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Shepton Digi Arts 2013 Announcement.

2012 Evening Programme Highlights:

Wednesday, November 7th, from 7pm

Merlin’s Magic Circle - Aardman’s Merlin Crossingham reveals Aardman’s best bits and new 360 approaches to entertaining its audiences 

Merlin joined Aardman Animations in 1996, initially working on many TV commercials and Morph shorts before taking the roles of Key Animator on the feature film 'Chicken Run', and Second Unit Director on 'Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of The Were Rabbit'. He also co-directed the Creature Comforts USA series for CBS, for which he gained an Emmy nomination.

Merlin's significant role across Wallace & Gromit activity eventually led to his promotion to Creative Director for Wallace & Gromit in 2009. Merlin has also created a live orchestral show, Wallace and Gromit’s Musical Marvels, which premiered as part of the 2012 Prom season at the Albert Hall.

Merlin will present a selection of Aardman’s best bits, with fascinating backstage insights showing that there is more to Aardman than meets the eye and how they are using a full 360 approach to interacting with their audience.

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GRACE Productions Presents: MY BROTHER THE ISLAMIST (8pm to 9pm, followed by Q & A with the programme makers 9pm to 9.30pm)

This is director Robb Leech’s first major TV credit. Chosen as part of the BBC Fresh scheme for directors new to network television, the film is a remarkable achievement and testament to Robb’s skills as a story-teller and film-maker. 

In a film that took over twelve months to shoot, Robb sets out to reconnect with his extremist stepbrother and find clues to what led Rich to become Salahuddin. It charts the brothers' relationship and Robb's attempt to understand why the person he'd once looked up to as a teenage role model could so strongly reject all that his family and the Western world believe in. As Robb spends time with Salahuddin, he witnesses a very particular phenomenon - the embrace of radical Islamism by young men, many of them white. Grace Production will present a Q&A with the people involved in making the film and we shall find out what happened next!

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November 8th, from 7pm

Icon Films/BBC Natural World Presents: JUNGLE GREMLINS OF JAVA 

Bristol's Icon Films are a leading independent production company producing award-winning work for broadcasters/channels from all over the world.  Icon's recent ICON/BBC Natural World Jungle Gremlins of Java sparked a major social media campaign against the pet trade in Lorises (the animal featured) and resulted in massively popular material that promoted them as cute pets being withdrawn from YouTube.  Attending the screening will be the Director, Steve Gooder, and Presenter, world renowned Professor of Primate Conservation Dr. Anna Nekaris, for a Q&A session.

The screening will be preceded by:

The music for Jungle Gremlins of Java (Icon Films/BBC Natural World) with Film Composer William Goodchild

The music makes use of Indonesian vocal and instrumental sounds that were recorded by the crew whilst filming on location. Sounds such as karinding, bamboo percussion, chanting and rice pounding were combined with live and electronic western elements to make a score that underpins the dramatic and intriguing storyline surrounding the tenacious yet threatened Slow Loris. Using clips from the film, composer William Goodchild talks about the process of writing and producing music for the film.

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November 9th, from 8pm - 9.30pm

Battle Of The Eyes presents: "The Noise Of Our Art"

Live action painting, film and improvised music clash together as Battle Of The Eyes (Chris Long & Edwin Pouncey) meet musician Cate Ferris and filmmaker Mario Cavalli – in a collaboration that focuses on the visual and sonic underbelly of their combined abstract worlds. 

A loaded brush is passed back and forth and the division of labour is seamless as Battle Of The Eyes focuses on creating a single unified artwork. This extraordinary dialogue between two very different artists, Christopher Long and Edwin Pouncey (aka Savage Pencil) is producing a body of work that ripples with power, wit and imagination.  

The legendary Edwin Pouncey (Savage Pencil) is a comics artist whose work has been included in magazines such as Sounds and The Wire. He has illustrated record sleeves for bands such as The Fall, Big Black, Sonic Youth and Rocket From The Crypt.

Chris Long is a long established illustrator working internationally, particulary in New York and Tokyo. Chris has created character designs for Mattel and designed window displays for department stores in Japan. His work has appeared in Vogue, The New York Times and Glamour among many others.

As founder of Pizazz Pictures and Colony Media, Mario Cavalli has directed, designed and produced literally hundreds of multi award winning commercials, music videos, short films, TV and new media projects, in animation, live action and various technically innovative, hybrid techniques of his own.

Recent work includes the animated adventures of London 2012 mascots Wenlock and Mandeville (as seen on the BBC), which involved him in working closely with animators in Beijing, China, over a two year period. 

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 Cate Ferris - Whimsical, folk tinged, blues-strewn songs-of-praise in a 21st Century soundscape.