Monday, January 27th, 2020
Our audiences are continually stunned by the level of talent on display in our Animation category each year, so this year we’re thrilled to be welcoming a new set of Industry Judges specialising in this area! We can barely contain our excitement, so lets get straight on with introducing them!
Arianne Sutner is LAIKA’s Head of Production and shares Producer credits with Travis Knight on ParaNorman, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Missing Link. Prior to LAIKA, Sutner produced Animation/FX for Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and served as FX Unit Production Manager for Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds. Her additional credits include James and the Giant Peach, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, as well as a wide array of live-action and animated television shows, commercials, and shorts.
She won the Visual Effects Society Award and was Oscar®-nominated for Kubo and the Two Strings. She recently won a Golden Globe for Best Animated Film, Missing Link and is again nominated this year for an Oscar® for Best Animated Film.
Jill Culton is a Writer, Director & Animator who has worked on a range of animated films throughout her career. Most recently, she wrote and co-directed the 2019 animated film Abominable.
Culton’s career began with a decade working at Pixar after graduating from CalArts. During this time, she worked on a number of the studio’s hits, including the first two instalments in the Toy Story series, A Bug’s Life, and Monsters Inc, for which she received an “Original Story by” credit. Culton made her directorial debut in 2006 with the DreamWorks Animation film Open Season, before returning to the studio for Abominable in 2019.
Will Becher is a Director and Animator frequently working with Aardman Animations on a range of projects, most recently directing the 2019 film A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon alongside Richard Phelan.
Becher’s career in animation began with a work experience placement at Aardman during the production of Chicken Run before returning to join the animation team on Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were Rabbit after completing his degree. Since then, he has gained a range of credits including Creature Comforts, The Pirates! Band of Misfits and ParaNorman, before stepping into the director’s chair for a number of episodes of Shaun the Sheep in 2016. Becher’s most recent release, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, has been nominated for a BAFTA in the Animated Film category.
Julie Lockhart is a Producer known for her work on a range of animation projects in both film and television. Most recently she produced the 2015 Aardman Animations film Shaun the Sheep Movie, for which she received an Academy Award nomination.
Lockhart’s career with Aardman has seen her work in a range of leadership roles alongside working as a Producer on a range of short films, commercials, television programmes, and feature films. Her extensive credits at the studio include Angry Kid, Creature Comforts, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, and Shaun the Sheep Movie. Lockhart is also the Co-CEO of Locksmith Animation, a dedicated high-end CG feature animation studio.
These judges will be involved in watching the award nominated animated films from our 2020 selection later this year. Keep an eye out for more exciting announcements from us over the coming months as we build towards NFF2020!
Please note that all judges are subject to work commitments.
Posted in: News, NFF2020