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What is Anifest?

Canterbury Anifest is an award-winning animation festival and the largest annual event of this kind in the South East. It’s a great community event that invites people of all ages to come and experience the magic of animation; allowing them to get involved with something out of the ordinary. With its range of workshops, masterclasses, talks and films, it has something for everyone. Anifest also caters for specialists and those in the industry, featuring national and international awards, and guest speakers from some of the biggest names in animation.

A Short History of Anifest


Founded in 2007 by Canterbury City Council, the festival has been programmed and delivered by a number of different teams over the years. Since the humble beginnings of that first festival, Anifest has grown dramatically, welcoming the likes of Aardman, Double Negative, DreamWorks, LAIKA, Pixar, and The Ray Harryhausen Foundation. We've also been fortunate to welcome individuals who have played leading roles in the production of films such as Avatar, Ghost in the Shell, and X-Men, to name but a few. In 2016, Canterbury Christ Church University took over ownership of the festival and handed the responsibility of delivering the next Anifest to a small team of media lecturers - who also happen to be huge animation enthusiasts.

Anifest has always had a unique charm which makes it different from other film and animation festivals. Situated in the historic city of Canterbury and surrounded by the legacy of Smallfilms animation studio (Bagpuss, The Clangers etc.), the festival has always been managed and run by people who love animation and want to share that passion with as many people as possible. Whether you are a budding filmmaker, an industry expert or are just looking for a day out, Anifest welcomes you with open arms to join the fun and share the excitement of a sneaky peek behind the scenes of the animated film.

Meet the Delivery Team

Dr. Chris Pallant

Festival Director

Chris is Vice-President of the Society for Animation Studies and has experience delivering large animation events. He has published widely on the subject of animation, including three books: Demystifying Disney: A History of Disney Feature Animation (2011), Animated Landscapes: History, Form and Function (2015), and Storyboarding: A Critical History (2015).

His favourite animation is One Froggy Evening (1955).

Miss. Joanna Samuel

Festival Director

Joanna is a lecturer in animation and digital media practice at Canterbury Christ Church University. She teaches a range of animation techniques focusing on computer based animation. Joanna spent five years as an animator at Pixel Circus. Her practice based research focuses on interactive animation, immersive technologies and sustainability. 


Her favourite animation is Toy Story 2 (1999)

Dr. Christopher Holliday

Symposium Director

Christopher has published several book chapters and articles on animation and digital technology, and is the author of The Computer-Animated Film: Industry, Style and Genre (2018) and co-editor of Fantasy/Animation: Connections Between Media, Mediums and Genres (2018). He has organised a number of animation-themed conferences, including the recent "30 Years of Pixar Animation Studios" international event, and is also a member of the Society of Animation Studies.


His favourite animation is Ratatouille (2007).

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