Saturday 15 July 2017

Acorns 5-Year Anniversary!

Can’t believe my student film Acorns is now 5 years old! I made this in about 9 months at the University of Wales, Newport with over 2235 drawings, 232 storyboards, many revisions and a small army of amazing colourists. 
Thanks to all my wonderful friends and family who contributed and supported me through this film. There’s still a few things I’d love to go back and make better, but I think I’m still happy with the film as is… although now I think it’s about time I made a new one! :)
Winner of the Royal Television Society Wales Centre 2012 Award for Student Animation.

“Well told and animated with just the sort of design and animation idiosyncrasies that tickle my fancy. Brilliant.”
Robin Shaw, Co-Director of ‘The Snowman and the Snowdog’ (2012) and 'We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ (2016)

Order the DVD now on my Storenvy online shop for behind-the-scenes and extras:

Upon a hill grows a grand Oak tree, which also happens to be home to a playful tree Spirit. Amber, a curious youngster, befriends this Spirit and throughout the seasons they form the strongest of friendships. Every day the Spirit gives Amber an acorn to plant, but the little girl is naive and threads them onto a necklace instead. One night, disaster strikes and Amber must realise the importance of caring for nature.

“Acorns” (2012) is a short 2D animated film by Animator and Director Gemma J. Roberts and her final year film at the University of Wales, Newport.

Klik! Amsterdam Animation Festival 2013
Blackrock Animation Film Festival 2013
ANIMA - Córdoba International Animation Festival 2013
The Inconnu Festival 2013
The Mecal Festival 2013
The Royal Television Society Wales Centre 2012 - Animation: “Acorns” by Gemma Roberts & Team
Festival Noche de Monos 2012
Banjaluka International Animated Film Festival 2012
Newport Animation & Games Graduation Show 2012 - Won “Best Animation” and “Best Overall Film”

Music by Ben Rusch:

Visit the Production Blog at:
Find us on Facebook at:

Copyright © Gemma J. Roberts 2012 and the University of Wales, Newport.

Thursday 14 August 2014

Last of the Festival Circuit

Just when I thought the 'festival circuit' was finished for Acorns, the film has been accepted into this year's MUMIA (Mostra Udigrudi Mundial de Animação) 2014 in Brazil! Looks like fun!

The shortlist is up on their blog now, scroll down to the 'International' category to see Acorns at the top!

I also have a couple of other cool things to talk about, first is a certificate and program that came in the post all the way from Argentina! This was from the ANIMA - Córdoba International Animation Festival back in October 2013. I received a lovely certificate of participation and a complete printed program of the entire festival catalogue!

And there is also news from the 15th Hiroshima International Film Festival 2014 in Japan. Sadly, I received a letter declining my film for the competitive screenings (of which there were 2,217 entries and only 59 accepted!) but it was so nicely worded and presented I wanted to share it!

Good news however is that Acorns will be in the 'educational film market' screenings at the festival between the 21st-25th August, so it will be screened after all! I'm very happy for the film to be in Japan (my first inspiration for Acorns was Miyazaki-san's My Neighbour Totoro after all!) and I sent a little package to them with some postcards!

And that's about it from us, I'm so happy to see Acorns is still doing well even after 2 years! DVDs of the film have also done well at UK conventions and I will get them in stock online as soon as I can!
Thanks everyone! :)

Sunday 5 January 2014

Acorns is now Online! DVD Pre-Order!

Guess what everyone? Acorns is finally online! Most of the festivals I've entered are over now so I thought it was about time I got it online! Hope you enjoy it :)

A year of very hard work, my sisters, lecturers, friends and a small army of colourists and my devoted 'scanner' made this film possible and I'm very pleased with what we were able to accomplish. A year and a half on, sure there are some things I would change but I think it's done well for what it is. :)

"Upon a hill grows a grand Oak tree, which also happens to be home to a playful tree Spirit. Amber, a curious youngster, befriends this Spirit and throughout the seasons they form the strongest of friendships. Every day the Spirit gives Amber an acorn to plant, but the little girl is naive and threads them onto a necklace instead. One night, disaster strikes and Amber must realise the importance of caring for nature."
Winner of the Royal Television Society Wales Centre 2012 Award for Student Animation.
“Well told and animated with just the sort of design and animation idiosyncrasies that tickle my fancy. Brilliant.”  
Robin Shaw, Co-Director of "The Snowman and the Snowdog" (2012)

Please watch/like/share/insert-social-networking-norm-here and most of all, hope you like it! I'd really appreciate any comments you might have so I can take note for my next film. :)

In other news, I also have a Pre-Order for the DVD on my Storenvy page! If you use the Early Bird code ACORNFILM2014 you can get 20% off at the checkout!

