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‘Hollywood Beckons’ for young animator

26 Jul 2010

More than 50 young people have received awards in an animation competition organised by The University of Manchester – and one could be heading for stardom

Individual and team winners of this year's UK Schools Computer Animation10 competition – which attracted more than 1200 entries from around 200 schools  – received their prizes at a special awards ceremony at The Lowry, Salford Quays.

Each year, computer scientists from The University of Manchester challenge school pupils to create their own animated films, as part of a drive to inspire and enthuse the next generation of computer scientists.

A total of 50 prizes – including notebook PCs, digital cameras and MP3 players – have been scooped by youngsters from 22 schools across the country.

The most prestigious prize, the Electronic Arts ‘Hollywood Beckons’ award, was won by Hal Coley of Bosworth Community College in Leicester, for his film 'Success'.

Staff at the University's School of Computer Science came up with the idea for the UK Schools Computer Animation Competition in 2008 to mark the 60th anniversary of the world's first stored program computer, designed and built in Manchester – known as The Baby.

This year they repeated the competition and were overwhelmed by the volume and quality of entries, almost double as many as last year.

Young people aged between seven and 19 were challenged have to create an animated film, lasting one minute or less, using the animation programs Alice, Scratch or Flash.

Entries came from schools right across the country – from Monifieth High School in Dundee right down to Saltash Community School in Devon.

Organisers hope the competition has given young people a chance to explore computer animation for the first time, and to get them excited about using computers creatively.

Toby Howard from the School of Computer Science, said: "We've been amazed and delighted by the response to this year’s competition. The standard of work submitted has made judging the competition extremely tough indeed.

“Animations have been used to tell a story, to explain or demonstrate a topic or idea. They had to be inspired in some way by the National Curriculum - but the only real limit was the students' imaginations.

"Since the launch of the first stored program computer at The University of Manchester 60 years ago, the progress of computing has been rapid.

"Computers are now an essential part of our modern lives, and we need to encourage the brightest and the best of the next generation to engage in the challenges facing computing.

"And we hope this competition will go some way to raising the profile of computer science amongst children in a fun and exciting way."

The competition was funded by Electronic Arts and Google.

Next years competition, Animation11, launches on 13 September 2010.

Further information, including video and photo galleries, can be found at

Notes for editors

A full list of winners, copies of winning animations and screen grabs are available on request.

Please credit The University of Manchester for any videos used.

Further details about the competition can be found at

For further information, contact

Daniel Cochlin
Media Relations
The University of Manchester
0161 275 8387