A panel of leading figures from the UK animation industry has shone a light on insights, trends and opportunities in the sector in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The online panel entitled “Animating Our World: A UK Perspective” explored the state of the UK industry as part of the Annecy International Animation Festival, being held this week in hybrid format.
As part of their commitment to the animation industry during the pandemic, a collection of national and regional agencies including Animation UK, the British Film Commission, BFI, Film London, Screen Scotland and NI Screen, have joined forces to create a strong UK presence at Annecy this year. As well as demonstrating the UK’s vibrant animation sector on the panel, they have also established the online UK Pavilion.
Panel chair, Kate O’Connor, from Animation UK, opened the session by emphasising that the UK animation industry was very much open for business, despite the pandemic. “Our animation sector in the UK shares with the global sector a huge reliance on partnership. This is something we see as so important whether that’s around sharing skills and talent, co-production or whether it's simply about creating new worlds, new characters and new stories for a global audience,” she said.
The BFI’s Director of Industry and International Affairs, Neil Peplow, outlined details of their recently launched UK Global Screen Fund, which aims to increase international opportunities across the screen sector; and Julian Scott, from Film London, used the forum to announce a new animation strategy aimed at increasing international investment and working on sustainability and diversity.
“If we had the ability to give production companies and distributors access to a wider data set so that they can explore the territories which they might not currently know are opportunities, or look at ratings or eyeballs in a way which then helps them in terms of financial decisions or future international strategy, that's something which we've got a research project on at the moment,” Peplow commented.
The panel also heard from producers from successful animation companies across the country, who threw a light on what life has been like in the sector across the past year.