Anthony Kirby introduces Animaze, an international film festival and conference exploring the world of animation in all its diversity.  This year’s festival runs August 17- 20.

Laurie Gordon president and co-ordinator of the Animaze Festival announced this year’s programme at a press conference on 26th July. “ Thank you all for coming. I’m happy to announce that sixty five countries are being represented at this year’s festival.

“Ireland and its animation industry will be represented by four short subjects at this years festival,” said Laurie Gordon .” However, this year the festival will focus not only on animation but on humanitarian issues,” added  Ms Gordon. “ My associate Ken Fernandez has relationships with consulates and politicians at the local, provincial and federal level. Ms Jose Payant of La Croix Rouge will present a film on the life of Dr. Juneau a Canadian Humanitarian who’s spent the greatest part of his life working with survivors and descendents of victims of Hiroshima &and Nagasaki. Dr. Juneau changed lives in Japan,” said Ms Payant.

The festival will also focus on virtual reality technology both as an entertainment element but also as a valuable medical tool. Dr. Samir Segrani of McGill University explained how this technology is currently being used in the remedial treatment of stroke victims: “Using this technology, stroke survivors see objectively how following the infraction they favour their unaffected leg with regards to the number of steps they take. The objective is to reduce the number of steps to a ration of 50/50. This is, of course, in relationship with physio and other therapies,

Hanna Cohen, a therapist at Osmos Academy for handicapped children, described the effects of virtual reality on children. “The children are continually smiling as they put on the headsets, They want nothing more than to get out and explore the world.”

The complete programme of seminars and festival screenings will be announced in the next two weeks.

Anthony  Kirby, July 2017


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