An AAUK delegation [Sue Goffe (Studio AKA), Maria Manton (Munky, freelance), Chris O’Reilly (Nexus), Gary Thomas (Animate Projects)] had an encouraging meeting yesterday (29 August) with the BFI – Chris Collins (one of the Film Fund’s Senior Production Executives) and Ben Roberts, recently appointed new Director of Film Fund.
BFI is working on its plans now, so there wasn’t much detail they could give us (and we hadn’t expected any), but we certainly got the sense that they take animation seriously.
They noted that they are already developing several animation feature projects, but they also clearly recognise that animation projects are developed differently to live action fiction and documentary (eg it takes longer and costs more!).
And as they develop they plans for supporting new talent, we encouraged them to consider how for animation, too, things are different, and that ‘animation’, and animators, can’t necessarily be accommodated by programmes for live-action short filmmaking.
Whilst they weren’t in a position to tell us anything concrete, we thought it was a very positive meeting. They’re still at the high level policy planning stage, and they mentioned that, as they go on to develop the detail of what they’ll be doing, they’ll be taking advice.
Meanwhile..we understand that the BFI and Arts Council England are just about starting their discussions around shared policy, and that ‘animation’ is on the agenda.