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Sometimes seen as a best kept secret, a cult favourite, Melbourne International Animation Festival flies under the radar of many. Word to the wise: there is something for everyone in this festival; and for anyone interested in the art of storytelling, animation has a lot to tell you. There is no better place to check it out than MIAF, one of the world’s premier animation festivals, that runs out of ACMI in Federation Square, Melbourne.

We love animation here at Booked Out. We love the wacky story-telling, the suspension of disbelief, the fact that the audience needs to add their imagination to what they see. We love being surprised by the breadth and emotional range of the stories told.

Studying the unique blend of skills necessary to tell a story in animation can do for students: working with multiple skills makes animation creation a gold mine for education. You can run screenwriting workshops with two of Australia’s most esteemed contributors to children’s cartoons: Robert Greenberg and Doug MacLeod. HaveSerena Geddes (former Disney animator) or Leo Baker (who brought Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing to the screen to great acclaim) give a talk on career paths. Have the globe trotting Tim Bain tailor one of his animation workshops for hands on fun with claymation, storyboarding and video editing skills.Or if you have a major event, consider our home grown Academy Award winning Adam Elliot.

MIAF is on now and runs until June 30. There are special children’s programs on 29 June, with the rest of the festival being a 15+ affair (due to classification issues with independent film making). The best of the festival will be screened on Sunday 30 June. Book early because this session is so popular they play it twice and both sell out!

(We may be a little more enthusiastic about MIAF than most years because one of our staff members secretly moonlights as an animator outside office hours, and is on the judging panel for MIAF this year—but we can’t tell you who!).

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