Kate O'Connor

Executive Chair, Animation UK Council

Kate is an established consultant specialising in training and education in the creative industries with over 20 years’ previous experience as executive director and deputy CEO of Creative Skillset. Kate was appointed Executive Chair of the Animation UK Council in 2016, and focuses on business and skills policy, with emphasis on liaison with government and industry stakeholders.

David Sproxton

Co-founder, Executive Chairman, Aardman

David is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Aardman.  Together with co-founder Peter Lord, he has overseen the development of the company from a two-man partnership to one of the pre-eminent animation houses in the industry.  David has served as a producer, director or cinematographer on a number of animated projects at Aardman.

Phil Dobree

CEO, Jellyfish Pictures

Phil setup Jellyfish Pictures in 2001 and has successfully help transform it into a globally respected VFX and animation studio. Phil has a unique insight into the VFX and Animation industries having been in the industry for more than 20 years.

Ruth Fielding

Joint MD, Lupus Films

Ruth Fielding is joint MD of Lupus Films, and an award-winning creative producer with over 20 years’ experience in the animation industry. Ruth has produced TV series and films for all the major UK broadcasters through Lupus Films, as well as leading co-productions with France, Ireland, India, Denmark and Wales.

Ed Galton

MD, Chief Commercial Officer, CAKE Entertainment

Ed is MD and Chief Commercial Officer and a shareholder at CAKE. Ed oversees all commercial operations of the business and the day-to-day running of the company. Ed is Exec Producer on a number of kids’ shows including the Emmy-nominated Angelo Rules, and Exec Producer on CBeebies’ pioneering animated series Pablo, created, written and voiced by autistic talent.

Oli Hyatt MBE

MD, BlueZoo

Oli Hyatt MBE set up Blue-Zoo in 2000 straight from university and over the following 16 years he has slowly grown the studio into one of the largest character animation studios in Europe. was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for services to Children’s TV and Animation, as well as picking up BAFTA Production Company  of the year for Blue-Zoo.

Julie Lockhart

Co-founder, Locksmith Animation

In 2014 Julie Lockhart co-founded Locksmith Animation with Sarah Smith. Locksmith is the UK’s only dedicated high-end CG feature animation studio.  Julie Lockhart is one of the UK’s most experienced animation producers. Of the films she has produced, two have received Academy Award© nominations including Best Animated Film in 2013.

Ian Mackinnon

Co-founder, Mackinnon & Saunders

Ian is co-founder of Mackinnon & Saunders, an award-winning independent production company based in the North West of England, a key creative regional hub of the animation industry. Mackinnon & Saunders produces high quality stop motion and digital animation and puppets for commercials, TV series, short films, specials and feature films. The company also develops IP.

Jamie Badminton

Co-founder, Karrot Animation

Jamie Badminton is co-founder of Karrot Animation, and Creative Director/Producer of the BAFTA-Winning ‘Sarah & Duck’ for CBeebies. Emmy-nominated for ‘Outstanding Direction in Preschool Animation’ for ‘The Snowy Day,’ also Emmy award-winning for Producing the Amazon Studios special.

Erica Darby

Producer, Co-owner, Spider-eye

Erica Darby is producer and co-owner of Spider Eye, a multi-award winning animation studio producing 2D and CG animation for TV and film. Erica has worked in the animation industry for over 30 years, working as both an artist and a producer.

Mark Taylor

MD, A Productions

Mark is the MD of A Productions and has been in the industry for over 35 years. An award winning and BAFTA nominated director and producer with bags of experience. Mark has directed and produced a wide range of programming and content including animation and live action. Mark was on the Encounters festival board for 10 years.

Ian Liddell

CEO, Studio Liddell Ltd.

Ian Liddell is CEO of Studio Liddell Ltd, as well as one of the original co-founders of the company in Manchester, UK in 1996. Studio Liddell is a production company working in animation, and creators of stunning still, moving & interactive visual experiences in a cross-platform world. Ian is also Group Creative Director of Immotion Group plc.