Trade bodies for the UK’s post, vfx and animation sectors, UK Screen Alliance and Animation UK, have revealed the winners of their Outstanding Contribution Awards.

The ceremony was held at the UK Screen Alliance 20th anniversary gala dinner, at Stationers’ Hall in London.

In the Outstanding Contribution to Visual Effects category, sponsored by Tysers Live, Sara Bennett from Milk VFX won the award. The nominators noted Sara’s “exceptional ability to seamlessly blend artistry and technology, to create awe-inspiring visual effects that enhance the storytelling process, and that as an Academy Award winner, Sara has been a huge champion for diversity in her company, as well as, an inspiration to the wider VFX community.”

The award was presented by Paul Hillier, Director of Media, Film and TV at Tysers Live. The shortlisted nominees were Hayden Jones (Industrial Light & Magic), Jean-Claude Deguara (Milk VFX), and Jeremy Smith (Jellyfish Pictures).

In the Outstanding Contribution to Animation category, sponsored by Percy & Warren, Oli Hyatt from Blue Zoo won the award. The nominators remarked that “Oli’s bold and innovative voice has been an influential and disruptive force for good in animation and children’s education, not just in the UK, but across the world.”

The award was presented by Tessa Laws, CEO of Percy & Warren. The shortlisted nominees were Kris Kelly (Enter Yes), Martin Pope and Michael Rose (Magic Light Pictures), and Ruth Fielding and Camilla Deakin (Lupus Films).

In the Outstanding Contribution to Post-Production category, sponsored by Tysers Live, Natascha Cadle and Dave Cadle from ENVY Post Production won the award. The award was presented by John Claffey, Managing Director of Tysers Live. Natascha and Dave Cable were unanimously nominated, “further demonstrating their dedication and remarkable contribution to the sector. The nominators praised the duo for the way they continuously inspired the post landscape, through their high levels of customer service and devotion to the development of diverse talent through their own internal academy, which has launched the careers of hundreds of young people.”

In the Outstanding Contribution to Skills Development category, sponsored by LucidLink, Amy Smith from Framestore won the award. The nominators highlighted “Amy’s commitment as a leader in shaping the skills landscape and commended her for being a true ambassador for the sector in terms of outreach, to ensure that anyone, whatever their circumstances or background, could have an opportunity to enter, train and progress to a rewarding career.”

The award was presented by Rupert Watson, Senior Director Sales for EMEA at LucidLink. The shortlisted nominees were Phil Attfield (NextGen Skills Academy), Rowan Bray (Clear Cut Group), and Tom Box (Blue Zoo).

In the final category for the night, Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion, sponsored by Simons Muirhead Burton, Phil Attfield from NextGen Skills Academy won the award. The nominators “praised how Phil has tirelessly worked towards implementing new pathways into the creative industries, to promote diversity and inclusion by breaking down the barriers that hinder disadvantaged groups.”

The award was presented by Nick Miller, Co-Head of Film and TV at Simons Muirhead Burton. The shortlisted nominees were Alixe Lobato (Flying Duck Studio Lab), Louise Hussey (Industrial Light & Magic), and Simon Devereux (Framestore and ACCESS:VFX).

Neil Hatton, CEO of UK Screen Alliance, said: “The breadth of outstanding talent shown by the winners and nominees honoured tonight is truly breathtaking. Their contribution to our industry really shows that the UK is second to none when it comes to people with exceptional skill and commitment. It augurs well for the future.”

Kate O’Connor, Executive Chair of Animation UK, said: “The gala dinner is an important opportunity to mark the significant strides made within animation sector, by the sector, showcasing the unwavering dedication of Animation UK activists and supporters.

“Oli Hyatt’s unflagging determination and bold vision, and as Founder of Animation UK, earning him the Outstanding Contribution to Animation award, epitomises the spirit driving our industry forward, alongside the strong field of all the outstanding winners and nominees. The evening is an opportunity reaffirm our commitment to fostering an environment of creativity, inclusivity, and progress within our brilliant sector with Animation UK, working within the UK Screen Alliance to propel animation to new heights of creativity, inclusivity and business success.”


Jon Creamer

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