“The Key” in Rouen

October 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

“The key” has been selected by “This is England” film festival in Rouen from November 2 to November 7, 2015  and will be screened on the 3rd & 4th Novemebr

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“This is England” will show around eight short films every night in the Omnia Cinema in central Rouen, in the morning during school screenings and in a prison in Le Havre, a large city and Normandy’s main port.


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The Key in Lithuania

October 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

Catch “The Key” screening at the 13th International Animated Film Festival  Tindirindis in Vilnius. Lithuania ruin the 26-30 of November!


London Short Film Festival

January 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

The Key has been chosen by the “London Short Film Festival” film festival to screen between the 8th-17th January.

LSFF Laurel 2016

The London Short Film Festival returns to London for the 11th year to be as confrontational as ever and prove that the UK is truly a hotbed of film creativity.

The London Short Film Festival, now in its 12th year, has been recognised as the premiere UK showcase for cutting-edge UK independent film. For the January 2015 Festival, we are opening to international filmmakers.

Renowned for daring cross-arts programming, we have showcased the very best of the country’s raw talent for 11 years. The London Short Film Festival is a Mecca for the UK’s young creative talent and a significant date in the UK film calender.

Every year the Festival’s large and loyal audience flock to screenings and events, and this network has grown steadily over almost a decade.


In 2003 Philip Ilson and Kate Taylor organised the first Halloween Short Film Festival at the ICA. This was formed as a continuation of The Halloween Short Film Club which Philip had been programming since 1994. In 2008 the festival became the London Short Film Festival and has been growing year-on-year to take in more films, live music, industry and training events and diverse, high-quality venues.

Kate Taylor’s last Festival was in 2009 and since then the Festival Producer has been Carla MacKinnon (2010), Chloe Roddick (2011 – 2012), Cassandra Neal (2013 – 2014), and we now welcome Joanna Duncombe as the 2015 Producer alongside a new partnership with Shooting People (who have created a new Festival submissions platform: flock).


  • Philip Ilson (Festival Director)
  • Joanna Duncombe (Festival Producer)


  • Over 7,000 tickets sold
  • 75+ events across 10 days and 25 venues
  • 85% of events sold to capacity
  • Over 300 films screened


“The Best Short Film Festival in the World” – Guardian Guide

“Too good a party to miss” – Time Out

“A London bastion of cutting-edge short films and multimedia” – The Times

“Film fans who prefer multimedia thrills to multiplex fodder have flocked to this festival since its inception” – Metro

“Excellent film/music festival” – Critics Choice, Time Out

“This is a festival not afraid to take creative risks and nurture new talent, something rarely seen in this age of austerity and conformity.” – i-D Magazine

“With so few platforms left for aspiring directors, DoPs, editors and actors their hone their art, the LSFF has never been more vital.” – CineVue

“You could experience 20 things in the time it takes to watch The Hobbit. Take that Bilbo!” – Guardian Guide 2013

BAF Bradford Animation Festival

November 20, 2014 § Leave a comment


BAF Bradford Animation Festival have selected “The Key” Directed by Shaun Clark & Kim Noce to be screened on Friday 21st Novemeber 11:30.

The UK’s longest-running animation festival takes place every November at the National Media Museum in Bradford, UK. Host to screen talks, retrospectives, workshops and special events by some of the industry’s top names the festival culminates in the annual BAF Awards, which celebrate the very best in new animation from around the world.

Past guests include representatives from world-renowned studios Pixar, Aardman, Weta Workshops and Sony Interactive plus animation legends Ray Harryhausen, Richard Williams, Bob Godfrey, Nick Park, Joanna Quinn, Caroline Leaf, Michael Dudok de Wit and Bill Plympton.


Animated Dream, Tallinn Estonia

November 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

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We are delighted our film THE KEY​ has been selected for the 2014 Animated Dreams, Tallin, Estonia

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Animated Dreams is the oldest and biggest festival of animated films in Estonia. In addition to showcasing the work of Estonian directors, it is designed to promote and popularise animation culture from around the globe.

A unique festival, Animated Dreams was launched in 1999 and has gone on to become one of the most respected and competitive animation festivals in the world.

The festival comprises a competition programme of animated shorts, a programme of full-length animated films and a range of special programmes. The competition programme is judged by a three-member international jury. Over the years this jury has included renowned directors, producers, historians and curators working in the field of animation.

The grand prix presented to the winner is the Wooden Wolf, crafted by leading Estonian puppeteers, which has been awarded every year since 2001.

Animated Dreams has called a number of Tallinn’s cinemas home over the years, but it now has two main bases: the Solaris and Artis cinemas. A number of films from the festival are also shown in other towns and cities in Estonia as part of PÖFF.

During the first two years of PÖFF animated films were presented as something of a ‘warm-up act’ to the feature films that followed them. These programmes were put together with the help of well-known Swiss animation specialist Otto Alder.

2001 saw a marked change in approach: in parallel with the 70th anniversary of Estonian animation, the first ever competition programme for animated shorts was launched and an international jury was introduced. The organiser of the festival at the time was Helika Pikkov. Over the years the festival team has often been assisted in putting programmes together by Estonian animation directors and studios.

Since its inception the festival has generated a broad range of useful contacts with other festivals, studios and cultural institutions. Since 2005 Animated Dreams has been a member of the Nordic and Baltic animation festival network ANOBA, of which it was also one of the founding members.

In 2007 the festival helped organise an international puppet film-themed colloquium entitled ‘The Soul of Voodoo’ to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Nukufilm studio. The event attracted more people working in the field of animation all over the world to the Estonian capital than ever before.

In 2011 Animated Dreams made yet another major advance with the launch of AnimaCampus Tallinn, an international networking and training event for young animated film professionals. This creative coming together took place over five days alongside the festival itself and gave the participants the chance to learn from leading lights in the field and to join a network of international contacts.

