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LIAF 2019: UK Animation Industry Event Session 1 – We Need to Talk about Skills – One Year On

December 7, 2019
10:00 am

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Animation UKLIAF presents the UK Animation Industry Event at the University of East London (UEL), an all day event from 10am to 6:30pm – four panels giving insider access to some of the hot topics of the year plus a screening of the LIAF British showcase.

Animation doesn’t stand still; and debates and discussions with animators and creative experts are the best way to get in touch with what’s happening, whether it’s how Virtual Reality will impact on animation, or why the gender and diversity of the animation industry is rapidly changing, or why kids animation has a new lease of life. Come and find out.

We’ve gathered together some of the most passionate, honest and insightful experts from a wide range of different areas and backgrounds who are ready to cover all manner of vital topics to give you much food for thought.

For anyone currently working in the film and animation industry, thinking of working in the industry or just plain curious, these four talks are indispensable.

Add to this a very special enhanced screening of our annual British Showcase, 90 minutes of the best short animated films made in the last 12 months with several filmmakers in attendance, and you’ll get an exceptional opportunity to see what British animators are doing, how they’re doing it and how the art form is travelling.

This is the first of 5 Industry Event Sessions. The others are: Session 2: Is Everybody on Board? The Animated Women Panel; Session 3: The Kids are All right? Meet the Movers and Shakers Behind the Resurgence of Kids Animation on TV; Session 4: The 3 Rs – Animating in the New Spaces of VR, AR & XR and Session 5: The: British Showcase screening.

Please note, there will be no tickets available on the day of the event. Advance booking only. One ticket gets you into all 4 sessions + the British Showcase screening.

With Special Thanks to the Arts Council England

Arts Council England



And University of East London (UEL)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, UEL, University of East London

LIAF 2019: UK Animation Industry Event Session 1 – We Need to Talk about Skills – One Year On

In November 2018 Animation UK released a major paper on skills ‘We need to talk about skills – an Animation UK skills analysis’. What impact did it have and what developments are underway to get a better skilled up UK? How can young animators and students benefit from the new moves to develop new talent? Is recruitment fairer or is it all about who you know? What are the skills that are in demand, and how can new entrants fill demand? Do we rely too much on Europe and overseas talent, and are policy makers aware of the value of home-grown animation? Students, if you are interested in what animation skills are in demand right now, or in the near future, come to this session.

At UEL book tickets


Saint John Walker

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Saint John WalkerSaint is Course Leader for VFX at Norwich University of the Arts, and was previously Creative Skillset’s Head of Development and Animation manager, authoring the Core Skills of VFX handbook. Recently he has been a columnist for 3D Artist magazine as well as working with industry group Access:VFX to promote diversity in Animation and VFX.


Abigail Addison – Animation Production Liaison Executive at ScreenSkills

Abigail-AddisonAbigail is the Animation Production Liaison Executive at ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK’s screen-based creative industries. She is also a Director of agency Animate Projects that works at the intersection of animation, film and art. As a producer she was nominated for the BAFTA British Short Animation 2019 for Elizabeth Hobbs’ I’m OK, and co-produced Chris Shepherd’s Johnno’s Dead, which won Best British Film at London International Animation Festival 2016. Abigail is also a member of the Advisory Board of Animation Alliance UK.

Tom Box – Joint Managing Director of Blue Zoo Animation

Tom-BoxTom is the co-founder and joint managing director of Blue Zoo Animation. Over the last 19 years, the studio has grown to become the biggest dedicated CG animation studio in the UK, picking up a few BAFTAs along the way. Tom has been the driving force behind the studio’s continuous exploration of new technology, experimenting with cutting-edge tools to see how they can improve animation workflows and facilitate artists’ creativity.

Kate O’Connor – Chair of Animation UK

Kate-O-ConnorKate is the Executive Chair & Director of Animation UK, now part of the newly formed UK Screen Alliance, the trade body for VFX, post-production and film studios. This involves representing the sector at government level and developing business, export and skills related policy to support growth. Building on over 20 year as a skills specialist, Kate also runs a consultancy practice for public and private sector clients in the creative industries and was also recently appointed Co-Director of XR Stories, a new R&D partnership between the University of York, Screen Yorkshire and the BFI, exploring approaches to storytelling for immersive and interactive content.

Lucy Lee – Animation Producer and Trainer

Lucy-LeeLucy runs an animation production company Just Tell Stories specialising in handmade and traditional animation. She runs workshops for people of all ages and is a visiting lecturer at Herts University. She has an MA in Visual Communication, was trained at the National Film and TV School (UK) and the Sverdlovsk Film Studios in Russia and also runs a blog on animation at

Martin Bowman – Joint Programme Leader in Digital Animation at University of Herts

Martin-BowmanMartin is the Joint Programme Leader of the Digital Animation department at the University of Hertfordshire, having taught there since 2003. Prior to working at Hertfordshire he was a Lead Artist in the Games Industry for five years, working on games for the GameBoy Advance, Playstation2 and PSone, Xbox and PC platforms at a number of developers in the UK and Sweden. He has also worked as an illustrator for the Times newspaper and as an architectural visualiser.