Machinima Europe 07 Award winners De Montfort University’s (DMU) Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT) today announced the winners of the first European machinima awards. The first machinima festival to be held in Europe took place at DMU in Leicester and in Second Life this weekend (12-14 October) and included a packed awards ceremony which recognised some of the best talent in this quickly-growing genre. Machinima is a fusion of film-making and computer gaming, which is increasingly used as a quick and cost-effective way to create animated films and has a rapidly growing following. See www.machinimaeurope.co.uk for more info. The Machinima Europe 07 Awards were presented by Toby Moores, Visiting Professor at the IOCT and CEO of ideas company Sleepydog, which makes Buzz quiz games for Sony’s PS2. The awards went to machinima makers from around the globe including the UK, Germany, Australia, Canada, the USA and Croatia: Selected from more than 150 films submitted to the festival, the Best Picture award went to Stolen Life, by Nanoflix productions (Australia), which also won Best Visual Design and Best Direction. Former DMU student Ricard Gras, of La-Interactiva UK, won Best Technical Achievement for his film Machinima Island (Episode 1); and Best Sound award went to Innocent Minds by James Dubose (USA). The award for Best Series went to Grid Review (Episodes 3,7 and 8) by the ILL Clan (USA); and Best Experimental award went to Cirque du Machinima: Cuckoo Clock by Tom Jantol (Croatia). Best Student film was Machinima! With Officer Dan (Episode 1) by Amorphous Blob Productions (USA); and the Best Story award went to Snow Witch by Britannica Dreams (UK/Canada). The festival itself showcased the latest machinima films and live performances, and attracted media and games industry representatives from around the world to workshops and panel discussions on topics ranging from the impact of machinima on mainstream media, to advice on making and distributing your own films. The festival, supported by the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences (AMAS), also attracted both professional and enthusiast creators of animation with an estimated 700 people attending the festival across the weekend. Paul Marino, Executive Director, AMAS, which will hold a Machinima Festival in the US next spring, said: “It was great to have had an event in Europe to celebrate machinima and to see how seriously people are taking it here in Europe now; it’s been a great success. We’re seeing just the start of something that is bound to grow and grow and we’re excited to be working with De Montfort University because of its lead in creative technologies and pioneering with events like this.” Professor Andrew Hugill, Director of DMU’s IOCT, said: “The range, diversity and quality of entries to the festival has been amazing, and we’ve had everyone from every background here; all ages from pensioners to children, and the machinima films themselves have had a range of inspirations from political, to artistic or technical visions, and everything from one of the first feature films to be made in the genre, to three minute comedies, and one minute commercials.” Toby Moores, said: “It is particularly significant that we received 64 games trailers from key international games companies including Microsoft and Sony as they see machinima as an important development, and the Machinima Europe Festival as a key event for their brand to be seen at. I’m convinced that the next three years are going to see machinima becoming a very significant film and animation production method. And it’s right that De Montfort University is in at the beginning of this with its expertise in collaboration, creativity and technology.” Friedrich Kirschner, respected machinima film maker and visual artist who is on the Board of AMAS, and currently Artist in Residence at TNA Hellerau in Dresden, Germany, said: “I have been delighted to see so many media here from all over Europe and how well-informed they are which shows it was the right time to establish a European machinima festival.” Each day of the festival catered for people with different levels of expertise in machinima. The Friday was designed for schools and catered for teenagers from colleges around the UK and the Second Life Machinima Europe Festival was hosted by SL Inworld Productions, an agency specialising in virtual worlds, and HatHead Incubators, a creative virtual experience company, specializing in immersive environments and digital communities. Festival photographs have been posted on Flickr, with a link from our Facebook group (‘machinima festival Europe 07’). Photos can be viewed at www.flickr.com/photos/machinimaeurope/. Burnie Burns and Jason Saldana of Rooster Teeth Productions, makers of the popular online sitcom Red vs Blue, performed during the festival and took part in panel discussions. The Awards ceremony can be seen again at www.ioct.dmu.ac.uk/machinima.html.