Some of the biggest and best names in the world of digital art are currently attending a major retreat in Malta, and to kick it all off, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has welcomed the delegation with a video that’s as motivational as they get.
The oddly-named Trojan Horse Was A Unicorn, in its own words a “festival for the fearless, the passionate, the restless and the eager to learn” has relocated to the Maltese islands after a five-year run in Portugal.
“We were looking for a new home that could provide accommodations to house our ever-growing Tribe,” the THU said earlier this year. “Additionally, Malta has embraced the digital creative community, has the necessary technical infrastructure and an incredible history like few places on the planet. Here we feel that, not only our tribe can grow but that we can also contribute to further Malta’s digital animation especially in the film, games and marketing industry.”
So what better way to make sure the ‘Tribe’ is welcome on our island, than to have our very own Prime Minister deliver a motivational speech straight out of the latest action film?
In between dramatic shots of Valletta and the THU conference venue slowly coming to life at Fort St Elmo and the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Muscat speaks of the months of preparation and discussion leading up to this moment.
“Malta gives the global creative community a safe place to call home”, Muscat says. “We want to support and empower the Tribe. This is a place where you can bring your wildest projects to life and revolutionise the industry. I am happy to join you on this quest.”
THU 2018’s first day seems to have kicked off in style yesterday
This is no regular festival. Some 1,500 are expected to come to speak to, learn from and network with 90 so-called ‘Knights’ (ie. world-renowned artists in the entertainment industry) for six days. THU 2018 gradually kicked off last Monday, with a grand launch last night, and will continue up to this Sunday.
Some of the more prominent ‘Knights’ include:
– Elaine Bogan: DreamWorks story artist who directed the ‘DreamWorks Dragons’ series and is currently working on Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Tales of Arcadia’ trilogy.
– Geoffrey Baumann: Recently supervised the production on Marvel Studio’s ‘Black Panther’. Previously worked on lead and supervisory production roles on films such as ‘The Day After Tomorrow’, ‘Flags of our Fathers’, ‘Doctor Strange’, and ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron.
– Giovanni Nakpil: Expert at designing creatures in sci-fi and horror films, including for ‘Star Trek’ and ‘The Avengers’.
– Ian McCaig: World-renowned conceptual artist who has worked for Lucasfilm as one of the main designers on the three Star Wars prequels, as well as on global hits such as ‘Terminator II’, ‘Dracula’, ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’.
– Kevin Dart: Founder and creative director of Chromosphere, a boutique design and animation studio behind films such as ‘June’ and ‘Forms in Nature’. Previously worked as an art director and designer for ‘Steven Universe’, ‘Big Hero Six’, ‘Inside Out’, ‘Cosmos’, ‘Her’, and ‘The Powderpuff Girls’.
– Shannon Tindle: Emmy award-winning artist and 7-time Annie Award nominee who worked as a designer, story artist, writer and director on projects such was ‘Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends’, ‘The Croods’ and ‘Coraline’. Her recent film ‘Kudo and the Two Strings’ was nominated for two Oscars and won the BAFTA for Best Animated Feature.