Animation UK champions British animation at Annecy 2024

Industry News  |  07 June 2024

Animation UK champions British animation at Annecy 2024, as industry enjoys the positive impact of uplifted tax credits.

That Christmas.
Image by Locksmith Animation.

Fresh from a year of creative success and financial injection, the UK Animation sector is heading to France in force next week to celebrate the vibrant UK animation industry and champion the message that the industry is very much “open for business”.

Animation UK, in partnership with the BFI, organisations representing the UK Nations and England’s regions and the Department for Business and Trade, and a host of leading companies and industry figures will fly the flag for the UK at a special Pavilion – Animated UK: Creating New Worlds – at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival from Monday, 10 – Friday, 14 June.

Based in the heart of MIFA (International Animation Film Market) at stand D.15, the UK Pavilion will highlight the excellence of UK animation while serving as a hub for UK delegates and providing valuable resources about the benefits of working collaboratively with the UK. 

Highlights include a chance to meet the team from Locksmith Animation – including Simon Otto and Richard Curtis -and hear about their upcoming release That Christmas, and an opportunity to raise a glass to the eagerly-awaited premiere of Mojo Swoptops with London-based animation company Blue Zoo.

Mojo Swoptops.
Image by Blue Zoo and Tararaboom.

The event comes as the UK industry benefits from an uplift in tax credit to 39% of qualifying expenditure for eligible animation and children’s TV programmes and features, with no limit on the tax relief that can be claimed. This exciting development, launched this year as part of a new credit expenditure model, translates to a net 29.25% tax rebate, fuelling further growth in the industry.

In addition, the UK Government announced that it would introduce a higher rate of the Audio Visual Expenditure Credit (AVEC) referred to as the UK Independent Film Tax Credit (IFTC), which companies would be able to claim the IFTC from 1 April 2025, for costs incurred from 1 April 2024.  Details on qualifying criteria still need to be legislated which will now be a matter for the new UK government following the General Election. 

Meanwhile, the UK animation sector continues to enjoy great critical on the global stage, as 15 films from UK production companies, directors and universities compete in the official competition at Annecy. These include: TV Films A Bear Named Wojtek (Iluminated Films), Pip and Posy (Magic Light Pictures), Tabby McTat (Magic Light Pictures) and The Very Small Creatures: The Farm (Aardman); Commissioned Films Alzheimer’s Research UK: Change the Ending, Federal Ministry – BMK The Madhouse, Pictoplasma: Opener 2023, The Lords of Water: Launch Film, We Campaign Because They Can’t and WWF: Up In Smoke; Short Film (S) (dir Mario Radev); and Graduation Films Adios (NFTS), I Wanna Be A Statue (RCA), Minus Plus Multiply (RCA) and To the Brink (UWE).

Mini Buds.
Image by Egin Bach and Bumpybox.

It’s wonderful to see the UK animation industry out in force at this event as the sector continues to flourish after a challenging period. We come to Annecy, not only on the back of another year of incredible British creative mastery, but also in the wake of the introduction of uplifted tax credits and other enticing financial incentives. These have been a shot in the arm for the UK industry and are revolutionising the way we devise, format and distribute our content. We can’t wait to talk to the international community about the incredible financial and creative benefits of collaborating with the UK animation sector.

Kate O’Connor, Executive Chair of Animation UK

Wales’ animation companies and studios are creating world-class animations and contributing significantly to the global market. The support from Creative Wales enables our animation companies to access the necessary resources, talent, and funding, fostering innovation and excellence. We are committed to ensuring that Wales remains at the forefront of the animation industry, providing an environment where creativity can flourish and businesses can achieve their full potential.

Gerwyn Evans, Deputy Director of Creative Wales

We are thrilled to be promoting our latest feature, That Christmas, at Annecy this year, joining production companies across the UK to celebrate our sector. As an independent producer of high-quality animated features for global audiences, Locksmith Animation is delighted with the new Tax Relief for both higher budget and independent features. This incentive further boosts UK-based production at the highest level of animation, driving ongoing investment in talent and technology to produce world-class, big-budget animated films that showcase UK creativity on the global stage.

Britt Gardiner, Chief Operating Officer of Locksmith Animation and Chair of the Animation UK Features Working Group

We are excited to return to Annecy this year in force and will be showcasing Mojo Swoptops, a UK/Belgian co-production commissioned by the BBC, with additional work being done at Kazoo. This project exemplifies the importance of co-production and our strong connections in Europe. We look forward to making further connections and discussing all our upcoming projects.

Oli Hyatt, Co-Founder of Blue Zoo Animation Studios

Over the past 20+ years, Aardman has released nine films theatrically, and are currently finishing the next highly anticipated Wallace and Gromit film, we are delighted with the announcement to uplift the animation tax credit and raise the independent film tax credit for budgets under £15m to 40%. This will attract investment and ensure the continuity of our film output. We are also thrilled that an episode from our pre-school TV series, The Very Small Creatures: The Farm, has been selected for the official competition at Annecy this year.

Sean Clarke, Managing Director of Aardman

We are really excited to be attending Annecy this year with a packed schedule of meetings and screenings. We are presenting a new feature film, KIKI, directed by Peter Dodd and co-developed with French producer Something Big, at the MIFA pitches and we are hopeful that the new tax incentives for independent film in the UK offering a relief of 40% will help propel feature films like KIKI into production.

Ruth Fielding, Producer and Co-founder, Lupus Films

The UK Pavilion will be brought to life by Animation UK, and powered by the BFI National Lottery Filmmaking Fund. Additional support is provided by the Department for Business and Trade, UK Global Screen Fund, Certification Unit, Film London, Northern Ireland Screen, Screen Scotland, and Creative Wales. 

In addition to providing an opportunity for producers to organise meetings, Animation UK will organise networking events at the venue. Representatives from Animation UK, the BFI and the screen agencies will be on the stand and available for meetings about offers around the UK including information on the uplifted UK Tax Credit and the new Audio-visual Expenditure Credit.