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GRAPHIC 2012 Program revealed

Tuesday 11 September, 2012

GRAPHIC 2012 Program revealed

Sydney Opera House, November 10 – 11

A weekend of graphic storytelling, animation and music featuring:

Pixar: Behind The Screens, Fat Freddy’s Drop: Blackbird An Animated & Illustrated Album Preview, Dr. Seuss meets Elefant Traks, The Good Game: ’Roffle Cup’ Live, Animal Logic’s History of Computer Animation, Peter Bagge’s HATE! & Other Neat Stuff, Radio with Pictures, workshops and more...

Sydney Opera House today announced their program for the third annual GRAPHIC festival, a weekend of graphic storytelling, illustration, comics, animation and music on November 10 and 11.

A festival of firsts, GRAPHIC’s eleven performances include world exclusives, Australian premieres and specially commissioned works that celebrate and respond to visual imagination and graphic storytelling. The only festival of its kind in the world, GRAPHIC showcases these artforms to a wider audience, whilst retaining their authenticity and integrity.

GRAPHIC 2012 features new commissions from high profile international and local artists. Pixar: Behind The Screens is an exclusive look at animation studio Pixar’s stunningly successful 25 year career, presented by Pixar’s Academy Award winning director Lee Unkrich and created just for GRAPHIC. New Zealand’s Fat Freddy’s Drop will perform an exclusive, specially commissioned animated and illustrated album preview of their yet-to-be-released fourth album Blackbird, while the wildly imaginative and surrealist universe of Dr. Seuss will be paid tribute by the artists from Australian hip-hop/electronic music collective, Elefant Traks.

Other program highlights include: The Good Game: ‘Roffle Cup’ Live, a live gaming quiz show from ABC TV’s cult video game show Good Game; Creatives from the Academy Award winning animation studio Animal Logic will discuss the origin, evolution and future of computer animation; indie cartoonist and writer Peter Bagge will discuss 30 years of his darkly comic and hysterical work in Peter Bagge’s HATE! & Other Neat Stuff; while FBi Radio and GRAPHIC team up to present Radio with Pictures – one hour of storytelling which is part radio show, part comic strip, all performed live.

GRAPHIC co-curator Jordan Verzar said, "Curating GRAPHIC is a joy each year. We work with, and alongside, some of Australia's and indeed the world’s most talented artists to devise new and interesting ways of showcasing their stories, various art forms and new collaborations for the stages of Sydney Opera House. Mixing up genres and art forms while exploring new avenues of storytelling in a celebration of creativity is at the heart of GRAPHIC. We are proud to have all these artists involved and creating new shows for us at this year’s GRAPHIC!"

GRAPHIC co-curator Ben Marshall said, “GRAPHIC is a fresh, rigorous, fun, original weekend festival about visual storytelling. Everything presented here has been created especially for (and will be performed for the first time at) this festival. When overseas, I’ve had several arts institutions say they’ve noticed its success and are watching it closely.”

“It’s tremendous fun being able to use the heft of Sydney Opera House to highlight great work in mediums like animation and illustration that can produce outstanding work but fall outside the traditional arts conversation. There are a lot of ways into this year’s program and it will be an exhilarating weekend.”

In the special GRAPHIC commission Pixar: Behind the Screens, Lee Unkrich, the Academy Award winning director from the world’s leading creator of animated films, Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios, will guide fans through 25 years of the studio’s work, discussing the creative process behind animated classics such as Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo - plus previewing upcoming Pixar work.

GRAPHIC has commissioned New Zealand’s critically acclaimed “seven-headed soul-monster”, Fat Freddy’s Drop to bring their powerhouse live show to Sydney Opera House for two exclusive Concert Hall performances. Joining the genre-defying act on stage for Fat Freddy’s Drop: Blackbird An Animated & Illustrated Album Preview will be celebrated New Zealand graffiti artist, Otis Frizzell, who will create a live illustration during the performance.

The wildly imaginative and whimsical world of Dr. Seuss will be brought to life by Sydney collective Elefant Traks in the unique musical tribute, Dr. Seuss Meets Elefant Traks. Over 25 musical performers from hip-hop and electronic outfits The Herd, Hermitude, Urthboy, Sietta, Unkle Ho, The Tongue, Joelistics, Jimblah and more will transform the Joan Sutherland Theatre into Seusseville, in this exclusive GRAPHIC commission.

In a bid to discover Australia’s most knowledgeable gamer, ABC’s Good Game will jump out of your TV screens and land in the Drama Theatre, for The Good Game: ‘Roffle Cup’ Live. This live quiz show - by gamers, for gamers – will present a multiplayer showdown of gaming goodness and trivia - a must for those who know their Pac-Man from their Pokemon.

Animal Logic’s Rob Coleman (Animation Director), Grant Freckelton (Art Director / Production Designer) and Aidan Sarsfield (CG Supervisor), will discuss the history of digital animation in this exclusive presentation. Taking a closer look at the Academy Award winning studio’s body of work, Animal Logic’s panel of experts will discuss the art form’s origins, evolution and future in Animal Logic’s History of Computer Animation.

Best known for his semi-autobiographical character Buddy Bradley – the protagonist who featured in the cult ‘90s alternative comic book series, HATE! - Peter Bagge’s satirical take on American life has seen him lauded by critics and his contemporaries for the past 30 years. Considered 'the funniest cartoonist in existence' by Ren & Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi, Peter Bagge’s HATE! & Other Neat Stuff will offer a personal insight into Bagge’s career and art.

An all-star cast of storytellers and graphic artists will stage a unique live event Radio with Pictures – in which radio stories are brought to life by illustrated visuals and sound design. Presented by GRAPHIC and FBi Radio, storytellers Lawrence Leung, Nina Las Vegas, Courtney Collins and Anna Barnes will team up with illustrators Sara Drake, Matt Taylor, Biddy Maroney, Matt Huynh, Georgia Perry and Leigh Rigozzi to present an hour of storytelling like no other.

As part of GRAPHIC’s workshop program, gaming enthusiasts under the expert eye of Qantm College educators will design and create their very own video games, using professional software Unreal Development Kit. At the end of the two-hour Game Level Design workshops, participants can take home their new creation so they can enjoy hours of gaming!

For the third year, Sydney Opera House will present the GRAPHIC Animation Competition. Open to illustrators, animators and storytellers around the world of all levels - the winning entry will receive $10,000 [AUD], plus a trip to Sydney to attend GRAPHIC– to see their winning entry screened on opening night.  Entries close Sunday 28 October, midnight AEST.


Developing a reputation the world over for its inventive and intelligent programming, over the last three years GRAPHIC has attracted some of the world’s most respected artists to the Sydney Opera House. 

Since 2010, GRAPHIC has presented original and inspiring content with nearly half its audience being people buying a ticket to the Sydney Opera House for the first time. Previous festival highlight’s include Gotye’s exclusive world-wide album launch at GRAPHIC 2011, where the festival commissioned special animations for his new songs; the exclusive collaborations and screening of the work of Australia’s Academy Award winning illustrator and author Shaun Tan, and the special commission with international best-selling author and comic writer Neil Gaiman, who turned an unpublished short story into a proto-cinematic reading with projected paintings and musical score.

GRAPHIC at Sydney Opera House
November 10 – 11, 2012
Twitter: @GraphicFestival

Media Enquiries:
Natasha Bowron
Publicist - GRAPHIC
+612 9250 7822 / +61 (0) 401 206 657 

Helene Fox
Publicity Manager – Sydney Opera House
+61 (0) 412 085 032 / 61 2 9250 7805


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