Each year we search for the finest panel of judges: educators, independent animators, producers, authors, curators and more. All are experts in their field and all possess an informed and exploratory eye for excellence in the animation world. This year we are honoured to welcome the following judges.
International Competition Programmes and British Showcase Judges
Jen is a queer Northern Irish grown Chinese Animation Director and Standup Comedian. She learned to draw the normal way: drawing the same boiled egg for a month because her dad told her “da Vinci started that way” – he didn’t*. Now Jen has found a career where drawing the same thing over and over isn’t considered crazy: Animation. Her short film Tough was nominated for a BAFTA, won 17 awards and screened at over 80 international film festivals including Sundance and SXSW. She is currently an Associate Creative Director at BUCK and has worked with clients like Netflix, Headspace, OMGYes, and most recently co-wrote & Creative Directed a short for GitHub starring Phil Wang. On the side, she is a Standup Comedian. Her high energy storytelling has already earned her many awards: SYTYF semi finalist 2023, Winner of Rising Star New Act 2023, Cav Arms INGTE23 finalist, Quantum Leopard, G&B, Queerovision & Ding dong gong.
*Da Vinci never repeatedly drew eggs, this seems to be a China-specific folk tale.
Jim Le Fevre
Jim is an Animation Director having worked for over two decades making animated films for commercials, short commissions, and interactive experiments – from his BAFTA New Talent and British Animation Award-winning short graduation film in 1997 through to making more than a hundred short commercial films, independently and with Nexus Studios, with a variety of techniques and approaches. He has also spent lots of time tinkering with the process of animation with some interesting results. He currently still makes short independent commercial films as well as being a lecturer at the Animation BA (Hons) course in Farnham Surrey at the University for the Creative Arts.
Joseph is a BAFTA Cymru nominated director, writer and producer. His work has won awards, received Vimeo Staff Picks and screened at festivals around the world. His acclaimed music video for Sparks led Joseph to create sequences for Edgar Wright’s documentary feature The Sparks Brothers which premiered at Sundance and Joseph’s segments were described as ‘dark wonders’ by Guardian’s Mark Kermode. Joseph’s new short Salvation Has No Name won the Grand Prix at both Animage in Brazil and Animario in Spain, was long-listed for both BIFA and BAFTA and received the Jury Special Mention at the Unifrance Prix du Court Metrage at Cannes 2023.
Abstract Showcase Competition Judges
Birgitta is an award-winning artist and Director of the Animation Research Centre at the University for the Creative Arts. She was previously Head of Animation at the Royal College of Art and prior to that at Central Saint Martins. Her innovative approach to expanding animation in the art gallery has been exhibited internationally including Venice & Karachi Biennales; Oaxaca & Chengdu Museums of Contemporary Art; Hanmi Gallery, Seoul; Centre for Recent Drawing, London; Hunan Museum, China. Her work is in the Tate Britain and Centre d’Arte Contemporain, Paris, archives. She has co-curated events and exhibitions for, amongst others, Adobe, Ars Electronica, Guizhou Provincial Museum and written a number of publications on drawing, experimental and expanded animation.
Maitry, born in India and based in London, is an Award Winning digital artist mainly working in 3D and experimental VR animation. Her Royal College Of Art graduation film Anywhere But Here (2021), has been screened at many festivals worldwide, including London International Animation Festival and Bucheon International Animation Festival. Her Middlesex University Graduation Project Portrait VR (2019) has been showcased at The annual EGX Rezzed Gaming Conference in London. During her residence in India She has represented her country as a fine artist twice at the International Biennial of Juvenile Art in Portugal where she was awarded a Diploma of Merit Gold on both occasions. She has worked for Shoguns Animation Studio London, The Gazelli Art House and as a freelance Animator. She currently works at Middlesex University London where she supports the 2D and 3D Animation Cohort while continuing to explore 3D and VR software for freelance work in her free time.
Late Night Bizarre and Music Video Judges
Peter is an acclaimed animator and artist from the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire, England. His independent animated films have been shown at short film festivals around the world, collecting numerous awards and being featured in several retrospectives. Alongside animation Peter’s practice extends to sculpture and sound which have been exhibited alongside his moving image work. He also works part-time as a senior lecturer on the Illustration Animation BA course at Kingston School of Art and continues to work on his own practice at his studio in southeast London.
Renee is a Chinese-American director and animator from Houston, Texas. In her films Renee is primarily interested in exploring topics of female identity, nature and sexuality – all things beautiful, ugly, and squishy. She is an alumnus of the Sarabande Foundation, BAFTA crew x BFI Network and Berlinale Talents and her short films have screened and won awards at festivals internationally including AFI Fest, Locarno, TIFF, Telluride, SXSW, an Annie Award nomination, BAFTA LA shortlist, and the Jury Prize for Animated Short at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Children’s Competition Judges
Lilith Silver (16 years old) & Martha Stanners (17 years old)
Lilith: 3 films I have loved: Whale Rider (2002), 101 Dalmatians (1961) and Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Martha: 3 films I have loved: My Neighbour Totoro, Star Wars, and The Hunger Games.