Attention UK folk. The Projector animation festival takes place in Dundee, Scotland from January 30 through February 2. I was a guest of the festival during its previous edition in 2006 and I had one of the best times I’ve ever had at an animation festival. It’s an intimate gathering, nothing on the scale of an Annecy or Ottawa, but that is precisely what I enjoyed so much about it. Feisty festival director Susie Wilson manages to always bring together an eclectic group of artists, authors and thinkers, and the low-key setting allows everybody to get to know one another. There are also a couple animation schools in Dundee, which ensures plenty of energetic students at the screenings.
This year’s special guests who will be presenting masterclasses are Phil Mulloy, Bill Plympton, Abi Feijo, Regina Pessoa and Sharon Colman. Other programs include a talk by author Jonathan Clements about the rise of digital animation in Japan, a program of typography in animation and motion graphics curated by Jayne Pilling, and an “Acting for Animators” workshop presented by Ed Hooks. There are also plenty of screenings of recent animated shorts, as well as features including Free Jimmy, Persepolis, Paprika and The Three Musketeers.
A couple tips for festival attendees: For the most enjoyable Projector experience, do not suggest to the festival director that all of Scotland’s castles should be torn down. For that matter, do not suggest this to anybody in Scotland if you value your health and well-being. Also, no trip to Dundee is complete without a late-night session or two at Fat Sams. You’ll just have to take my word for this.