VIDEO: Sky’s the limit for Royston animator, 24, taking first steps on film festival circuit

Robert Wagstaff and Gary at the Grand Canyon.

Robert Wagstaff and Gary at the Grand Canyon. - Credit: Archant

The sky is the limit for a 24-year-old Royston animator who has taken his first steps on the film festival circuit.

Brenda and Jake at Liverpool Lift Off Film Festival.

Brenda and Jake at Liverpool Lift Off Film Festival. - Credit: Archant

Robert Wagstaff, who builds sets from his living room in Gower Road, was selected out of more than 600 entrants to be part of the line-up of independent films featured at the Liverpool Lift-Off Film Festival.

His film, Missing Dad, which tells the tale of ‘claymation’ characters Gary, Jake and Brenda, was screened before an audience which scored his creation and other entries, with the winner going on to be shown around the world.

And even though he didn’t carry off that top prize, just to be part of the official selection ‘means the world’ to Robert.

He said: “The event was great. There were so many wonderful films I was up against and although Missing Dad didn’t quite pull in enough audience votes, the privilege of being in the official selection was extremely exciting.

Gary taking a dip.

Gary taking a dip. - Credit: Archant

“Seeing the animation I’ve worked on for four years playing in front of a packed audience and getting laughs at all the right moments was amazing.

“The Liverpool Lift-Off Film Festival was its second public screening and I hope it’s the first of many to come.

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“Being on the film festival circuit is still a very new experience to me and there’s a lot to learn. I currently have six to hear back from.

“Missing Dad is an animation extremely close to my heart with production lasting four years through university in Wales and wrapping the final scene in St Neots after taking more than 5,000 photos that make up the animation.

“These loveable characters were borne from the eccentricities of my new-found friends.”

Lift-Off also has festivals in Tokyo, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Amsterdam and London.

Co-founder James Bradley said: “Getting into any Lift-Off Film Festival is a massive achievement.

“The world of independent film has grown so much over the years that many of the grassroots filmmakers and emerging professionals are left without much of a platform any more.

“We felt that many of these artists who were producing exceptional work were being hugely ignored and deserved to be seen!”

If anyone wants to get involved in miniature set design or lending their voice to some zany ‘claymation’ characters, Robert would love to hear from you. Get in touch via