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Manchester production house up for animation’s highest award

The Black Slide

Manchester-based animation and VFX Studio, Flipbook Studio, has co-produced a short that is nominated in the Best Short Subject category at this year’s prestigious Annie Awards, animation’s highest honour, which will be held in Los Angeles on Saturday, February 26.

The film which is written and directed by Uri Lotan and co-produced with The Hive Studio in Tel Aviv, has already won a slate of high-profile awards at international film festivals, including a British Animation Award, the Animated grand prize at the Heartland Indy Shorts Festival and Anima festival in Brussels. It was also shortlisted for this year’s Oscars, and nominated for the Cristal award at Annecy International Animation Film Festival. Black Slide follows Eviah, a young and timid kid on the brink of puberty, who with his best friend sneaks into the Black Slide, the most terrifying ride at Aqua Fun. There, Eviah gains insight that prepares him for tragic events about to unfold at home.

The film was inspired by a formative moment from Lotan’s childhood, the passing of his mother. It was an experience that shaped him and became ingrained in his consciousness.There was something unique to how it happened, and he felt like it was time to get it out of his head and onto the screen.

Andrew Lord, co-producer on the film, said: “It was one of our lead artists at Flipbook, Yuval Turgeman, who introduced the studio to Uri. Yuval is from Tel Aviv originally, although now settled in Manchester, and had previously worked with Uri and co-producer Amit Gicelter from [Israeli co-producer] The Hive. We read the script and fell in love with the story and knew we wanted to help bring it to the screen.

“Five years later and we’re honoured and delighted that the film has been so well received internationally. Being shortlisted for the OSCARS and nominated for the Annie’s has really been the icing on the cake to what has been a fabulous year for the film and all who worked on it.”

The Flipbook and Hive teams have only met in person a handful of times at international screenings of the film, despite working closely together over the last 5 years. “We’re all very much looking forward to catching up and celebrating in LA, whatever the outcome,” Lord added.

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