Checking in with Arts Council England and BFI… and we urge you to submit to the BFI 2022 consultation!

It’s a year since we wrote to Arts Council England and BFI, and six months since, following our meeting, they promised some action points. So we’ve just been in touch to ask for an update on how that’s going…see below.

Meanwhile, the BFI 2022 public consultation ends on 8 September. Animation Alliance UK will be making a submission – we’ll send out a draft, so please look out for that. But it’s important that they hear from as many individual voices – animators, producers, programmers, festivals, studios – as possible. They ask very straightforward questions. And you don’t have to answer them all.

So please add your voice. Make your own submission, however brief (succinct!). And get everyone you know to do the same.



Dear Amanda and Darren

It’s exactly a year since we wrote to you seeking clarity around public policy and investment for animation. Following the subsequent meeting in December 2015, Arts Council England  and BFI agreed action points, and we wanted to catch up on any progress with those:

BFI undertook to define its remit and responsibilities with regards to animation, and to consider its ongoing support for animation, as part of BFI 2022. You’ll be aware that animators have been coming along to the Roadshow consultations, and Animation Alliance UK will be making a written submission, though that will essentially recap what we’ve already said. 

We were also told that BFI would do some further informal sector consultation as part of the wider BFI 2022 consultation, and we wonder when that might take place, and with whom?

Arts Council England undertook to define its remit and responsibilities with regards to animation and to explore how it can support animation through Grants for the arts. 

We were also told that Arts Council England would do some sector consultation with animation practitioners and organisations in 2016 in order to identify the needs of the sector. Whilst Anna has kept us posted, and we appreciate it takes a number of people at Arts Council England to make it happen, we wonder when the consultation might take place, and with whom?

It is nearly three years since, as part of your Public Value Partnership, Arts Council England and BFI agreed the necessity to provide ’policy clarity and funding information to artists, filmmakers and producers working in animation’ and to ‘undertake joint research and consultation to understand the animation ecology across film and arts and publish our policy position.’ 

So we look forward to hearing how you’ll be implementing the action points you agreed, and of course would welcome opportunities to be engaged in any discussions and planning.

Best wishes

Gary Thomas
for Animation Alliance UK

Animation Alliance UK
Abigail Addison
Paul Bush
Emma Calder
Jonathan Hodgson
Peter Heslip (Director, Visual Arts & London, ACE)
Anna Mandlik (Senior Relationship Manager, Visual Arts, ACE)
Paul Glinkowski (Senior Officer, Creative Media, ACE)
Ben Roberts (Director, BFI Film Fund)


BFI consultation on its next five year plan

The BFI is inviting filmmakers to help shape it next five-year plan. The public consultation closes on 8 September.

We’ll be submitting a response from AAUK – but hope that many of you will make your own thoughts known. We’ll share a draft response for any additional input or comment soon. Meanwhile, this from AAUK member Jo Wonder:

Dear animators,

I went to the BFI Road Show in London, which was set up to provide a question and answer session about the plans for BFI 2022 .  (They will be moving to other locations now so do try to go).

Listening to their plans, I was concerned that the ‘new 2022’ policies were looking very much like the previous policies which created specific disadvantages for both women and animators.

The planned focus on the young (under 25)excludes women and some men wanting to enter, or return, to animation after child rearing.

I am also concerned that the natural flair and innovation for animation, that the UK has demonstrated in the past, will again could get buried under policy making that attempts to solve social and economic issues, rather than promote art for its own sake.

Please be active in filling out their on line form at the link below:

Best wishes, Jo


A new industry body for animation.

Animation UK’s Oli Hyatt has called for declarations of interest in joining a proposed new industry body for animation.

In its eight years, Oli has acheived very real successes leading Animation UK, in particular the tax breaks for animation for television. But as he points out, it remains an informal organisation. There’s no official trad body for animation. And animation isn’t even officially counted as an industry at all, which makes it all but impossible to get its voice heard. As Lindsay Watson’s review of policy and children’s animated series has highlighted, “at policy level Britain’s animation industry is severely under represented.”

So, as Oli says, ‘it’s time to get serious about our industry. It’s time to invest and get the support and recognition we deserve.”

This isn’t news to AAUK, and it’s encouraging that whilst Animation UK’s focus has been on children’s television, the ambition is that the new organisation would address business, culture and skills in equal measure.

You can read Lindsay’s report on the Animation UK website here.

Oli has outlined his proposals in a letter here – and he’s asking for feedback and expressions of interest by 25 March 2016.