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Animation UK – 2018 Update – Kate O’Connor, Executive Chair, Animation UK

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It’s been 18 months since Animation UK was relaunched at No 10 Downing Street and, wow, what a busy, challenging and occasionally frustrating period it’s been!

Kate O’Connor, Executive Chair, Animation UK

On screen, British animation is in great health, with British-made features, shorts and series delighting audiences and picking up awards across the world. But, while we were heartened by the announcement that the Contestable Fund is going ahead, behind the scenes we can’t pretend that working in the current climate isn’t challenging. With Brexit looming, we’re working doubly hard to shape the right business conditions for the animation industry and to help influence and shape important decisions about issues affecting us all like funding, training, future content and regulation.

For the next few months we are going to be pushing open the right doors and getting our feet under the right tables to represent the needs of British animation. A quick look at our to-do list for 2018 reveals a list of priorities including: making sure sector views inform the work of the DCMS and the BFI as they hammer out the finer details of the Contestable Fund; teaming up with Animated Europe to represent the UK animation sector post-Brexit; addressing the issue of decline in original children’s content in the UK; lobbying for funds to support the development and production of short form content; celebrating the UK’s amazing animation sector at Anim-18; and working with a range of partners including Creative Skillset, NextGen Skills Academy and Universities and animation schools to tackle issues surrounding mobility of labour and develop a skills pipeline and network of training excellence. We are also taking a stand at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival to shout about the incredible creativity of the UK animation sector to the wider international audience.

But to do all this we need YOUR help – to join your company up and become involved. The more members we have the greater our representation and reach, the wider our areas of expertise and the louder our collective voice over the stormy period ahead. And you will be joining a dynamic and dedicated group of people who care passionately about the industry and its future.

On a personal note, Animation UK is saying goodbye to my colleague and co-Director Helen Brunsden as she starts a new challenge heading up the British Animation Awards but she leaves behind an excellent team of Animation UK Council members to carry on her early work.

To find out more about us and the work we do and to join up go to: ukscreenalliance.co.uk/join

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