Organised by The International VFX Hub, the festival aims to highlight the British visual effects and animation work

Next summer Bournemouth, UK will host the BFX Festival.

Organised by The International VFX Hub - a collaboration between the National Centre for Computer Animation at Bournemouth University (NCCA) and the Faculty of Media and Performance at the Arts University College Bournemouth (AUCB) – the festival aims to highlight the British visual effects and animation work.

The festival was announced at BAFTA headquarters in London this week. Industry leaders from such UK companies as Double Negative, Aardman Animations and Framestore attended the announcement.

Open to the public, the festival will take place around locations in the city of Bournemouth. Planned events include a conference, workshops, screenings, panel discussions and an awards ceremony. The festival will also feature a competition for visual effects students from around the country, who will stay free of charge in halls of residence at BU and work in teams to produce a short visual effects or animated sequence.

Alex Hope [pictured], managing director of Double Negative, which provided visual effects for The Dark Knight Rises and The Bourne Legacy, commneted: “BFX is something that I have been hoping would happen for a very long time so I’m thrilled and very excited. I think it’s a great way to spread the word about the visual effects industry and show to school children where they should be going and studying – a place like Bournemouth, which is about the best there is in higher education in our industry.

“Visual effects is one of the great unsung businesses in this country - we are amazingly good at it, we’ve won Oscars for doing it, there are many people who have a very wonderful and fulfilling career in it and I wish that more schoolchildren knew that it was out there for them to come and join in.”

Peter Truckel, director of the VFX Hub in Bournemouth, added: “BFX will be different from other festivals, because as well as appealing to professionals and to people already in higher education, it will also focus on attracting an audience of pre-GCSE students and their families, with the aim of making them aware of visual effects and animation as a career option. We have the opportunity to create something that could change lives and open doors that many people don’t even know exist.”

The BFX festival will be financially supported by Creative Skillset with further backing of a number of high profile animation studios, including Moving Picture Company, Blue Zoo and The Mill.

Vice-Chancellor of Bournemouth University, Professor John Vinney, said: “I think it is a brilliant initiative. It is a great chance for Bournemouth University to work with the AUCB on a project that is really critical for the area and will really help to put Bournemouth on the map as a centre of excellence for animation and visual effects.”