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Fettle Animation wins first ever Sandford St Martin’s Children’s Award

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At a gala ceremony in Lambeth Palace in London last week, featuring some of the biggest names and the most popular programmes in the UK today, Yorkshire based Fettle Animation received a prestigious national award for their powerful animated documentary series Children of the Holocaust.

The Sandford St Martin’s Award recognises ethical and religious programming on television and radio.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury said:

“The Sandford Awards celebrate broadcasting that goes to the heart of what it means to be human. The 2015 shortlist not only shows the extraordinary range of religious and ethical programming on television and radio, but also puts paid to the idea that the spiritual dimension to life can be locked away behind a door marked ‘private’… We owe everyone shortlisted a debt of gratitude for broadening our horizons and deepening our understanding of each other.”

Fettle took the top award in the new children’s category for their animated accounts of the testimonies of child Holocaust Survivors made with BBC Learning and the Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association, for BBC Two which was subsequently broadcast as a one hour special on BBC4 for Holocaust Memorial Day.

Other entries in the category included Illuminated Films’ On Angel Wings for BBC One, CVTC’s The Crucifixion, I am Pagan and What is Jihad for True Tube, Newsround’s Children of Kabul for CBBC, Taylormation’s 60 Second Bible Stories for You Tube, CBBC Production’s Harriet’s Army and The Dumping Ground plus Handle and Spout’s My Special Day; Hannukah made for CBeebies.

Fettle director Zane Whittingham, producer Kath Shackleton and Holocaust Survivor Trude Silman were presented their award by the Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines and author, radio producer and feature writer Hilary Robinson who said.

“This was a programme with a theme linked to a time of war. In it, elderly survivors talked about childhood experiences of Nazi atrocities, their words illustrated by stylish animation. It showed what could be achieved on a comparatively minimal budget. It was certainly too good to hide in the small hours of the morning for the BBC’s Learning Zone – so I’m delighted it then had a later airing for a wider audience on BBC4. The judges were impressed by the programme’s powerful, real life stories; the mix of animation and eye witness accounts – telling a difficult and harrowing story for children in a highly imaginative way. ..”

Kath Shackleton Fettle Producer said.

“It was such an honour to be invited to the stunning surroundings of Lambeth Palace for the ceremony. As a small studio, making our first series production, winning was a real surprise against such established programme producers. We are thrilled to have won, the work of our production team and our Holocaust Survivors has been recognised and we hope that this award will encourage more people to watch our animations and to learn the lessons from the Holocaust.”

The animations were initially created as a series of shorts as a resource for schools, and are available permanently online HERE

They have been screened at ten international film and animation festivals around the world, and are about to feature in the Annecy International Animation Film Festival which is the world’s biggest animation festival.

The films also made the shortlist for the 2014 Children’s BAFTA, the 2015 British Universities Film and Video Council Learning On Screen Awards and have been nominated for a 2015 Royal Television Society Yorkshire Award.

The films are also being broadcast around the world in Austria, Sweden and Australia, being distributed by SND Films

The project was supported by Creative Skillset, who boosted production by part funding graduate trainees. The production was one of the first in the UK to benefit from the government’s new Animation Tax Break schemes.

The production was commissioned and executive produced by BBC Learning’s Katy Jones, who recently died unexpectedly. Fettle would like to pay tribute to her significant editorial contribution to this project. She will be much missed.

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