I got into Newcastle yesterday around noon, and was met by Mat Fleming, one of the programmers at the Star and Shadow Cinema, an alternative space that has been around about ten years. I spent a few hours walking around the city, and swinging by the Northumbria University and Newcastle University campuses – Northumbria is the one that has an animation course in their media department. By the description in their prospectus it seems quite commercially oriented, but apparently they’ve just hired a few animation tutors who are more broad-minded. In fact, a bunch of their students came to the screening that evening.
Mat and I swung by the private view of a video art exhibition curated by a friend of his, and settled in at the cinema. The seats got quite full, and Mat said about half the people were new faces to him – probably the animation students mentioned earlier. The Inter-Action screening went well despite a technical hiccup, and there were interesting questions afterwards about distribution, funding and techniques. The cinema has a nice bar area out front where everyone mingled into the late hours.
The evening was capped off by a late night rescue of Claus the cat, who had gotten himself stuck down in a basement patio 8 feet below ground level. We finally had to lower a ladder and the cat climbed straight up. The next morning he mauled a bird and brought it, still alive, to the front door. Thank you, perhaps?
Thanks very much to Mat and his welcoming, inspiring housemates for such a fun time!
Friday I take the train to the Netherlands, and the next event is at De Nieuwe Anita in Amsterdam on Sunday, Oct 16th.