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|Grand Day Out at the Movies, Gromit
- Plasticine duo make big screen debut
THEY'VE flown to the moon, outwitted devious penguins and rescued sheep - and now Wallace and Gromit are gearing up to appear in their first full-length film.
The film will be made by Aardman Animations, the company run by Wallace And Gromit creator Nick Parks, at a cost of UKP25 million. Up until now the characters have only featured in three short films, A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers, and the Oscar winning A Close Shave.
Parks inked the lucrative Hollywood deal with Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks production company, after the pair teamed up last year for the clucking brilliant hit Chicken Run that hatched profits of UKP187 million worldwide. The as-yet untitled film is slated for release sometime next year.
Meanwhile the British Short Film Festival, at which Park showcased his award-winning A Grand Day Out in 1989, has been forced to close this year. The festival, viewed as a major outlet for new talent, will not take place due to insufficient funding.
"With the closure of this unique festival now in its 14th year, a huge gap will be left in the UK exhibition arena for short films. Funding is now primarily channelled into short film development and production, but there are scant opportunities for short films to be screened on completion," Festival Director Amanda Casson said.