EXPERTS behind screen blockbusters including Fantastic Beasts, Harry Potter and Star Wars are coming to Teesside University to meet the next generation of animators and creators of computer games.

The university has established itself as a global leader in animation, games and VFX training. From Monday, May 16 it is holding the Animex Festival, which brings together leading experts and exhibitions which shows the kind of training students can get.

Industry leaders include BAFTA and Academy Award nominee Christian Manz, who helped bring the wizarding world to life in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Fantastic Beasts. Also appearing is Taylor Moll, who worked on Shrek Forever After, Kung Fu Panda 2, and the Ron’s Gone Wrong on Disney+. Leading 2D animator Tina Nawrocki, whose credits include Netflix’s Green Eggs and Ham, Space Jam; A New Legacy and Canadian Mega-star Drake’s new music video Knife Talk will also be there.

The Festival which runs to May 22 also features screenings, workshops and exhibitions. Tim Brunton, senior lecturer in animation and production management at the university, said the experts will share unique insights into the industry and behind the scenes stories from some of the world’s biggest animated titles and computer games producers.

He said: “Teesside University has established itself as a global leader in animation, games and VFX training over the years, not least through its Animex Festival, which has created an international reputation for excellence since it was founded in 2000.

“We are excited to welcome such big names from the industry again, including the familiar faces of some of our successful graduates. All this incredible talent in one place is sure to provide inspiration to our current students, who will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of these experts and make their mark within this exciting industry once they complete their studies.

“We are extremely proud to be a driving force behind raising the profile of animation, games and VFX, not only in the region, but on a global scale, and the Animex Festival will continue to showcase the best and brightest talent within industry for generations to come.”