Photo: PK Berlin 25 Friedrich Kirschner by Watz

Leicester is a pretty cool town. Not only does it boast the best indian food available in the UK, it also recently hosted the first European conference about women and social media, and is now gearing up for the first European Machinima Fest.

Machinima is a rapidly maturing field – film making using gaming and MUVE software. Press release after the jump, sign up for further details here.

Press release:

De Montfort University’s Institute of Creative Technologies will host the 2007 European Machinima Festival, the first Machinima festival to be held in Europe. The festival, which will take place at the University’s campus centre from 12th – 14th October, will show case the latest Machinima films and will attract Machinima makers world-wide.

Machinima, a fusion of film-making and computer gaming, which is increasingly being used as one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways of creating animation, has a rapidly growing following, fuelled in part by the enhanced visual quality of many of the most popular computer games.

The festival, which is supported by the Academy of Machinima and Arts Sciences (AMAS), will attract both professional and enthusiast creators of animation and is likely to encourage more people to try Machinima for themselves. Workshops will cover many of the key aspects of making Machinima and an awards ceremony will recognise some of the best talent of this quickly growing phenomenon.

Paul Marino, Executive Director, AMAS: "Machinima is a very cost-effective and fast way to produce films where the creator can have a large amount of creative control and it is rapidly gathering momentum. In the US we have really seen this take off and we will be holding the 2007 Machinima Festival during November. We are very excited to be working with De Montfort University, which has such a strong reputation in the creative industries, and would encourage anyone interested in Machinima to come to the festival in October."

Professor Andrew Hugill, Director of De Montfort University’s Institute of Creative Technologies: "Machinima is an exciting and important emerging phenomenon which is capturing the imagination of individuals and communities including games players, film makers as well as anyone interested in exploring new ways of communicating a narrative. By holding Europe’s first Machinima festival we aim to bring these communities together and open up the exciting possibilities of Machinima to a wider audience."

Maggie Shutt, Festival and Events Manager for Leicester City Council: "This is a really exciting opportunity for the people of Leicester City to find out about and get involved in a cutting edge digital art form. We are delighted to be supporting the event at De Montfort University in October."

Each day of the festival will cater for people with different levels of expertise in making Machinima: The Friday is designed for schools; the Saturday for anyone who is already making or is interested in making Machinima; and the Sunday will be for experienced Machinima makers.

Prior to the festival, people will be able to submit films to a range of prize-winning categories, which will be judged by a panel of experts coordinated by the University and AMAS. The main prize winner will be given the opportunity to take part in the US Machinima festival in November.

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