This year Animated Dreams is marking its own anniversary with the 15thedition of the festival. To celebrate, the focus will once again be on Estonian animation, presenting to audiences the very best that the country has to offer in a doffing of the hat to the big names in our field of animation.

Mosaic Film Festival

November 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

The Key has been selected by the judges committee as a finalist  at the 2014 Mosaic Film Festival.  Out of hundreds of entries they’ve narrowed it down to three program blocks of the best short films. Winners will be announced live at the Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA at 7:00PM EST . They’ll be tweeting live from the event and face booking the results @MosaicFilmExp


The Mosaic Film Experience is a two-day film festival celebrating thought-provoking views of the world around you, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. High school and college students are empowered to use film as a forum for conversations about diversity and different views of the world around us in a three-step process: learn, create, share.



Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three films from each category (three high school student films, three college student films). And new this year, The Rick Wilson Memorial Prize given to the best High School and College entry from West Michigan.

The Key wins Arts Director Choice at Hrizantema Horror &The Fantasy Film Festival

November 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

We are delighted The Key  won one of the  “Arts Director Choice” Award at  Hrizantema Horror &The  Fantasy Film Festival and Video Works

Special thanks to all the crew for the film and everyone in Watford who made this film possible!

Hrizantema Horror & Fantasy Film Festival 2014

Art Cinema “Aleksandar Lifka” „Aleksandar Lifka“ is a cultural institution founded by the local self-government of the city in 2006 with the goal of preserving the oldest permanent cinema in the region, as well as the memory of the cinematography pioneer Aleksandar Lifka.

Since this small institution already completed its primary mission, which was brining people back into the cinema (over 18.000 visitors in the year 2012), it’s time to expand our activities with a specific program that will make us more renowned in our country and beyond. With this in mind, two workshops were organized for the younger demographic – acting and film – and are held within the cinema to give the participants a creative, and not just the consumerist, approach to film.

Modern technology allowed the making of short, animated and documentary films to be more accessible, which gave room for the so called laity to also make films. Our idea for the Chrysanthemum festival is to inspire making short films that will be influential to the modern artistic production in town, since all the prerequisites are there in terms of a movie educated audience, professional filmmakers (Subotica directors Sabolč Tolnai, Rajko Ljubić, Branko Ištvančić, Zoltan Šifliš, Andrej Boka and so on), four local television stations, three places with regular film showings and most importantly, young and ambitious future filmmakers.

Because of the geographical position and ethnic composition of Subotica, the festival intends to go regional from the start, since many of the participants are already culturally linked to Hungary and Croatia.


AUDIENCE AWARD at the London International Animation Festival

November 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

We are delighted The Key  won one of the the Audience Awards for program 3 at the London International Animation Festival. Special thanks to all the crew for the film and everyone in Watford who made this film possible!

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Talk & Q&A for LIAF industry Events at the Barbican Centre

November 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

Today MewLab held a screening, presentation and Q&A for LIAF Industry Events at The Barbican Centre about our latest film “The Key”.  The composer Alex Harwood and the writer Tom Hill joined us  for the Q&A.

Here below some perfect blurry sneaky pictures we managed to take while doing the presentation.

We would like to thanks Nag Vladermersky and Anna Gregory from LIAF  for organising the event, the crew member Alex Harwood and Tom Hill for joining in the Q&A and the lovely public for  attending & asking wonderful and insightful questions.


ReAnimania IAFF

October 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

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The Key has been selected for the competition program of 2014 ReAnimania IAFF, Yerevan, Armenia

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ReAnimania’s goals are to facilitate the development of animation art, educate a new generation of world class animators and provide a forum for presenting works of Armenian animators in the international arena as well as introduce examples of the world’s finest animated films to the Armenian audience.

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October 25, 2014 § Leave a comment



As part of this years London International Animation Festival Mew Lab directors Shaun Clark & Kim Noce will be presenting a special talk about their new film “The Key”. The presentation is part of the LIAF Industry Events and will take place at London’s Barbican Centre 1st November. Taken from the LIAF industry event page here is a little about the presentation. “Shaun Clark and Kim Noce are Mew Lab, an award winning London based animation collective with a bold style of narrative filmmaking ranging from animated documentaries, horror films to children’s television and short film. Their work has won a number of awards and has screened on UK and US television. Both Directors have BAFTA nominations, and are recognized as exciting emergent talent. The Key is their latest film. Taking almost 2 years to complete, 
the work included preparing, printing and coloring 5753 pictures to create the animation with the participation of 500 residents of Watford aged 2 to 90, who created 2000 frames needed to make the animated film.

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“The Key” will also be screened at the festival in the International Competition Programme 3: Being Human (15) on the 26th October up for Best of British and Best of the Festival

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The London International Animation Festival proudly showcases the whole spectrum of creative animation, showing that animation is for everyone. Founded in 2003, LIAF aims to dispel the popular misconception that animation is just cartoons for kids by screening the broadest possible range of intelligent, entertaining and provocative current films on offer from all around the world as well as retrospectives and specialised sessions from countries and animators who don’t normally elicit such attention. The LIAF annual 10-day Festival includes gala premieres, retrospectives, Q&A’s with filmmakers, workshops, audience voting, and the Best of the Festival screening. Since this year LIAF has become much more than an annual Festival – the LIAF team are programming more events, tours, screenings and master classes all year-round to as many cities and countries as possible.


For More information and booking tickets follow the links here

The Key Screening at London International Animation Festival LIAF on the 26 October at The Barbican Centre

Plus Q&A on the 1st November at the Barbican Centre.


