The BFX Festival, one of the largest animation, visual effects (VFX) and gaming festivals in the UK, has announced its 2023 dates. The eleventh festival will be hosted Monday 20 – Saturday 25 November 2023 at The Hilton Bournemouth and across the universities Talbot Campus.

A full programme of Games, VFX, and Animation industry speakers will be announced later in the year, along with Masterclasses where attendees can develop their creative and technical skills.

BFX Festival Director and Principal Academic in Animation at BU, Oleg Fryazinov commented, “As usual, we will bring the pulse of the animation, games and visual effects industry to our attendees. They will have the opportunity to hear from industry professionals during the speaker series, learning and evolving their skills in masterclasses and participating in the in-festival competitions.”

The 2022 festival hosted five competitions, all of which will be returning for 2023, and will be open to BU students and budding animators, who will have the opportunity to work on live briefs. These are The Easter Jams, organised in partnership with BU’s animation society; The BFX Competition; The BFX Game Jam; The Caricature Competition; and The Speed-Sculpting Competition.

Taking place throughout the year; the first competition, The Easter Jams, took place from April 3 to April on April 17. The public vote on student submissions is now open. This year’s theme was Legends. Dobi Grancharova studies BA (Hons) Computer Animation Art and Design and is on the organising team of the 2023 Easter Jams said “The theme this year is fun and creative, giving students the opportunity to practice outside of assignments. The categories are varied enough that there is something for everyone and of course, there are prizes.

“Receiving industry mentorship during the competition is a great opportunity for participants to develop their skills, establish their professional connections, and receive feedback. This is good for their artistic skills but will also prepare them to receive criticism and to develop their work to industry standard.”

Taking place over the Summer is the annual BFX Competition, open to BU students and any student studying at a UK Higher Education Institution. Entrants will be given a brief from a UK charity to produce a short 30-second animation. Charities can use these final productions in their marketing campaigns promoting the work they do.

Team applications to take part must be submitted by Friday 19 May 2023. Production time is for 7-weeks beginning Monday 22 May – Sunday 9 July 2023. Groups will receive online industry mentoring and have regular meetings with their chosen charity.

Winners are announced during the BFX Festival, which will take place this year on BU’s Talbot Campus, at the evening Awards Ceremony. Prizes in amazon vouchers are awarded to the winners.

Charities in partnership with BFX for 2023 are, The RNLI, The Dorset Ukrainian Community, and National Park City Foundation. Speaking to Emily Harris at RNLI she comments, “The local RNLI fundraising team and our rescue services have been developing a wide-ranging relationship with Bournemouth University. We were very excited to be invited to be one of the charities that students will work with as part of the BFX Competition.

“The animations will be especially meaningful as it will be featured in the run up to our 200th anniversary in 2024, where we are aiming to showcase our three themes to commemorate, inspire & celebrate all aspects of the RNLI.’’

Additional competitions taking place during the festival will be The Game Jam, Caricature Competition, and the Speed-Sculpting Competition.

Find out more about the competitions and how to sign up.

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