SIGGRAPH Festival Plans Global Growth


ACM SIGGRAPH has announced the newly formed Computer Animation Festival Advisory Board, which will be chaired in its first term by Jason RM Smith, a former festival director. The organization puts on the Computer Animation Festival twice annually, and now aims to grow the event around the world.

“The Computer Animation Festival is core to the SIGGRAPH experience,” noted ACM SIGGRAPH President Jessica Hodgins. “Establishing the advisory board is an important step to ensure the festival’s long-term vision of supporting the evolution of technology in storytelling, and expanding outside our twice-annual conferences in an effort to share the much-loved festival with audiences around the world.”

What started as a primitive showcase of the capabilities of computer animation has since grown into an Academy Award-qualifying event. The festival is also credited as the first venue to show early looks at beloved computer-animated films, such as the now classic Toy Story (1995).

Festival programming is comprised of the Electronic Theater, VR Theater (since 2017), and Production Sessions. A recent addition to the festival is its Traveling Show screenings, which take the North American showcase around the world from fall to spring during the conference’s off-season. In 2018, the Traveling Show offers all four award-winning pieces from the summer showcase: Overrun (Student), Bilby (Jury’s Choice), One Small Step (Audience) and Hybrids (Best in Show) as well as the SIGGRAPH 2018 world premiere, Miazmat.

See the full 2018 program here.

The all-new advisory board will consist of past and future Computer Animation Festival directors from both North America and Asia. A British-born U.S. resident, Smith has spent 25 years working in computer graphics for games, interactive, and VR. He previously worked at Electronic Arts & Lucasfilm before founding an independent studio and consultancy in San Francisco. Smith holds a B.A in animation from the Arts University Bournemouth (U.K.)

“It was an amazing experience to direct the Computer Animation Festival, and is an honor to, once again, be working with a talented team to bring new ideas to the beloved showcase,” said Smith.

The SIGGRAPH Asia 2018 Computer Animation Festival was screened 4-7 December in Tokyo, Japan. Upcoming dates for the North American Traveling Show available here — including January 18 in Montreal and February 21 at Savannah College of Art and Design.

SIGGRAPH 2019 is set for July 28–August 1 in Los Angeles, California, and festival submissions will open in January 2019.

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