October 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

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We are delighted the Jury constituted by Paula Tavares (Portugal), Carlos Fernandes (Portugal) and Sébastien Watel (France) and the Festival’s Organising Committee are pleased to announce that our film THE KEY​ has been selected for International Non-Competitive Programme – Animated Mermaid​ at CINANIMA 2014


CINANIMA is an animation film festival organised by NASCENTE – Cooperative Society with Cultural Purposes and by Espinho’s City Hall. Every since its first edition, back in 1976, it has been developing a regular activity divulging this form of cinema and its authors, being, therefore, considered a precursor of the cultural decentralisation in Portugal. At the same time, CINANIMA has won international recognition, out of the main cultural poles of Lisbon and Oporto.

The Festival is organized by a non-profit association, it is approved by ASIFA – Association International du Film d’Animation – and counts on the support of the Ministry of Culture/ ICA I.P. – Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual, Ministry of Youth/ Portuguese Institute of Youth, Institute Turismo de Portugal, Ministry of Economy, Junta de Freguesia of Espinho and the sponsorship of several private entities, besides partnerships with the media.


The opportunity to present a film at CINANIMA represents, for some directors, one of the few possibilities of showing to the audience the result of their work and effort, apart from the privileges the winners are entitled to. All the winners of the festival are on a list of films, from which the nominees for the “Golden Cartoon”, organised by CARTOON – European Association of Animated Film – will be selected. On the other hand, CINANIMA’s Grand Prize may compete for the Oscar© for the Best Animation Short as the Festival is one of the events recognised by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Throughout these 30 years of activity CINANIMA contributed to create new audiences to this art form, enabling the recognition of the value of animation by a larger number of people, putting aside the prejudice that animation is only for children and consecrating animation as an artistic and multidisciplinary communication platform by excellence.

Besides promoting the contact among professionals and also with the audience, CINANIMA is strongly committed in the education of professionals and the audience. In the last years it has been developing an educational programme in visual arts that, at the same time, enlarges the offer to those who visit the festival.

A Festival, such as CINANIMA, is not only made of films, it consists also of numerous exhibitions, workshops, performances and other initiatives that are held during the week. For those who don’t have the time to be at the festival the whole week and prefer to see the best of the competition, Sunday is surely a good day to come to Espinho and go to one of the fours screenings dedicated to the films that are awarded each year. Those who know it, guarantee that it is worth it. If you have never been here, do profit and discover the festival. If you think you don’t like animation, don’t hesitate and come along and you may well have a very nice surprise!


October 15, 2014 § Leave a comment


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Mew Lab are delighted to be screening again at the “Be There!” Corfu animation festival. “The Key” will be screening in the short film section.  Be sure to attend the festival in beautiful Corfu! The festival itself is in its fourth year and a fantastic meeting point to meet other animators, directors and discover hidden gems from the animation world. Run by Vassilis, Alexandros, Mando, George and the Corfu team you will be sure to have a warm welcome and great time.

This is the second year running the team behind the key ( Mew Lab) has screened films at Be There! after “Lady and the tooth” was shown in 2013. Last years festival contained some wonderful films and filmmakers of especial interest to Mew Lab were the films of Monique Renault (http://www.moniquerenault.nl). Monique was part of the jury and Be There! run a special retrospective of her work where she spoke about her a career.

The venues at Be There are wonderful intimate spaces hidden away amongst the maze of the town, surrounded by bustling bars and cafes…..perfect place to watch films! The festival takes place from the 16th-19th October and this year animator Michaela Pavlátová will be at the festival following her award winning film “Tram”.

The Key will be screened in the Short Film competition D: their own personal stories

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Plus we have an another film screening in the Panorama Section : “The Water Bearer


The festival Statement

Be there! Corfu Animation Festival is the new international animation festival, that includes Corfu, the capital of the Ionian Islands, as its point of reference. It aims to constitute a meeting point for animation artists from all over the world, in April 2011.

The art of animation is much wider in scope than the worldwide-known and lovable cartoon films. Common perception defines animation (in an informal albeit very precise way) as an art addressed to and inspired by the children. But the second leg of this proposed definition, the one that determines its wide scope, is erroneously absent. “An art that is addressed to and inspired by children of all ages, but also inspires those with the courage to think and the power to see what kids can see”.

However, the recent successes and artistic recognition of films such as Persepolis, The Triplettes of Belleville and Up gave us the impulse to seek imaginatively, but with due care to details, our festival goal. Animation films always tend to unfold the unbridled game of imagination, either in the form of stop-motion films with puppets, computer animation or traditional cel drawings.

This element of imagination attracts those who adore filmic messages, new trends in artistic expression, but also like to share intense sentiments -and thereby ‘activate’ their childhood self.

The objective of Be There! Corfu Animation Festival is to treat animation works with professionalism, and total respect for the creative effort that accompanies the 8th art. It also aims to educate (an essential that has conditioned the art of animation), and its various festival activities relate equally to children, adults, visitors, institutions, and all those with an eye to learning and experiencing through art.

Be There! Corfu Animation Festival is a four-day celebration of animation, but does not forget to advertise art and artistic merit in all its forms, combined with an educational glance and a time for entertainment.

The festival is here to stay. This year’s program involves a short-film competitive section, feature-length films, but also director retrospectives and novel tributes, Greek premieres, and multiply acclaimed films. Our agenda includes collobarations with other animation festivals, workshops & speaker panels, and of course, children workshops (Kids, Be there!)

For those of you who create and express yourselves through animated films, this is an opportunity to submit your film.

Starting from Corfu, a traditionally rich point of artistic and cultural reference, you will be given the opportunity to share the magic and joy of the image, ideas and sentiment. Our exciting journey starts on April 7, 2011. Be there!


October 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

The Key has been selected in the Official Short Film selection at CINETEKTON in Mexico. The festival. The festival is running from 9th-12 October in  San Andrés Cholula, Puebla, México.



CINETEKTON! Film Fest, International Architecture and Film Festival is a film platform that promotes the production of national and international films through the search of new perspectives of the city and its architectural manifestations.

CINETEKTON! Film Fest aims to become a reference point for professionals interested in the urbanism world, architecture and filmography, as well as a formative event and a diffusser of the conscience of our environment built on other non-specialized publics.


