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Eighth Annual Vermont Animation Festival

Eighth Annual Vermont Animation Festival Begins Friday, March 24 Animated Film Submissions Accepted through March 10

The Eighth Annual Vermont Animation Festival, hosted by Northern Vermont University in partnership with Catamount Arts, will bring together national and locally based professional talent to the NVU Lyndon campus for two days of conversation, creation, and collaboration, including workshops and a film screening and awards ceremony.

The festival will be held March 24-25. Workshop registration is open now, and submissions of animated films for the screening will be accepted through March 10.

“We are so excited to welcome several very accomplished animators to our campus this year! Kevin Harkey is an animation industry veteran who has worked on several feature films, and this year’s keynote speakers, Max Porter and Ru Kawahata, are compelling storytellers who use stop-motion techniques,” said Kate Renner, NVU assistant professor and director of the Vermont Animation Festival. “We will also highlight the New England Animation Industry during this year’s festival with a panel discussion with Kathryn Taccone, one of the founders of Open Pixel Studios.”

Keynotes Porter and Kuwahata specialize in mixed-media narratives and will share works from the last fifteen years, their exclusive behind-the-scenes process, and a sneak peek at Porcelain Birds, the animated feature they are working on now. Negative Space, their Oscar-nominated film, has won 128 awards at 320 film festivals worldwide. The pair will also lead a Sensory Character Development workshop that is open to artists ages 17 and up from all disciplines. “After years of remote artist talks, we’re so excited to visit the Vermont Animation Festival in person to connect with people who love animation as much as we do,” said Porter and Kuwahata.

Vermont-based animation industry veteran Kevin Harkey, whose most recent projects include creating storyboards for Netflix Studio’s “Wendell and Wild,” and the Gaumont Studio’s production of Paul McCarthy’s children’s book High in the Clouds, will lead the Storyboarding workshop for ages 12 and up.
NVU Assistant Professor Kate Renner will lead the Analog to AR: Creating Augmented Reality Animation workshop for ages 10 and up, with an adult companion recommended for participants under age 16.

Submissions of animated films of all lengths will be accepted through March 10 for festival viewing and judging; films from students and emerging animators are especially welcome. Complete festival information and workshop registration is available at

The Vermont Animation Festival was created in 2015 by former NVU faculty Robby Gilbert to showcase the unique voices of artists in New England working in animation and moving images. The festival provides a forum for regional artists, including NVU Animation and Illustration students, to showcase their work and workshops to engage the community.

“The Vermont Animation Festival also teaches emerging animators that you don’t need a fancy computer set-up to create compelling work,” Renner said. “Students in NVU’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation and Illustration program are taught how to use the industry standards for Animation software, and at the same time they are encouraged to create animated work using pencil, paper, and commonly found materials such as sand.”

To learn more about NVU’s program at the Lyndon campus, see