Each year we search for the finest panel of Judges: Educators; Independent Animators; Producers; affiliates of prominent organisations (all with animation at their core); Authors, Curators and more. All are experts in their field and all possess the ‘shining’ when it comes to an informed and exploratory eye for excellence in the animation world. This year we are honoured to welcome the following judges.
International Competition Programme Judges
Lilly Husbands is a Lecturer in Animation and Visual Culture at Middlesex University. Her research is broadly concerned with the legacy and evolution of experimental animation in the context of contemporary multimedia practice. She is an associate editor of Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal and has published numerous book chapters and articles in journals such as Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ), Frames Cinema Journal, and Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media. She is the co-editor of the book Experimental Animation: From Analogue to Digital (Routledge, 2019).
Jez Stewart is the Curator of Animation at the BFI National Archive. He joined the BFI in 2001, working extensively with the non-fiction and advertising collections, while developing his specialist interest in British animation history. He has written for the Journal of Film Preservation and Sight & Sound, and contributed essays to the books A Moving Image: Joy Batchelor 1914-1991: Artist, Writer and Animator (2014) and Films that Sell: Moving Pictures and Advertising (2016). He has given talks on various aspects of British animation history in Beijing, New York, and across the UK, and co-curated the Animation 2018 season at the BFI in London. He is currently writing The Story of British Animation for a new BFI/Bloomsbury series (due 2020), and occasionally tweets about all this and other things via @stewjeez
Daisy Jacobs is an Oscar nominated, BAFTA winning director, writer and Academy member. Previously she was President of the BFI London Film Festival short film jury – she looks for originality and innovation.
Abstract Competition Judges
Gina’s first animated film was produced when she was 12 using a Bell and Howell 8mm camera and drawing on recycled computer paper. Since then she has been passionate about creating animation and has progressed through a variety of narrative and experimental forms. In her current work she draws and paints images directly on film stock, a technique known as direct animation. Her experimental films explore relationships between surface, representation and rhythm. Her animation work has screened at numerous festivals including Annecy, Ottawa International Animation Festival and the Ann Arbor Film Festival. In addition, she is the co-director of the short film “Traffic Stop” for POV, which was awarded an Emmy in 2016.
Robert started his professional career as a cartographer whilst making slide shows and cine films in his spare time. In 1991 he returned to college to develop his passion and took an MA in Electronic Arts and Graphics at Coventry University.
He completed the multi award-winning Home Road Movies in 2001 for Channel 4 and the Arts Council of England. His latest film Dead Air, which deals with the unstoppable nature of ‘change’ in our communities was premiered at the 2014 London Film Festival. Between personal films Robert runs his own company, and provides animation for film, television and new media. He is also Head of Animation at the National Film and TV School.
Matt Abbiss is an animator, occasional comic artist and frequent lecturer. He graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2004 with an MA in animation. His films have screened globally at animation festivals and been broadcast on TV. He has since worked commercially in London and lectured at Portsmouth University, the RCA, Middlesex University and the NFTS. Since 2011, Matt has been working on a series of abstract animations, a selection of which were screened at Eyeworks festival and the Punto y Raya festival.
Late Night Bizarre Judges
John Higgs is a writer who specialises in finding previously unsuspected narratives, hidden in obscure corners of our history and culture, which can change the way we see the world. Author of several much-lauded fiction and non-fiction books, before turning to full-time writing he directed over 100 episodes of animated pre-school television. He also created the long-running BBC Radio 4 quiz series X Marks the Spot, and worked as producer on a number of videogames for the Xbox, PlayStation2 and Nintendo Gamecube.
Felix Massie is a director, animator and children’s book author who lives in London. He makes short films, children’s books, commercials and works at Nexus Studios.
Music Video Judges
Abigail Addison is a Producer, and is a Director of animation agency Animate Projects. She has produced many experimental moving image projects, including two slates of shorts for Channel 4’s Random Acts, and Silent Signal, an ambitious touring art & science project. She also co-produced Chris Shepherd’s multi award winning short, Johnno’s Dead, and his latest film, Brexicuted. Abigail sits on the Boards of Underwire Festival and Animation Alliance UK.
Chris Shepherd was born in Liverpool. In 1995 he set up a production company called Polkadot and directed the multi award winning film, The Broken Jaw, for Channel 4. In 2000 he became the co-founder of production company, Slinky Pictures, with producer Maria Manton. Director/writing credits include a ten part series for Channel 4 called People’s Britain and his acclaimed short Dad’s Dead, which is winner of over 20 international awards. He’s also worked with a wide range of commercial clients including BMI, COI, Nestle, Western Union, Eagle Star and Proctor & Gamble. His 2005 collaboration with artist David Shrigley, Who I Am And What I Want, won many international film awards, as did Silence is Golden in 2006, a live action/animated drama. He continues to make award-winning short films and has several feature films in development.
Shaun Clark has directed an eclectic array of award-winning animated films since the early 90′s. His films have been BAFTA nominated and has earned him praise for his use of different techniques and styles of storytelling. Shaun graduated with a first degree honours in animation before studying for a MA at The National Film School for two years. He resides in London where he works at Mew Lab as a animation director. He is currently Course Director and Senior Lecturer of the MA character Animation at Central St Martins and continues to work on personal and commercial animated projects.
Children’s Competition Judges
Lilith Silver (12 years old)
3 films I have loved: Run Wild Run Free (1969); Whale Rider (2002) and 101 Dalmatians (1961)
Martha Stanners (13 years old)