Since 2011, the architectural firm NR+G Arquitectos organizes an annual Architecture and Film Cycle, being a growing iniciative that results in a natural evolution to festival for the year of 2014.

CINETEKTON! Film Fest aims to become a reference point for professionals interested in the urbanism world, architecture and filmography, as well as a formative event and a diffuser of the conscience of our environment built on other non-specialized publics.

The festival CINETEKTON! aims to become a cinematographic window to the world developed around our cities with all the richness it involves. The urban environment y its architecture extended as the basic core of conformation of a world filled with meanings, contexts and scenarios, allow us a more vast approach to the human being that inhabits these spaces y to ourselves as users of our cities and their architecture.

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Promoting the national and international film production searching new perspectives of the city and its architectural manifestations and providing a platform adequate for the diffusion of these cinematographical explorations and all the manifestations generated around these, the festival CINETEKTON! aims to become a reference point for professionals interested in the urbanism world, architecture and filmography, as well as a formative event and a diffusser of the conscience of our environment built on other non-specialized publics.

Screenings, cultural manifestations, conferences, workshops and other initiatives will give shape to a film festival that will be a party in our city, about the city and for the city. Film and architecture will show us their parallel roads, found together and sometimes colliding together, unveiling the richness shared by these two very contemporary arts that are very close to us.

CINETEKTON! chases the restlessness of proposing, exploring and discovering this fine but unarguable communion between the seventh art that through its spacial vision and its temporal dimension establishes a dialogue with the spectator; and architecture, as a reflection of its historical moment, through its reading ad an image and its interaction with the user, who becomes the main character and the spectator simultaneously. And of course, the city as the big stage where social interactions develop in a broad framework of cultural live, economic growth, political conditions, past memories and visions of the future.

Parallels are established between these two disciplines, that allow us to experiment a new vision through their support in the architecture and the city to tell stories, establish contexts and develop the essential drama behind every narrative exposed in its frames. In line manner, architecture allows a more direct communication channel with the general public, outside of it specialty fields and reaching a wider circle of influence and exposure.

This Architecture and Film Festival will show the important and essential relationship between the person and the built environment, that although people in everyday life appear dismissive therefrom, removing it from that environment and showing that indissoluble relationship under the aesthetics of cinema, it is possible to throw light over it and make conscience about the great value that this relationship has in our daily life. Two disciplines that support each other in the mutual complicity to impact in an astounding way the spectator, user, cinephile, citizen or a simple character author of its own story throughout its life developed in the midst of architecture of the city and its own versions of the possible future.

Filmfest Eberswalde

October 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

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We are delighted to announce the Key has been selected for the competition “animation film”of the 11th Filmfest Eberswalde. It is going to be screened on Friday, 10th October 2014 at 8 p.m. The full program is soon available on the website www.filmfest-eberswalde.de.

Here a small excerpt form the festival Manifesto: Of skin, flesh and stone – fruitful animations

There are a multitude of ways to create animated films, making for a diversity we don’t want to restrict, for it brings colour. Yet techniques should be chosen for a reason, not at random. A film’s animation technique is like a skin enclosing and supporting the fruit of its contents. As such, it should be soft. We place value on personal, creative and lovingly made visualisations that take characteristic effect.
The flesh creates structure. It is the narrative the stone is embedded into. Some are sweet, some bitter, some hot, some juicy – there are many ways for animated films to tell a story. We look for films capable of bearing the tension between stone and skin: films that use their own specific techniques to deliver a capturing, surprising and consistent narrative.
But most of all we value the stone, that is, the content at the core of the story. And at the core we want solid matter: things that provoke thought, that rouse to action and untie communication. The stone should have weight enough to delve deep and provide a lasting impetus when the film is over. We look for small-scale and personal stories exemplifying the bigger picture.
At the end of the day, skin, flesh and stone have to become a fruit.

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“The Key” selected in Cyprus International Short Film Festival

August 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

We are delighted to announce “The Key” has been selected for  ISFFC (International Short Film Festival) , the official short film festival of Cyprus running from the 11 to the 18 of October in the stunning city of Limassol in Cyprus.

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The International Short Film Festival of Cyprus (ISFFC) is the official international short film festival of Cyprus, organised and supported by The Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus in collaboration with the Rialto Theater.The ISFFC has as its main objective the promotion of cinematographic art by presenting a diverse showcase of short films from Cyprus and from around the globe. It presents work of talented filmmakers who successfully use creative cinematic language forms and effectively tell a story in a short film. An International Jury awards the best shorts in the National and International sections.

One of the primary concerns of the International Short Film Festival of Cyprus is to accentuate the independence of short films as an art form and to create a special environment and audience for them. The festival organizer’s aim is the proliferation of short film. The Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus is funding a substantial number of short films every year and is constantly encouraging and helping young and established filmmakers to produce films, create co-productions and develop liaisons with other filmmakers around the world. It is also supporting local filmmakers in showcasing their work globally by attending other International Film Festivals. The Rialto Theatre has a long and established relationship with numerous film and art events hosted in the city of Limassol.
The primary focus of the six/seven day festival in Limassol is its International Competition and National Competition. Fictional, animated shorts and documentaries up to a maximum of 25 minutes compete for the festival’s awards and prizes. The ISFFC’s jury for both sections is comprised each year by acclaimed and well known film professionals, academics and festival organizers from around the globe. By presenting an interesting variety of international short film productions, it offers its visitors a diverse forum and serves as a popular meeting point for filmmakers from both Cyprus and abroad.

The annually held national and international competitions do not distinguish between genres. Instead, all cinematic forms are invited to participate in the categories International Competition. In addition to the competition sections, the festival week provides an extensive range of special programmes and events that aim to educate and entertain. These include retrospectives, tributes to individual film makers and/or specific genres, children’s programmes, seminars, workshops, masterclasses and of course, parties. These programmes have a local or different regional focus each year.

