Today sees the start of the first Hello Digital conference, a major festival in Birmingham celebrating the digital age, including contributions from Pixar and Aardman animators.

The free festival, which is firmly aimed at the general public, comprises four days of animations, digital film, games, illuminations, robotics and other high-tech interactive displays. A conference, Hello World, runs alongside the festival, and features top names from the global digital community.

Hello Digital includes Channel 4's 4Talent Digital Inspiration Sessions which will include talks from industry giants including; Michal Makarewicz from Pixar Animations who has worked on such features as The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille & WALL•E, Andrew Proctor, is the Art Director for Aardman Animations, Robert Wulff-Cochrane who is Channel 4’s Head of Drama Development and brought programmes like Fallout, Boy A and Skins to our screens and Dan’l Hewitt who is Director of Digital Content for international social networking site Bebo.

Other highlights of the Hello Digital showcase include:
Digi Toons – A series of exclusive screenings created from workshops featuring award winning animators Greg and Myles McLeod, best known for their work on MTV’s Fuggy Fuggy. A rare opportunity to get inside the world of digital animation.

Field of Light – The beautiful creation of an interactive illuminated field made up from over 200 low energy glow lights will colonise the main atrium at Millennium Point. A breathtakingly tranquil creation in the heart of a bustling city.

Digital Storytelling – The first look at eight personal digital stories created by individuals from across the region. Influenced by the region’s diverse cultures and backgrounds, these stories are a touching vision of the world we live in, created though digital media.

Killriculum – The exclusive premiere screening of up to 10 short films to awaken the Wes Cravens of the future. Created by a broad range of young people these showcases will run alongside a children’s workshop allowing young people to take their first steps into the world of film and film making.

Baskerville, the animated film – A motion graphics animated film celebrating the 250th anniversary of the Baskerville typeface and a fascinating look at the life and works of its creator, John Baskerville.

SCAMP (Sonic Computer Aided Music Performance) – A stunning sonic arts showcase of electro-acoustic and live visual performance from artists including composer, musician and lecturer Zlatco Baracskai. A truly awe inspiring new audio visual experience.

There's also a programme of workshops and screenings throughout the Birmingham region.

Hello Digital takes place October 23-26. The Hello World conference takes place at Millennium Point, October 23-24. Entrance is free, but attendance must be registered online at the Web site.