In January we had a very positive meeting indeed with Ben Roberts (Director) and Natascha Wharton (Senior Executive) at the BFI Film Fund. Abigail, Gary and Joseph from the AAUK Advocacy Board went, along with Helen Brunsdon (Director) and Kate O’Connor (Executive Chair) from Animation UK (part of UK Screen Alliance). We’ve been liaising closely with Animation UK over our shared interests.
It was friendly, as we expected, but also very positive. We covered several important areas – the BFI NETWORK support for emerging talent, the upcoming contestable fund for children’s television, and need for support for ‘high end’ animated shorts. We’re looking forward to further discussions.
Another great step in the right direction is that as part of Animation 2018, BFI and BBC 4 have launched a scheme that will commission low budget short animations films by student and emerging filmmakers. Deadline is 12 March. More information here.
Arts Council England
We’ve heard back from Arts Council England. Their Chief Executive, Darren Henley, has written to reassure us:
that Arts Council England will continue to support animation, and individual animators, working within the artforms that we support, with an emphasis on creativity, innovation and experimentation.
And that they have adjusted their funding guidelines, which used to specify support for animation as being under the category “artists’ moving image”, so they now say:
We can support some types of animation projects through Project Grants. We can consider supporting artist-led animation involving our supported artforms that is not primarily intended for commercial film, commercial games or mass-market media distribution.
We’re not quite sure what “working within the artforms that we support” means. At the ACE briefing on Grants for the arts in 2016, ACE was very clear that they understood their remit to include animation practice beyond the confines of visual arts, so we’ll get back to Darren and ask for clarification.
ACE survey: Is animation an art form?
Arts Council England is currently consulting on its next 10 year strategy. This is an important opportunity to let ACE know that we do consider animation to be part of the arts, particularly through their tick box survey, where one question asks people to say which art forms they “would you consider come under the umbrella term ‘arts, museums and libraries?” It’s great to see Animation as a separate category there.
We strongly encourage all AAUK members to take a couple of minutes to undertake the survey: https://aceconversation2018.ning.com/survey
Animation Alliance Advocacy Board
We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve put together a fine group of AAUK members to act as independent animation champions. They are:
Alys Scott Hawkins animator and co-founder of AnimatedDocumentary.com
Abigail Addison producer, Animate Projects
Kieran Argo animation programmer, Encounters
Emma Calder, animator
Iain Gardner animator, programmer Edinburgh International Film Festival
Jonathan Hodgson, animator
Birgitta Hosea animator
Ben Mitchell animator, Managing Director Skwigly
Samantha Moore animator
Edwin Rostron animator, writer and curator Edge of Frame
Kath Shackleton producer Fettle Animation
Gary Thomas producer and curator Animate Projects
Joseph Wallace animator, film and theatre director
Animation Alliance Facebook group
If you want to share things with other AAUK member, start up or join in our discussions, you can join the Animation Alliance Facebook group here.