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The Key at The International Film Festival of Patmos

July 21, 2014 § Leave a comment


The Key will be screening at The International Film Festival of Patmos in Greece between the 24-30 july in the main competition

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Here a little bit about the festival: “The International Film Festival of Patmos combines the idyllic backdrop of Patmos with the cutting edge of film to create a unique, creative experience. With its breathtaking natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, Patmos has traditionally attracted people of the arts and cinema in particular. Our vision is to make this treasured destination an exciting place for celebrating talent, originality and craftsmanship in world cinema today. Our long-term goal is to turn IFFP into a platform for a creative exchange of ideas between Greek and foreign filmmakers and a forum for international partnerships and co-productions.”

The Key talk at the Pump House for Watford Live!

June 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Thank you to everyone who came to “The Key” event, we were delighted to see so many friends, collaborators and new faces. we hope you enjoyed the screening and the talk

Also a big thank you to Watford Live! for hosting the event, Nag Vladermersky from London-International Animation-Festival for chairing the talk (and asking wonderfully insightful question), and our amazing crew: Alex Harwood (composer) Laura Horn (choreographer) & Sarah Kerenza Priestley (actor and facilitator) for joining us in the Q&A.

Pictures by John Priestley

“The Key” in the Watford Observer

June 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

We are delighted The Key received the attention of the local newspaper Watford Observer and Rosy Moorhead wrote a lovely article about the making of the Key and its participatory element.

Link to page http://goo.gl/5FFy2F

The Key on Watford Obeserver


PDF 500 Watford residents came together to create animation short The Key, part of Watford Live! festival (From Watford Observer)

Watford screening of “The Key” + Q&A with LIAF Director Nag Vladermersky & Mewlab

June 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

As a part of Watford Live! 2014, “The Key” will be screening at the Pump House followed up by a Q&A with the directors and crew members.

The Q&A will be chaired by  Nag Vladermersky, director of LIAF ( London International Animation Festival)


Date: Sunday 29 June 2014   Time: 4pm – 6pm

Free event, but space is limited, so reserve seats via info@watfordlive.org
Pump House, Colne River Room
Local Board Road
Lower Watford High Street

“The Key” was made with the help of local people from Watford who formed a large part of the crew helping to colour and trace some of the 5000+ drawings before they were scanned and filmed to create the animation. We would like to thank a number of the local organizations who helped make this film happen! Big thanks for the support to: Watford Live!  Watford Borough Council  West Herts College Watford Museum  Intu Watford As well as all the crew who made the film happen Voices Artist
s – Paul Mundell, Dylan Cousins
 & Ellie Mitra Actors
  Dylan Cousins,
 John Priestley, 
Sarah Priestley, Lowenna Priestley, Megan Campbell,
 Alex Chalk,
  Richard Llewellyn, Maya Dodwell & Judith Wright Co-Producer
 Margaret Cheal Screenwriter Tom Hill Choreographer 
Laura Horn Music by
 Alex Harwood Editor
 Benjamin Gerstein Sound Designer
 David Pringle Art Workers
 Tetelle Randrianja,
 Nikolajs Pogrebickis, 
Amy Jennings
, Josey Grant, Alexander Stanlake,
 Greg Woodcock
, Clare Aburn
, Diana Garcia, 
Aniko Kiss
, Luis Jara
, Jessica Leach Colourist for the 5753 frames
The Town of Watford and Surrounding Area Storyline Editor 
Alexander Williams 1st Assistant Director 
Daniel Hartropp Costume Design Consultant
 Jane Cousins Reprographics
 Alison Grant-Davey Dance Studio and Printing Facilities
 West Herts College Events Location
 Intu Watford, Watford Museum, 
West Herts College Watford Live!
 Margaret Cheal
 Alan Bannister In kind Donation by
 West Herts College, 
Watford Live!,
 Watford Museum,
 Intu Watford Thanks to
Dorothy Thornhill MBE, Elected Mayor of Watford, 
Watford Live!, West Herts College & Staff
, Watford Museum & Staff
, Watford Borough Council
, GuidePost Trust, 
Intu Watford & Erin Walsh
, Sophie Cady Ronson, Cousins Family, Priestley Family, 
Stephen Lenman
, Amma Gyan, 
David O’Sullivan
 and everyone who participated at the events to create the animation.

“The Key” has won the jury special mention award at Scratch International Animation Festival.

June 11, 2014 § 1 Comment

We are delighted “The Key” has won the jury special mention award at Scratch International Animation Festival. We would like to thanks the jury members, including  Forough Raihani and the whole Scratch team!

We would like to thank Watford and Watford Live! The Scratch Animation Festival were delighted by the story behind “The Key” and its participatory process involving the towns people of Watford. ( in fact some italian asked me if all the people in watford are professional artist & filmmakers…)

Here few pictures marking the visit, pictures by Mewlab and Paride De Carlo

The Key official selection at Rabbit Festival

June 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

locanidna egn web

We are delighted “The Key” has been selected in the official program of RabbitFest 2014, in the stunning City of Perugia, where italian animation flourish! Amazing illustrator like Virginia Mori and other fantastic duty members.  And to make even more special the short film by Shaun Clark  ‘Lady and the tooth” has also been selected.

The festival will run from 11 June to the 16th June.

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 18.50.43

The RabbitFest – International Animation Film Festival was founded in 2010 by the Cultural Association Skunk, committed to the promotion of international films that are not always distributed in Italy.

With RabbitFest, we chose to focus on animation, because we believe it is an underestimated genre, too often associated solely with a child audience. Above all, we are convinced that this genre includes masterpieces that deserve to be known by the general public.

RabbitFest takes place in the art city of Perugia, the Umbrian capital, a place rich in history and the cultural and economic hub of the region, which is experiencing a time of great cultural ferment thanks to its nominations as European Youth Capital 2017 and European Capital of Culture 2019.

