The online home of the London International Animation Festival.

LIAF 2020: Meet the Judges

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 Programme Judges

Chris Shepherd

Chris ShepherdChris is a multi award-winning director, writer and producer. He is mainly known for combining live action with animation. His work fuses comedy with commentary on the darker side of human nature. He is co-founder of London animation company Slinky Pictures with producer Maria Manton, and has directed short films, commercials and comedy series including a ten-part series for Channel 4 called People’s Britain and his acclaimed shorts Dad’s Dead, Brexicuted and Who I Am and What I Want amongst many others.  In 2016 he won Best British Film at LIAF for Johnno’s Dead. He’s just finished animation for Sara Pascoe’s new BBC sitcom Out Of Her Mind  and he’s working on his first graphic novel called Anfield Road. For the latest news check the blog here.

Max Hattler

Max HattlerMax Hattler is an artist and academic who works with abstract animation, video installation and audiovisual performance. Max studied at Goldsmiths and the Royal College of Art, and holds a Doctorate in Fine Art from the University of East London. His work has been shown at festivals and exhibitions worldwide. Awards include Annecy, Punto y Raya, Cannes Lions, London International Animation Festival and several Visual Music Awards. Max lives in Hong Kong where he is an Assistant Professor at School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.

Sophie Koko-Gate

Sophie Koko-GateSophie is an animation director who specialises in character driven narrative. She studied animation at the Royal College of Art in London. Her graduation film Half Wet (2014) screened in festivals worldwide including SXSW, BFI, AFI and the Tate Modern. She has made short films for Adult Swim, MTV, Harvard University and most recently the BBC and BFI. Her film Slug Life screened at Sundance 2020 and won awards at SXSW,  Ottawa and GLAS Animation festival. She is releasing a short on FX this year for their ‘CAKE’ series and is currently developing a series with Sony Pictures Animation. Sophie also directs and produces commercial animations from her studio in London and is represented as a Director by Blink Ink in the UK and Roof Studio in the US.

Late Night Bizarre & Music Video Session Judges

Abigail Addison

Abigail-AddisonAbigail 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.

Shaun Clark

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Shaun ClarkShaun 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.

Ben Wheele

Ben WheeleBen is a computer animator and visual artist based in London. He graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2011. His animated films have been screened at festivals internationally including Annecy, Pictoplasma, London International Animation Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival and Stuttgart ITFS. His work has been exhibited at galleries such as The Sunday Painter London and Casino Luxembourg, and broadcast on Adult Swim and Channel 4 (UK). He currently lectures in 3D Animation & Games at Middlesex University.  

Abstract Showcase Competition Judges

Ana Santos & Noel Palazzo – Punto Y Raya

Ana SantosNoel PalazzoAna Santos & Nöel Palazzo are the cofounders and directors of Punto y Raya Festival, the benchmark event for abstract film, animation & media art. As members of MAD, a non-profit association based in Barcelona, they have been developing projects related to Arts, Science & Technology for over 15 years.

Children’s Competition Judges

Lilith Silver (13 years old)

3 films I have loved: Whale Rider (2002), 101 Dalmatians (1961) and Titanic (1997),

Martha Stanners (14 years old)

3 films I have loved: My Neighbour Totoro, Star Wars, and The Hunger Games.