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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Game, Set and Machinima

This year's Cambridge Film Festival will be presenting a series of screenings - sponsored and curated by Short Fuze and FDMX - featuring animated short films all made using a variety of Machinima techniques.

The screenings encompass four very different aspects of Machinima and animated filmmaking. Synthetic Cinema focuses on films that replicate traditional cinematic genres; Machinima Dreams and Shadows covers darker, more experimental pieces; Play's the Thing is centred on Machinima's gaming roots; while Zero Budget, Big Audience features the films that have been viral Internet hits. Supporting the screenings, Machinima experts, including Short Fuze's David Bailey, Matt Kelland and Johnnie Ingram, will be on hand to explain more about the technique, and there are hands-on workshops where festival-goers can try their hand at making movies using the Moviestorm software. The set is rounded off with a discussion led by technology guru Bill Thompson about the difference in narrative technique between films and games.

"What's so exciting about this," commented Matt Kelland, "is that all these films have been made on pretty much zero budget by tiny groups of people who just love what they're doing. What we are seeing here is just raw passion, and it's an inspiration to anyone who's ever thought they'd like to do more than just watch."

Saint John Walker from FDMX said, "It's great that the Cambridge Film Festival is giving space to this new innovative art form, and exposing new talent. Machinima as a technique is still in its infancy, and though it may be a little crude by comparison to top-end animation, the work easily stands up against films made on a much higher budget. We think people will be surprised by what's on show."

You can watch Matt and Saint talk about the Machinima sessions on ITV Local Anglia's All Angles web programme.

The festival runs from the 18th to the 28th September and is held at various venues around Cambridge. Please see the festival website for more information.

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