This cultural dynamism is a symptom of the area’s desire to emerge and the attention it has always paid to foreign cultural influences. Not surprisingly, Perugia boasts the oldest university for foreigners in Italy.

Full catalog here:book2014

Mewlab Q&A at Scratch! Film Festival 2014

June 2, 2014 § Leave a comment


MewLab directors Kim Noce & Shaun Clark will be guests at the Scratch Film Festival 2014 where they  will give a talk about the production of the “ The Key“, on  the 6th June at 7pm.  The Key has  also been selected in the official competition for the 3rd edition of Scratch Film festival, hosted in the stunning city of Lecce, (Italy). The film will be screened on the 4th June at 9pm. Both events will be held at at Ach ( Ammirato Culture House ).


Scratch! is a festival entirely dedicated to animation, particularly to short movies. Opened to the best international productions from all around the world, Scratch! has become a hub of reference for all experts in the sector as for followers of the genre alike. Since the first edition of 2012 following a public funding Principi Attivi, with an international call Scratch! has brought the selection of the best works worldwide. In the two previous editions it screened more than two hundred shorts scanning throughout the whole sector.Scratch! is homed in Lecce, a small city of art in the South of Italy, embedded with the surrounding. As inspirational frenzies come together, there is the chance to give voice to a flourishing new application.

Scratch! is part a project designed, organised and produced by Animood association.


Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 18.52.49

New poster for “The Key”

May 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

POSTER 2 version 1 small

When the residents awake to find the key missing to the Town gate frustration soon sets in. Only this key is happy to be lost and keen to show some things should not be found. www.thekey.mewlab.com

Macedonia Premiere for the Key at Watch Out Tetovo Film Festival

May 17, 2014 § Leave a comment


We are delighted the Key has been selected for the official selection Watch Out Tetovo Film Festival to be screened on the 24th May 2015

WatchOut! is an open air film Festival organized by Loja. The third edition of WatchOut! Film Festival will take place from 21st to 24th of May 2014 in Tetovo. Click here for the program of the festival.

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 14.07.03

International Selection for 5th Golden Kuker Sofia

May 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

Golden Kuker Sofia Mewlab the Key

The Key has been selected for the 5th Golden Kuker in Sofia between 12-18 May 2014 ( link can be found here)

The International Animation Film Festival (IAFF) Golden Kuker- Sofia was run for the first time in October 2010 in Sofia. Named after Proyko Proykov (legendary Bulgarian animator) it is the first animation festival from the new century. One of the most attractive events in the arts calendar of Bulgaria takes place every spring in May. It is organised by the Bulgarian Association of The Independent Artists and Cartoon Animators an NGO chaired by Mrs. Nadezhda Slavova (cartoon artist, director, filmmaker and author of numerous animation films). The Association aims to connect animators, support their networking and create long lasting relationships within the cartoon industry.

The mission of the IAFF Golden Kuker-Sofia is to contribute to the development of Bulgarian art, to help Bulgarian and foreign animators get in touch and to support young professionals and students. The animation festival attracts not only children but large audience from different generations. IAFF Golden Kuker-Sofia has achieved high-level of professional performance, large number of international appearances, and variety of great animation works. Throughout the whole year people have the opportunity to attend master classes led by world known directors and animators, visit contemporary art seminars and exhibitions, and join interactive lectures. Environmental contest, Sofia’s children day and travelling festival are other festival’s post- events. After the festival international guests have the possibility to travel around Bulgaria, to discover wonderful spots and explore historical places with the tourist packages offered by IAFF Golden Kuker-Sofia.

Every year the festival has a special theme. The Jury awards two big prizes. The Grand Prix Golden Kuker presented to the best short or feature film and The Special prize Proyko Proykov awarded to the best film of the current year’s theme.

Golden Kuker sofia mewlab the key

Australian premiere at Melbourne International Animation Festival

May 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 20.25.53

We are pleased to announce that “The Key” Directed by Mew Lab and made as part of Watford Live! Arts Festival will screen at this years MIAF festival. The Melbourne International Animation Festival is one of the largest  in the world and shows more than 350-400 films each year. 

MIAF14 hits the screens & podiums 19-29 June at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). As a whopping eleven day celebratory feast of forums and over 400 of the best recently released, historical and retrospective animation from around the world, MIAF continues to promise fearlessly uncompromising programs to inspire, delight and challenge those pesky notions that animation as an artform is merely a 3D-CG-block-buster-a-rama or TV toons (as excellent as they can be!). Because here at MIAF central, we definitely know that’s not the case. Indie animation is an art form that continues to thrive and develop as a breathtaking medley of styles, materials, techiniques and production – from hand drawn, paint on glass, collage, sculpture, cut outs, puppets, abstract, sand/salt, solely digital to some of the more interesting developments in 3D.

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 20.23.25Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 20.23.12

“The Key” was made with the help of local people from Watford who formed a large part of the crew helping to colour and trace some of the 5000+ drawings before they were scanned and filmed to create the animation. We would like to thank a number of the local organizations who helped make this film happen! Big thanks for the support to:

Watford Live! Watford Live! is a community arts festival, designed to provide an entertaining showcase for all aspects of the arts as represented by groups and individuals who live, work or perform within Watford Borough. We aim to get anyone and everyone in the Watford art world to put on or participate in an art-based event.

Watford Borough Council Watford Borough Council is the local authority for the Watford non-metropolitan district of England, the United Kingdom. Watford is located in the south-west of Hertfordshire, in the East of England region. We especially would like to thank the support of Dorothy Thornhill

West Herts College An Ofsted Outstanding College. From career-focused qualifications to degree courses – join us and get the skills you need for a bright future.