I've worked very hard to get a professional product together with nice motion menus on the DVD and it will have a mini full-colour art booklet too so it's not to be missed!! I plan to have the DVDs ready to dispatch early this year! Also note that although the currency on Storenvy is in US Dollars, the DVD will ship from the UK!

Hope you enjoy it! :)
Love Gemma, Amber and the Tree Spirit x

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays everyone! :)

Hope you all had a great time, I'm looking forward to what 2014 will bring! Stay tuned for a special surprise this year! :)
Love from Gemma, Amber, the Tree Spirit x

Sunday 10 November 2013

New Acorns Poster

I made a new poster for Acorns this weekend for advertising the film. It was a lot of fun to add all the awards/festival selections to the poster! I have recently had some more invitations to festivals and a couple more I've entered into myself, so sadly I think I will have to delay the online release of Acorns for the time being! I am working on some cool stuff for the movie including my own DVDs and little artwork booklets which I will have available to buy sometime next year, so keep an eye out!

I was also interviewed by Creative Skillset last year after their Animation and VFX Showcase in London about how my Graduation film helped me get my first job, and it's just been printed in their 2013 Yearbook! Thanks to my connections through Newport University and an animation graduate from Lupus Films seeing our graduate showcase, I was hired there to work on last year's The Snowman and the Snowdog! I can't wait for the DVD this Christmas! :)

Click the image below to enlarge the interview.

Until next time! :)

Sunday 6 October 2013

Acorns at ANIMA, Klik! and Blackrock!

Acorns has been selected for screening at more festivals at the end of this year!

This October, on the 10th-12th, Acorns has been selected for the 'animation for children' category at the ANIMA - Córdoba International Animation Festival 2013 in Argentina! You can view their list of selected films here:

Also this month, on the 11-12th October, Acorns is screening at the Blackrock Animation Film Festival  in Dublin! It looks like a fantastic time, so for anyone is Ireland this month, Acorns is confirmed in the "Best International Student or Graduate Film Category" and is screening in the Pop-Up Cinema One, Main Street in Blackrock on Saturday, 12th October 2013. Enjoy!
 More info on films, screenings and dates, please see their website:

And finally, Acorns is in the official selection for the Klik! Amsterdam Animation Festival and is also running in the 'Kids' competition! The festival runs between 12-17th November 2013 and looks amazing!

As of yet, I don't think I'll be able to attend any of the festivals myself due to my work and the costs, but it's all very exciting and I couldn't be happier! Thanks everyone for supporting my film! :)

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Acorns Screens @ Paris and Barcelona Festivals this April!

A quick update about festivals this month! As previously posted, Acorns is participating in this year's Mecal International Short Film and Animation Festival of Barcelona which starts tomorrow! It runs from the 4th-28th April 2013 in Barcelona.

Acorns will be showing in the Children's Section 2 screening, it looks to be a great selection of films so do check it out if you can!

I am also pleased to announce Acorn's selection in The Inconnu Festival 2013 in Paris! The 10th International Short Film festival is in the 5 Avenue Mac Mahon cinema in the evenings between the 14th-17th April in Paris. Have a look at their wesbite here! L'inconnu Festival 2013

I'm still considering attending the festival in France so I'll post again soon if I decide to book a flight! Exciting! <3

Sunday 24 February 2013

Acorns Wins 'Royal Television Society' Wales Centre Award for Undergraduate Animation!

On February 22nd 2013, my graduation film Acorns was awarded First Place in the Undergraduate Animation category from the Royal Television Society (Wales Centre Student Television Awards 2012). The award was presented at the Ffresh Student Moving Image Festival of Wales Awards Show taking place at Glyndwr University.

