The eleventh BFX Festival showcases Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole as the South West’s most up-and-coming creative hub for visual effects, animation, and games.

The festival, one of the UK’s largest visual effects, animation, and games festivals, will have a programme of award-winning speakers, masterclasses, hands-on workshops, and intimate screenings.

Launched in 2012 to shine a light on the work of the National Centre for Computer Animation at Bournemouth University (BU), the six-day festival is set to inspire budding young creatives and advance knowledge among practicing industry professionals and academics.

This year it will be hosted across two venues, the Hilton Bournemouth and BU’s Talbot Campus, featuring a Speaker Series of studios and people working on some of the best-known films, television, games, and adverts.

BFX Festival Director Oleg Fryazinov said, “We have a line-up of some of the best artists and professionals in the industry, talking about recently released films, animations, TV series and games.

“We are going to show how various companies work at the intersection of a diverse set of topics, such as immersive technologies, virtual production, digital filmmaking and many others. We’ll also be addressing the topic on everyone’s lips: the use of AI. We’re excited to invite families and the local community to enjoy our community day as local studios inspire the next generation of creatives.”

Speaker Series highlights include a full day of visual effects specialists on Tuesday with speakers Paul Franklin; a two-time Oscar winner for his work on Interstellar and Inception, Amanda Johnstone-Batt, sharing insights into the latest special VFX used in Industrial Light & Magic’s film The Creator and Peter Warbis who will share details of Framestore’s VFX work on Guardians of the Galaxy.

Wednesday will focus on games & interactivity. Speakers include Leah Caldwell, Cinematic Animation Producer at Larian Studios and Richard Copperwaite, Principal VR Programmer at nDreams a local video game company that has a global impact with their work. Copperwaite will dive into nDreams work on Synapse and VAR whilst Caldwell will share her experiences working on Baldur’s Gate 3- a game that continues to take the gaming community by storm. Additionally, Wednesday will provide the opportunity to connect with two more local companies Treehouse Digital and BU alumnus David Burnett’s company, Invidar.

Attendees on Wednesday will have the opportunity to hear from the Animation Lead and Senior Animator at Sony Imageworks, Joe Darko. Eight years have passed since Darko graduated from BU and he’ll be returning for a Q&A before the screening of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

Animation is the theme of Thursday. Attendees will hear from Joe Darko and Scott Eaton. Eaton will be sharing his experiences and insights on working creatively in the age of AI.

Saturday features Dorset and Hampshire’s most talented and acclaimed studios across Visual Effects, Computer Animation, and Games. The emergence of talented creative and technical artists has been building across Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, and Hampshire for the last 10 years. Attending Saturday’s programme will answer the question of why the South-West is building a name for itself as a creative hub, as well as a whole day of hands-on workshops aimed at young people aged 10 and over, families and anyone with an interest in VFX, animation and making games.

The BFX Festival takes place from 20 – 25 November, with more information on the BFX Festival website, where you can view the full programme.

Individual tickets can be purchased, and family day tickets for Saturday are also available on the website. Discounted group tickets are available for 10 or more people to the Speaker Series.