Watford Museum Telling the story of Watford past and present, Watford Museum is housed in the former Benskins Brewery Mansion. The museum has displays of local history and industry, including Watford Football Club memorabilia, Cassiobury heritage and fine art.
You can view some of our collections through on line galleries: Watford FC, The Cassiobury Collection, our fine art collection and our sculpture collection.

Intu Watford

As well as all the crew who made the film happen Voices Artist
s – Paul Mundell, Dylan Cousins
 & Ellie Mitra Actors
  Dylan Cousins,
 John Priestley, 
Sarah Priestley, Lowenna Priestley, Megan Campbell,
 Alex Chalk,
  Richard Llewellyn, Maya Dodwell & Judith Wright Co-Producer
 Margaret Cheal Screenwriter Tom Hill Choreographer 
Laura Horn Music by
 Alex Harwood Editor
 Benjamin Gerstein Sound Designer
 David Pringle Art Workers
 Tetelle Randrianja,
 Nikolajs Pogrebickis, 
Amy Jennings
, Josey Grant, Alexander Stanlake,
 Greg Woodcock
, Clare Aburn
, Diana Garcia, 
Aniko Kiss
, Luis Jara
, Jessica Leach Colourist for the 5753 frames
The Town of Watford and Surrounding Area Storyline Editor 
Alexander Williams 1st Assistant Director 
Daniel Hartropp Costume Design Consultant
 Jane Cousins Reprographics
 Alison Grant-Davey Dance Studio and Printing Facilities
 West Herts College Events Location
 Intu Watford, Watford Museum, 
West Herts College Watford Live!
 Margaret Cheal
 Alan Bannister In kind Donation by
 West Herts College, 
Watford Live!,
 Watford Museum,
 Intu Watford Thanks to
Dorothy Thornhill MBE, Elected Mayor of Watford, 
Watford Live!, West Herts College & Staff
, Watford Museum & Staff
, Watford Borough Council
, GuidePost Trust, 
Intu Watford & Erin Walsh
, Sophie Cady Ronson, Cousins Family, Priestley Family, 
Stephen Lenman
, Amma Gyan, 
David O’Sullivan
 and everyone who participated at the events to create the animation.

Greek Premiere in Athens Animfest

April 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 16.23.13

“The Key” has been screened in Athens in the prestigious AnimFest in the competition section on Monday 17th March , amongst some fantastic animations.

The Key 003

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 16.23.37

The Key Trailer

December 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

“The Key” is a seven minute animated film about the residents of a Town who awake to find the key missing to the Town gate. Only this key is happy to be lost and keen to show some things should not be found.

Here our trailer online for “The key” which  can be found at at out new link for the full website http://www.thekey.mewlab.com

“The Key” was made possible by our wonderful crew and colleagues who we would like to thank!

Final Stills for the Film

October 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

(click to view larger images)

Review in Watford Arts Forum by Grelle White

July 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

On the 4th april we had a “work in progress” Private View of the film at the Pump House in Watford, organised by Watford Live. The evening was a asuccess and we were delighted to see the Private View featured on the Watford Arts Forum, with an article by Grelle White.

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 10.10.13

Click to access WAAF_Spring%20Summer_Magazine.pdf


Post stamp for the film

May 5, 2013 § 1 Comment

The game of creating small details for an imaginary world.

Almost ready for Festivals…

April 27, 2013 § 2 Comments

We are going to polish the film, finish the grading, correct the last few mistakes and update the website with Press Kit, Stills and all the necessary “equipment” for the film to be sent off  to festival…

We have a long list of festivals, tons of application form to fill, lots of postcards to create, tons of DVD copies to make send off… the journey begins.

Short films usually have a two to three year life around the festival circuit, the first year its all about the world premiere, and  each countries premiere

After that the film will be available to be viewed online and to be selected for the smaller film festivals.

It usually end up with the film travelling around the world and leaving us wishing we had the funds to follow it around

Private View for production team and crew only

April 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

On the 4th april we had a “work in progress” Private View of the film at the Pump House in Watford, organised by Watford Live. Our guest list comprised those who worked both in front and behind the camera, in post-production, and some of the dozens of people who coloured in over 5700 frames to make the film possible.  We were also joined by those who helped to fund, and gave us workshop space.

We take the chance again to thanks everyone that came and supported us through the production: the participants, the volunteers, the crew ,the funders, the Major of Watford Dorothy Thornhill, the actors, friends and family. We have loved every single moment of the production and we are glad we have met and involved hundreds  & hundreds of people .

We involved almost 500 people from age 2 to 90 in the making of the film.: locals have been acting, drawing, animating, dancing, and also colouring in a staggering 5700 frames for the animation! And to top it up we had 2707 views  to date on the site, and an extra 560 readers are actually following this blog.   

The project was part of Watford Live!, with the aim of encouraging people in the town to participate in an activity which they might not have experienced before.   There are  plans to have a workshop and a screening in 2014/2015 when the film comes off the festival circuit.

The evening was a delightful success and we are looking forward to finish off the film and  send it to festivals around the world and to find out where the film will have its own world premiere.

Sound Design & Mixing

March 25, 2013 § 1 Comment

Wonderful session with our Sound Designer, David Pringle and the composer Alex Harwood for the final mix for sound and music

Sound Recording

February 27, 2013 § 2 Comments

On the 26 february we had a wonderful session recording all voices for the film. We spent all day with David Pringle, Our sound Designer. The voice artists joined us at his studio to record their part in the film. Paul Mundell was casted as the main narrator, while Ellie Mitra played the part of the Mum and the Dancer and finally Dylan Cousins did the voices for James. Here below few picture of the day.


February 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

Recently we passed the day with Benji Gerstein in the editing room to define the shape of our film. We talked about the story, what it means, what we want to tell and how to reach the audience. There are no better visual storyteller than Editors!
Here are some photographs from the editing day. Do not be fooled, all the pictures are really related to the film!