Although I had attended the festival and volunteered there this year, I sadly was unable to attend the awards show, but thankfully my fantastic friends Bryony Evans and Zara Williams (also nominated for the award) were able to collect the award for me (and surprise me with it at lunch the next day!), thanks guys! I was completely unaware I had even been nominated for this so it's such an incredible surprise!

The RTS Jury had this to say about Acorns on their website:
Acorns was also very accomplished and felt a very complete animation project. It was classy, enchanting and sophisticated, providing a captivating representation of the seasons through colour and it also featured a stunning piano score. Overall, Jury Members were unanimously impressed by its sophistication and high quality.
The first prize winner in each category will also be submitted for judging at the UK final of the RTS Student Television Awards, to be held in London during April.

For a full list and breakdown of the nominees for the award, please visit the Royal Television Society website.

I was absolutely astounded to have received this award for my film and am so thankful! Months and months of constant hard work and dedication went into realising it as well as the invaluable help of my crew without whom the film would never have been finished! 

As such, I give a huge thanks to Co-Writer and Colourist Emily Roberts, Lead Colorist/Additional Art Director Eleanor Roberts, a beautiful musical score by Ben Rusch, production scanning by Alex Huxley and Alex Brewer, additional compositing by Cosmo Wallace and Michael Alfred, my army of Clean-Up Artists and Digital Colourists, Nadine El Kheshen, Cassie Austin, Gemma Ursell, Ying Sun, Kojo Acquaah Harrison, Emmanuel Viscarra, Victoria Clark, Zara Williams, Nina Ashill, Sarah Huxley, Paul Littlefair, Eva Wagner and Stephanie Walker, my fellow film makers Rob Morgan, Jess Leslau, Zara Williams, Bryony Evans, Claire Spiller and Vikki Clark, my Uni lecturers for never-ending feedback and tutorials and of course my Mum & Dad, grandparents and friends & family for their unwavering love and support. <3

Without further ado, here are some pretty pictures! 

And then our family cat, Mila wanted to get in on the fun!

Thanks to my sister Emily for my fab photo!
Thanks everyone for this amazing award, I still cannot believe it! :)

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Acorns @ Mecal Festival!

Acorns as been selected for the Children's program screening at the 15th Mecal International Short Film and Animation Festival of Barcelona! The festival runs from 4th-28th April 2013, check it out if you are in the area!

For more information, check out Mecal's website here: Mecal International Short Film and Animation Festival of Barcelona 2013

I will post again with more screening information once the program comes through.

In the meantime, Acorns has joined the bandwagon of Facebook Pages! I know everyone's getting you to "Like" their pages left, right and centre, but this one is really awesome. ;)

But seriously, I'll be putting up the most recent updates and screenings and pictures on there, so head over to Acorns on Facebook and "Like" for updates! :)

And I've also got in with the Twitter kids and invented a # hashtag! It's #littleacornfilm for those who want to tweet about Acorns! :)

Thanks for your continued support! :D
-Gemma, Amber and the Spirit

Monday 3 December 2012

The Snowman and the Snowdog Trailer

It's nearly here everyone, the long awaited sequel to Raymond Briggs' "The Snowman" from 30 years ago! The Snowman and the Snowdog is a brand new film from Channel 4 and Lupus Films in London that I have had the incredible privilege and pleasure to work on this year... one of the many reasons I have been so busy since Uni!

The film is set thirty years on from the original and features a new boy, the same old Snowman rebuilt again and a new Snowdog! Some have frowned upon a sequel to the original who feel like this is just a 'remake', but it is a totally new adventure and is a real treasure to watch as it respectfully celebrates the original while also updating the beloved story. 

I was invited to join the crew in London as a 'line tester' so I was testing the original hand drawn animation under a camera (everything was drawn properly on paper like the original, not with a  computer!) to show the animators and Director how the scenes would look before they are scanned. I did this for a couple of months before joining the rendering department where I hand coloured scenes in pencil for the final film! It was an incredible experience and I loved every minute.

So without further ado, here is the finished trailer for the film, which will have its full broadcast premiere on Channel 4 this Christmas! Don't miss it!

P.S. I haven't forgotten to update you all on Acorns! I've currently submitted it to several festivals for next year so I will update if it gets selected for anything!