BBC Documentary Film Maker Launches AniMaidstone 2009

Kim Hopkins standing on a beach

Kim Hopkins © UCA

Kim Hopkins launches AniMaidst

Kim has worked with One Planet Pictures for BBC World on ‘Women in the Front Line’ and ‘Nurses on the Front Line’. Her talk about her work inspired students with her accounts of working with hard to reach and challenging communities.

The AniMaidstone festival will explore the wider use of contemporary animation as a part of documentary film making in relation to addressing social issues.  During February and March groups of students, lead by industry professionals,  will work with individuals and groups from Maidstone’s local community to produce animated documentaries which will deal with issues around local identity, their circumstances or interest, and their social environment.

The resulting films will then be screened as part of the AniMaidstone Festival which will run on the 7 April from 10.30 – 17.00 at the Maidstone Studios. Films produced by participating professionals and local film makers will be screened alongside the community films to audience made up of community members and industry professionals.

Part of the festival will be aimed at professional animators and documentary film makers with a day long seminar. Renowned animators and film makers from across Europe will deliver talks that challenge and inspire its audience. Included will be presentations and discussions on how these disciplines can address social issues, an example of which is “Persepolis” & “Waltz with Bashir” both of which have been recently nominated in the Animation category for both a Bafta and an Oscar.

The Seminar Programme

The Seminar programme will feature presentations and debate on using documentary film-making and contemporary animation to address social issues, film making in challenging environments, contemporary and documentary animation trends and funding and distribution. The presentations will be interspersed with screenings and networking opportunities.

The seminar will take place at The Maidstone Studios between 10:30 and 17:00 on the 7th April.

Speakers include :-

Kim Hopkins is a documentary film maker and director with wide experience in foreign shoots and challenging environments. Kim has worked for the

BBC World on ‘Women in the Front Line’ and ‘Nurses on the Front Line’

Professor Paul Wells is the Director of Animation at The Animation Academy. He has made a Channel Four documentary called Cartoons Kick Ass and three BBC programmes on British Animation, as well as an educational video on Special Effects for the British Film Institute.

Arnoud Rijken, is a Dutch producer at animation production house Il Luster

Alvaro Barbosa is a sound and image course coordinator at Universidade Catolica, Porto Portugal.

AniMaidstone festival screenings

Leading up to the event, Animation Arts students are producing 5 documentary films, in which they are interviewing local “hard to reach” communities. These will be mixed media films which document a sense of place and identity. Following the seminar you will have the opportunity to attend the AniMaidstone festival screenings at the Hazlett theatre where the student’s films along with films from our seminar speakers and local film makers will be shown. Following the screenings join us for celebratory drinks to close the festival.

The AniMaidstone festival’s partners include the University for the Creative Arts at Maidstone, Maidstone Housing Trust, Kent County Council ” Backing Kent Business, Maidstone Borough Council’s Arts Development Department and MediaTree.

For more information and to book your place for evening screenings at the Hazlett theatre contact Denise Harmer on or ring on 01622 620116.