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Vermont Animation Festival Begins Friday, March 26

The Sixth Annual Vermont Animation Festival, hosted by Northern Vermont University in partnership with Catamount Arts and the Vermont Curators Group, will be held virtually March 26 and 27. 

A full slate of activities is planned for beginner and experienced animators, including workshops, a film screening, and an artist talk by keynote speaker Alan Jennings, an experimental animator raised in Berlin, Vermont and now based in Boston. Submissions of animated films of all lengths will be accepted through March 16 for festival viewing and judging; films from students and emerging animators are especially welcome. Complete festival information, including submission details, is available at

“Animation is often described as magical,” said Kate Renner, NVU-Lyndon visiting assistant professor and director of the Vermont Animation Festival. “Part of this magic is the potential for animation to bring people of all ages and backgrounds together during a year when community connections can be harder to come by. The festival will bring new animated shorts by New England artists to residence halls and households all over the country.”

This year’s festival includes a more involved partnership with Catamount Arts, Renner said, offering the opportunity to present more community-based workshops along with a venue to highlight Jennings’s work.

“We are thrilled to continue this longstanding partnership with NVU and are excited, not only for the workshops and student films, but for the keynote address given by guest artist Alan Jennings,” said Catamount Artistic Director Molly Stone. “In addition, Catamount Arts will host some of Alan’s experiential animation pieces in the first virtual Fried Family Gallery exhibit of work at with support from the Vermont Curators Group.”

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 its Lyndon campus, see