Animate announces new commissions: for broadcast and online

Animate is proud to announce seven new commissions, selected from 130 submissions, which explore a variety of themes, including ecology, mental health and creativity, and the forgotten military history of a bleak East Anglia landscape. Techniques include time-lapse film, hand drawn rotoscope, and animated ceramic hybrid characters. Also, for the first time, Animate is commissioning two online commissions for broadband.

The commissioned artists’ backgrounds range from the visual arts, experimental film, graphic design, animation, and ceramics. They are: Barnaby Barford, Suky Best, Emily Richardson, Tal Rosner, Christoph Steger, and, for online, Stephen Irwin and Michael Aubtin Madadi. Animate provides production funding up to £20,000, and the films will be broadcast on Channel 4 in autumn 2008.

Jan Younghusband, Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor, Arts & Performance, said, “Channel 4 is delighted to support Animate - it continues to offer an important space for artists to make new work, and this year’s commissions are characteristically diverse, unexpected and exciting.”

Sarah Weir, Executive Director, Arts Council England, London, said, “Animate offers artists rare opportunities to develop ambitious projects on a national platform. We are proud that our investment has supported so many innovative commissions over the years and are particularly pleased about the development of the online programme - using digital media both to create work, and making sure it reaches more people in more places.”

Animate has commissioned 90 films since 1991. It is the longest running broadcaster-linked scheme ever supported by Arts Council England, and has the most consistent commitment ever made by Channel 4 to the independent production of innovative and challenging films.

For more information and images, contact Abigail Addison at
or visit:

Dick Arnall

animate! is very sad to report the death of Dick Arnall on 6th February 2007. Dick was closely involved with animate! from the very beginning, as its independent production advisor, from 1990. He took a break, to return to producing films in his own right, including Jo Ann Kaplan’s Anatomy of Melancholy for animate!, and Robert Bradbrook's multi-award winning Home Road Movies. From 2001, Dick's company Finetake ran the project, taking it in new directions, setting up animateonline and the animate! artists award, and developing animate!'s extensive exhibition programme, taking the work to unexpecting audiences in new contexts.

More than anything, he'll be remembered as the artists' staunchest champion, supporter, and friend.

“the patron saint of alternative animation”
Samantha Moore

“the Personal was Political with him - he lived it”
Jo Ann Kaplan

“the man was truly an inspiration and visionary”
Andrew Kotting

“he was a marvel and a diamond and will be sadly missed”
Stuart Hilton

“it hard to accept that his singular character, ebullience and energy are gone now”
Paul Bernays

“The world truly will be diminished without Dick...his vision and energy, but also quite fundamentally his goodness.”
Adam Pugh

“We could do with a few more Dick Arnall's and we sure can't afford to lose the one we had.”
Malcolm Turner

“Dick really was the Godfather of animation.” Damian Gascoigne

Animation is so much more than... live-action

If you enjoy challenging your eyes and mind... if you are eager to transcend the ordinary and re-vision the world with unexpected tools... animate! wants you.

The animate! project trailblazes fresh narrative and aesthetic possibilities in the moving image, way beyond live-action and the frame-by-frame confines of conventional animation. No easy 'how to' cartoon manuals here, or tips on making & selling series for kids.

animate! has commissioned 84 risk-taking films since 1990 – dynamic and diverse, pure and hybrid, celluloid, tape and digital. Synthesis is what it's about.

Spirited, radical content...
New forms, tools & processes...
Refreshing, extending and redefining animation.

Read on for the back-story, discussion and inspiration.

Life beyond live-action!

The animate! Book on sale

Illustrated with 870 full-colour film images and graphics, The animate! Book: Rethinking Animation takes the animate! project as a starting point for a wide-ranging exploration of animation and its concepts in contemporary art practice. Complete with a DVD of ten seminal films commissioned by animate!.

animate! tv 2006 commissions in production

Six new projects were selected in May for animate! tv's sixteenth annual slate. The productions are funded by Arts Council England and Channel 4 for completion in summer 2007 and broadcast by Channel 4 in the autumn.

animate! Events

Check online for details of upcoming animate! events. And subscribe to our free newswire e-mailing list for updates on animate! projects, screenings and commissioning.

animate! is produced by Finetake
funded by Arts Council England and Channel 4 Television