Location: The Shop Studios


February 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

While compositing the animation we are already looking at the Grading of the picture. Starting from the original picture we are testing texture, shades and grain to combine  the different elements together. (Click the pictures to see it full screen)

Miniature Milestones

February 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

On the 19 January the last frames was coloured in by Alan Bannister, while today we are delighted to announce that we have water-coloured  and captured the last shot. Proceding with the next step: to complete the compositing!

The Process

January 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Every single shot has been first acted, then filmed, printed out, coloured in, water coloured,  and re-filmed under the animation camera. Then for each shot we draw, coloured, painted and scanned the background . Finally the different elements were imported in  the computer and we composited  the animation with the background and we start to animate the fog.

It roughly means we create about 25/90 frames (1-3 sec) a day from scratch depending on complexity. Here some gifs that show the last part of the process from the water-colour to the composited shot


photo 1030

photo 2

The last frames coloured in! Thank you!

January 19, 2013 § 2 Comments

We would like to thanks everyone that, despite the snow, joined us at the WATFORD MUSEUM on the 19 January… we traced and coloured the last 500 frames!

Also we wish to thanks Watford Museum for their hospitality, Margaret Cheal and Alan Bannister from Watford Live, Stephen from Silencio, the GuidePost Trust, Amma Gyan and David O’Sullivan.

Now another month of work to finish to composite the animation, then the postproduction will start : editing, creating the sound, recording the voices, composing the music and grading the picture! The last steps…

Last chance to participate! All Free!

January 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

Last chance to participate in our marvellous collective film! If you did not manage to come down to one of our drop in sessions you still have a chance to meet and join us at Watford Museum on the 19 January from 10.30 am to 4pm. It is free and we will have cakes and tea…

We involved almost 500 people: locals have been acting, drawing, animating, dancing, and also colouring in a staggering 5000 frames for the animation! And to top it up we had 1831 views on the site, and an extra 560 readers are actually following this blog.  Thank you all for your support!

Well why not join us for a lovely relaxing morning or afternoon with family, friends… the more the merrier!( With also a sneak preview of what the animation that has been created so far!)


Script Editor:Tom Hill

January 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

We are delighted we are working with Tom Hill, tidying up the Voice Over for the film.

Tom has recently graduated from the NTFS, and he was the script editor in “Head Over Heels” the short animated film  just nominated for an Oscar and it has won an Annie Award  only a couple of days ago. Congratulation Tom!


Well we held lovely conversation with skype about the little town, its inhabitants, James journey and lots more … and the voice over is shaping up nicely.

A wee bit of Movement

January 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

We are painting and filming all the frames to be composited together with the backgrounds, here some GIFs showing part of the process



I particularly love this second shot: on the right hand corner you can see “flickering by” all the names of all the people that coloured in the different pictures . In this GIF 10 different people coloured few frames each

A Winter Room of One’s Own

December 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

the foggiest ideal shaun clark kim noce mewlab animation blog

The days are short and to shoot an animation more often than not you need a dark room to maintain a constant level of brightness. Well, it can feel a little bit like “Groundhog Day” so a beautiful list help feeling a sense of achievement:

So far we did:

  • 4000 frames coloured in
  • 127 A3 Painted Props
  • 66 A3 Painted backgrounds

And now we are about to watercolour and film 5500 frames… But we do still need to colour the last 1000 frames and composite the 66 shots together with the animation It will all takes two more solid wintery months. And after the animation we will do the edit, sound, music, and master it all for cinema viewing.

Here a small sample painting the character of 25 frames, this is only a second of animation.



We paint  and film each single picture.

But at least we have already done:

  • 10 meetings
  • 3 events with 350 people (+ one extra event on the way)
  • 1 casting day
  • 3 Days Rehearsal
  • 2 Days Shooting
  • 1 week editing
  • 1 week scriptwriting
  • 1 week research with 4 mood boards
  • 1 week for 2 animated tests
  • 1 week to create the whole storyboard
  • 2 days to print the 5500 frames
  • 3 days to photographs object for reference for the paintings
  • and about 2 to 3 weeks administration to organise it all
  • and lot of thinking and solid “dreaming”!

Well we are workaholics!

66 Backgrounds and 127 Props

December 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ticked, ticked, ticked! On the wall our lovely schedule tell us we have just finished painting the 66 backgrounds needed for the film!

We have not added yet the fog and the picture are not graded (hence the colour are not the final ones), but one can start to feel the town becoming real… we cannot wait to fill it up with the wonderful characters everyone has been drawing and colouring in…

Here below a collage of few backgrounds and an example

backgrounds fragments



041 BG

And our unglamorous but efficient schedule on the wall


Shaping a world

October 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

We are creating all the backgrounds for the film. We started with a fictitious map of the town and a long list of things we need. The maps are just rough sketches to gives us an idea.

We are painting the objects and items we need… These are the first ones. With more background tests.


Keep Calm and Carry on Drawing

August 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

We are inching our way towards the final frames, few hundreds to go…!

Then we will film each frame adding the watercolour.

After  we will create all the backgrounds, and  finally we will combined them all together.


July 15, 2012 § 2 Comments

We are working on a moodboard to find the perfect style for the backgrounds. So we just explore  a lot of books, illustration, and filmmaker we love.
There are images from  Andrei TarkovskyYuriy NorshteynEdward GoreyMichelangelo Antonioni and many more wonderful contemporary artists…

Another fantastic event on the 7 JULY at WATFORD MUSEUM! THANK YOU!!!

July 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

We would like to thanks everyone that joined us at the WATFORD MUSEUM  on the 7th JULY… we  traced and coloured almost 500 frames!

Also we wish to thank  Watford Museum for their hospitality,  Margaret Cheal from Watford Live, Steven from Silencio, and  our wonderfully  professional animators & artists  Amy Jennings, Diana Garcia, Aniko Kiss, Luis Jara.

Here are some of the picture of those who participated!