Posted on 3rd July 2018

Star Maker, the original immersive film by Tyneside-based Arcus Animation Studios, has won the 'Directors Award’ for best fulldome feature film at the 12th FullDome Festival 2018 – Europe’s leading festival to showcase and award immersive planetarium films.

The animation, which was developed specifically for the 360-degree curved screen in the planetarium at Newcastle’s Centre for Life, brought together Arcus’ award-winning animators with the work of science fiction novelist Olaf Stapledon and songwriter and composer Barry Hyde – the principle creative force in popular indie band The Futureheads.

Based on Stapledon’s highly acclaimed 1937 science fiction novel, which is seen as a major influence on many leading twentieth century writers, including Arthur C. Clarke, Star Maker deals with an imagined history of life in the universe, encompassing billions of years.

The festival took place at the Zeiss-Planetarium in Jena, Germany, where Star Maker producer Michael Gandham received the JANUS statue, which is the fulldome world’s equivalent of the Oscar in the motion picture industry.

Micky Remann, festival director, the FullDome Festival, said: “The Arcus team created a distinct look and feel that draws the audience into the intellectual and emotional rollercoaster of Stapledon’s novel, in a way a standard movie format could never do. As well as being an excellent film, Star Maker also offers strong and convincing arguments for the expansion of the fulldome medium towards metaphysical science fiction.”

Michael Gandham, managing director, Arcus Animation Studios, who wrote and produced the film, said: “It’s phenomenal to win this award, especially against films from some of the best producers of full dome content in the world – many of them with massive budgets and featuring Hollywood talent. I’ve always loved Star Maker, but we felt in making it that we had to break away from traditional media, which is why we looked to use the fulldome screen at the Centre for Life. This allowed us to bring the audience with the narrator, as he travels out of his body to explore the Universe and it’s increasingly strange inhabitants.

“This was a first for us, so we’re excited about where we can take animation in the fulldome and immersive environment from here,” he added.

For further details about Arcus Animation Studios, visit or visit for information about the FullDome Festival and Awards.

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