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2010 Event Media Release - GRAPHIC

MEDIA RELEASE: Friday, June 11, 2010

GET ANIMATED: Sydney Opera House goes GRAPHIC with launch of new festival and online competition

Sydney Opera House today announced a brand new festival and online competition to celebrate the imagination and ideas of visionary creators in the fields of graphic storytelling, comics, animation and illustration.

GRAPHIC will take over Bennelong Point on August 7 and 8 and will feature specially commissioned productions, musical responses to graphic art, interviews and panel discussions with renowned local and international figures.

In partnership with Screen NSW and Hackett Films, Sydney Opera House today also launched a world-wide online competition open to illustrators, animators and storytellers of all levels with a cash prize of $20,000.

GRAPHIC’s keynote event will feature celebrated graphic novelist Neil Gaiman reading his new as-yet unpublished story The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains in the Concert Hall. Eddie Campbell (From Hell) has been commissioned to illustrate the story and Australian string quartet FourPlay will create a live underscore to the reading.

The festival will also include an evening with independent filmmaker and comic writer Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma), the legendary Japanese anime epic Akira rescored live by Regurgitator, and Ben Walsh and the Orkestra of the Underground creating a live score to Shaun Tan’s The Arrival.

A series of talks, film screenings, free workshops, and the free Best of the Independent Games Festival 2009 exhibition in the Western Foyers will also take place across the weekend.

Head of Contemporary Culture Virginia Hyam said: “GRAPHIC is your chance to meet the mythmakers for the modern world, from print, pixels and pop. The most famous and infamous creators of comic books, music, animation and story will unite to share ideas, collaborate across art forms and create new performance pieces.”

“This Festival enables us to engage with an entirely new sphere of creative minds, artists and enthusiasts, who are changing the face of popular culture and how we engage with it.”

Co-curator Jordan Verzar of Top Shelf Productions said: “Sydney Opera House embracing and presenting this event is a godsend for the fans. GRAPHIC will present artists you had always hoped, but would never have expected to appear in Australia and in formats you wouldn’t anticipate.”

“Moreover, it will provide a place for Australian artists to meet, workshop, create, educate and find inspiration. For devotees of these mediums there will now be a proper festival environment to indulge their passions.”

Entrants to the online animation competition will be required to create 3 X 20 second animatics that form a three-part series. Judged by an expert panel of industry leaders, all styles of animation are accepted and can be anything from a story board comic to stop motion to 3D.

In addition to the $20,000 cash prize, the winner will receive an Adobe CS5 Master Collection (valued at $4,333) and have their film screened at GRAPHIC.

Chief Executive of Screen NSW Tania Chambers said: “It is great to be working on such a fantastic concept as GRAPHIC with an organisation as creative and forward thinking as the Sydney Opera House.  NSW is highly regarded internationally as the home of a world class animation industry and we look forward to welcoming some of the most gifted and audacious in the field of graphic storytelling both to our home turf and in the online realm.”

GRAPHIC tickets will be available to individual events and a discount of up to 20% applies if buying tickets across multiple shows in a single transaction.

For more information about the GRAPHIC festival and online animation competition please visit the following website:


PRODUCTION                            DATE & TIME            VENUE                    TICKETS
Storyboarding for Film                11.30am, August 7      The Studio               $25
Comic Making Workshop            1pm, August 7            Utzon Room            Free
Publishing Your Work                 5.30pm, August 7       Utzon Room            Free
The Arrival by Shaun Tan             7.30pm, August 7       Playhouse               From $25 or $20 conc.

with Ben Walsh and Orkestra

of The Underground

Neil Gaiman: The Truth Is A         8pm, August 7            Concert Hall             A Res from $65 or $55 conc. 

Cave in the Black Mountains                                                                        B Res from $49/$39

with Eddie Campbell & FourPlay  

Focus on Fantagraphics             11am, August 8          The Studio               $25                         
The Art of Australian Illustration   11am, August 8          Utzon Room            Free                        
Film Screenings                          From 2pm, August 8   Drama Theatre         $15/$10 conc. per session
The Evolution of an Idea             2pm, August 8            The Studio               $25             
Akira with live score by               3pm, August 8            Opera Theatre          From $45 or $39 concession 


Good Game workshop                4pm, August 8            Utzon Room            Free                        
An Evening with Kevin Smith       7pm, August 8            Opera Theatre          From $45 or $39 concession

02 9250 7777 or

Media Contact: Nathan McIlroy, Senior Publicist, Sydney Opera House on 9250 7596 / 0434 146 121 /


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