, because we’ve been able to work from home,” said Lauren Orme, the festival director of Cardiff Animation Festival. 

Animations nowadays are not only for children, there are more animations aimed at older children and adults. For example, Rick and Morty, The Simpsons and Family Guy are popular UK animations enjoyed by families together.

More people started to recognize the value of animation. (Photograph: Cardiff Animation Festival)

According to the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA), the pandemic has proven how resilient the animation industry is and has created opportunities, and many companies have reported increased business during COVID. 

According to Lauren, before the first Cardiff Animation Festival was held in 2018, they have been running Cardiff animation nights since 2014. They started with such a tiny audience, but they have really seen the number of audiences grow at every event. “I think there are new people all the time like giving the animation a try and that’s always what we wanted to do is give people that opportunity to do that,” said Lauren. 

Although started from a small organization, the Cardiff Animation Festival has gradually developed into a big celebration annually. Since 2021, the festival began to collaborate with the Cape Town International Animation Festival, which is the largest dedicated African animation festival on the continent. 

For this year, the organizer has designed more activities for the event to encourage more people to get involved. There will be a program called animated karaoke, which will be in a giant 360-degree immersive dove with giant animated heads. Also, 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. 

Affairs of the Arts: Fifty-nine-year-old factory worker Beryl is totally obsessed with drawing, and her fixation dominates the entire household. (Photograph: Cardiff Animation Festival)

Except for the events, the organization also runs industry panels to help people to take their next step in animation. This year they are helping their participants to make and publish animated short films as well as getting funding for their works. “We just want to see the industry keep thriving and growing all the time,” said Lauren. 

The Welsh government also attach importance to the animation industry here and have been supportive. “They definitely offer financial support and various other forms of support. They are supporting cafeteria as well, which is enabling us to do that kind of hybrid model where we can bring audiences to Cardiff, but we can also bring Cardiff to the World, and make our content available to audiences worldwide,” said Lauren. 

The Cardiff animation festival is now held annually to welcome worldwide audiences. For this year, the festival will be held in Cardiff from April 7th to April 10th, and the online event will last longer till April 24th. Book your tickets and give animation a try!