THE Scottish debut of the One Bum Cinema Club will take place early next year during Edinburgh’s international festival of animated film, puppetry, and visual theatre.

Three programmes of animated film will be shown at the event which will pop up around the city to ­welcome audiences into a cinema screening for one.

Other attractions at the Manipulate Festival include an acrobatic ­Thomas Hardy adaptation and a farcical ­robotic dinner service.

There is also a chance to party with an existential pickle, contemplate the end of our world, witness ­dancers ­inside a giant, mesmerising video cube or take a psychedelic journey through a faraway planet ruled by blue giants.

This is Manipulate Arts’ 40th ­anniversary year and its iconic festival will run from February 1-11, presenting a varied programme of live ­performances, film screenings, ­discussions, workshops and other events. There is also a significantly expanded film programme for 2024, thanks to funding from Film Hub Scotland.

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Manipulate Arts artistic ­director and CEO Dawn Taylor said the ­animation part of the programme was the biggest it had ever been and would create a “real moment” for ­animation in Scotland.

She added: “The magical thing about the artforms at the heart of ­Manipulate Festival is their ­endless potential for innovation and ­audiences can expect some ­exciting new approaches to puppetry and ­visual theatre this year, unlike ­anything they’ve seen before.

“The range and calibre of presented artists, alongside the contributions of our artist associate programmers, have really worked to elevate this year’s programme.

“Artists and creative organisations are struggling more than ever in this financial climate but, as ever, our community of artists has responded to these challenges with ingenuity and creativity, making for a dynamic programme in the 40th anniversary year for Manipulate Arts.”

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The festival includes contributions from Scotland-based artists and those from further afield.

The House, from Denmark’s Sofie Krog Teater, is a European ­puppetry classic, having racked up hundreds of performances over the last ­decade across the continent. A darkly ­hilarious piece of puppetry, this ­Scottish Premiere performance is set in the Warehouse Family ­Funeral Home after the death of their ­undertaker and features a revolving set with intricate lighting and sound, intrigue, mystery, and murder.

A new initiative for 2024 sees two associate programmers Natasha ­Ruwona and Holly Summerson join the festival with a focus on diversity, inclusion and artistic innovation.

Each has curated a programme of shorts from around the world, exploring themes of social justice, identity, and humankind’s relationship with the natural and urban landscape. A third shorts programme is curated in partnership with Samizdat ­Eastern European Film Festival, offering a retrospective of Eastern European animated film.

Theatre Officer at Creative Scotland, Jaine Lumsden, said: ­“Audiences and artists will be able to enjoy work of the highest quality and innovation from Scottish-based and international artists, discovering unique perspectives and initiatives.

“With a packed programme spread across the festival city of Edinburgh, it will be the perfect celebration of Manipulate Arts’ 40th anniversary year.”