The BFX Competition has kicked off for 2018.

Eight teams of students from six institutions are competing by creating visual effects shorts for four different charities.

The Competition, in its fifth year, exists to give vital skills to the next generation of animators and visual effects artists, under the watchful eye of industry mentors, while creating animated films for charities.

The charities themselves are chosen with thanks to BFX Competition sponsor Kingston Smith, who run a Creative Vision Award to pick the charities, who are then afforded the opportunity to work with the students, and receive an animated brand film estimated to be worth £150,000.

For 2018, there are two winners in the small charities category; DEMAND and Access All Areas, and two in the regular charity category; Rethink Mental Illness and Book Aid International.

Sofronis Efstathiou, Director of the BFX Festival, said, “The BFX Competition is a chance for some of the best young animators and visual effects artists to come together and create something special for one of our charities. In previous years, we’ve been so impressed with their work, as have the mentors, with some of the competitors going on to land jobs at top visual effects companies. This year we are expecting the same level of commitment and skill as the teams work hard to create something unique, which showcases the charities we are working with and tests the full range of their visual effects skills.”

Chosen teams will work for a number of weeks on the charity brief to create the short animated films, under the watchful eye from mentors from major VFX companies such as Framestore, Double Negative, MPC and Outpost VFX.

Peter Truckel, Director of the VFX Hub, said, “We’re grateful of the support of Kingston Smith, who have partnered with us in running this competition for a number of years now, as well as the mentors, from companies as wide ranging as MPC, Framestore and Aardman, who are giving up their free time to offer advice and support to our competitors as they begin their careers in visual effects with this competition.”

Competing students are from Bournemouth University, Arts University Bournemouth, Ulster University Belfast, University of South Wales, Northumbria University and Falmouth University.