In mid August I got the opportunity to return to Sydney for a week to catch up with old colleagues for the wrap party of The Lego Ninjago Movie. Coincidentally this coincided with the Animation Effects Awards Festival (AEAF) on Wednesday 16th, so I jumped at the chance to attend.

Held at the historic Chauvel Theatre and now in its 20th year, the festival has been a landmark event in rewarding exceptional talent from around the world, offering a meeting place for celebtration in picturesque Sydney. You can find out more about this fantastic event at their website,

AEAF Title Sequence - Scott Geersen, Substance

This year the event was split into two components. The day session was jam packed with a slew of amazing industry speakers from all over the world, before an evening awards ceremony.

You can see the stellar line-up of speakers below. One of my personal highlights included Anders Langlands from Weta Digital, giving an in-depth, technical breakdown of some of the secrets of crafting realistic forest environments and the fine details required to really push the realism of digital apes. I also got a chance to discover some new studios and meet some new friends like Scott Bradley and Ian Kirby from Rotor Studios and The Sequence Group, respectively. And as always, it was great to see Rob Coleman from Animal Logic speak about our work on The Lego Batman Movie.


9:30am  Rotor Studios   -  Scott Bradley, Director and Glenn Stewart, Head of Design

10:15am  Buck   -  Gareth O'Brien, Creative Director

11:00am  Iloura   -  Lindsay Adams, Visual Effects Supervisor

12 Noon  The Sequence Group   -  Ian Kirby and Luke Bicevskis

1:30 AFTRS - Susan Danta, Head of Animation &VFX. Mastering Story Development through Collaborative Practice

1:45pm  Weta Digital   -  Anders Langlands,  VFX Supervisor'War for the Planet of the Apes'

2:45pm  ILM   -  Jeff Capogreco, Visual Effects Supervisor

3:30pm  Google Cloud   -  Bjorn Leffler, Senior Cloud Engineer - Next generation cloud technologies for Movie Studios

3:45pm  Animal Logic   -  Rob Coleman, Head of Animation‘The LEGO Batman Movie’

4:45pm  MPC - Sheldon Stopsack, VFX Supervisor MPC ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’



You can head to the AEAF website for the full list of award winners here

A special congratulations to some old friends and the team at Cutting Edge for a Silver Award for their event opener for Macquarie Telecom. And to Anders Langlands and the team at WETA DIGITAL for a well deserved Gold Award for their exceptional work on 'War for the Planet of the Apes' in the Feature Film VFX Category.

The team from Cutting Edge took home a Silver Award for their Event Opener made for Macquarie Telecom.

The team from Cutting Edge took home a Silver Award for their Event Opener made for Macquarie Telecom.

Overall it was a great event and I'm keen to see the amazing work that comes out of all the studios this year. Until the next one!

Did you attend the AEAF this year or another great film festival recently? If so, let me know in the comments!