27 January 2011

Arts Council Axes Animate

We are very sorry to announce that Animate is likely to close down at the end of March 2011, following Arts Council England’s decision not to fund our 2011 programme.

Animate began in 1990 as an Arts Council/Channel 4 scheme and has been supported by the Arts Council England continuously for 21 years.

We set up Animate Projects four years ago, following the sudden death of Dick Arnall. animateprojects.org is a unique resource, with more than 140 films, many by key figures in British animation, including 11 British Animation Awards winners and five BAFTA nominations, as well as interviews, essays and background production materials.

We are very proud of the work that we have been able to support, and would like to thank all the animators, artists, filmmakers, writers, and partners that we’ve worked with over the years, and to everyone who has taken an interest in our work.

Our programme continues, with new works online, until March, and we hope to keep the website live for some time after that.

Whilst we are exploring options for beyond March, we would appreciate any expressions of support that might help.

Please comment below or email us at: info@animateprojects.org


Notes:

We set up Animate Projects in 2007 following the sudden death of Dick Arnall, on the understanding that the Arts Council intended to make us a ‘regularly funded organisation’, however they have only ever given us ‘project’ support.

Arts Council England told us that an application to Grants for the arts for our 2011 - 2012 programme was our only option for support. We have had positive discussions with Channel 4 and were hopeful that the AnimateTV scheme would run again.

The Arts Council assessment of the application stated that, although Animate Projects has a strong artistic record and is seen as a strategically important organisation, ‘it would not be fair or consistent to fund activity of this nature through Grants for the arts.’ This is despite our having been funded through Grants for the arts since 2007.

We have applied for ACE Portfolio funding, but that would commence in April 2012, and without GftA support we cannot sustain the organisation over the 12 months until then.

Animate Projects is the only UK organisation with a particular focus on the production and exhibition of experimental animation, and is at the forefront in the commission of artists’ moving image for exhibition online and digital platforms.

Download the press release here.

122 comments:

  1. If they can ignore 21 years of consistently amazing output (http://www.animateprojects.org/films) and one of the most interesting of new media experiments (http://www.apengine.org) then I dread to think what else is being cut.

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  2. Sad news - they have done terrific work in the field of animation.

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  3. jacqui et al - i'm really sad to hear this. you have all been doing such great work.

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  4. ANIMATE! has supported, helped to make, and published some of the best work around. To not fund it, support it, and help it live and grow - SUCKS!

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  5. This is just TERRIBLE news. If the closure goes ahead it will be a very sad day for creative arts in the UK.

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  6. Just watched two of the best films I've seen for ages, Eleven by Ben Rivers and A short film about War by Thomson & Craighead. Incredible films and both on the Animate website. Where else can I see work like this? Who else is commissioning work lie this?

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  7. Such terrible news about an organisation that has produced and promoted such consistently great work. And yet another example of the lack of sustained institutional support for those practitioners who fall between the categories of traditional art and conventional filmmaking. Shame on ACE and shame on this unelected sham government and its idiotic, ideological and unnecessary programme of cuts.

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  8. I can only second what Jo Ann has said - ANIMATE! has produced and supported eclectic work of an extremely high quality. Grim news indeed....

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  9. Very sad news... Animate Projects are always amazing and expanding the limit of animation. Everyone can easily understand that it's a great loss to shut down the project if they see the list of the films on the website...

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  10. This is very sad news, and an awful, retrograde step for animation/experimental film funding in particular and our arts culture in general.

    Experimental work will be deprived of a place of support, information and reflection if Animate is discarded.

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  11. Shame on ACE. Animate has had such consistently amazing output. Support for this art form is already at a disgraceful low. What is worth funding if not this? Another blow to our culture.

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  12. It is precisely organizations like Animate Projects that have multiplied this country’s cultural capital in the last two decades, by attracting artists from all over the world to the UK. Being one of those artists, it is really shocking to see that this contribution cannot be appreciated. I can only regard the fact that Animate Projects has supported my work in experimental filmmaking as a true privilege.

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  13. animation is such a vital, creative and ever evolving art form. Really hope you find a way of bridging the year. Good luck on the NP outcome

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  14. I'm writing this from the USA where my colleagues were literally dumbfounded to hear that the Arts Council would cease to support such a brilliant organisation.

    Over the years animate has nurtured so many British experimental filmmakers, not just by funding new work, but also via their innovative distribution and excellent websites. animateprojects.org and APEngine are invaluable resources for discussion and dissemination. A retrograde step indeed.

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  15. This is really depressing news. Animate Projects is exactly the kind of enterprise that should be funded and supported.There must be some way of saving it!

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  16. this is awful news. that's all there is to it.

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  17. At a period in history when animation is becoming a more and more integral component of all media, its development and recognition as an artform with its own body of critical knowledge becomes more urgent, not less. We need organisations like Animate Projects that understand how animation leverages connections between such things as cinema, drawing, performance, movement, metamorphosis, visualisation and new media.

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  18. this is very sad. Since it's inception, animate! and Animate Projects have funded and supported some of the best short film work produced in the UK, whether it be animation or experimental work, or quite simply short film as a genre. It has produced and supported far more exciting groundbreaking work than more traditional short film funding routes. And the site itself is a fantastic resource for short films.
    Philip Ilson (London Short Film Festival)

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  19. What a stupid thoroughly thing to do: Animate have commissioned some of our best artists to make some of their best work. Losing them will be like losing a tooth...

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  20. This is shocking and saddening news. Animate holds a unique place in UK moving-image culture and its closure must not be allowed.
    Steven Eastwood, filmmaker

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  21. I am deeply shocked. This is such sad news for art animation and experimental film worldwide. And it's another nail in the coffin of (once Great) Britain.

    Pulling the funding only four years after Dick Arnall's passing is such an insult to his lifelong work of championing artistic animation. It is also a huge smack in the face for Gary Thomas, Jacqui Davies et al who did such a brilliant job at taking over from Dick, keeping his vision alive, and establishing the amazing www.apengine.org, an indispensable resource and source of inspiration.

    What's next? Soon there won't be much left to axe, nor anything to write home about, Britain.

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  22. This is so sad. Animate Projects has been a source of inspiration and an invaluable teaching resource over the years. Thank you. Animate will be sorely missed.

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  23. Very depressing news. Makes no sense in the digital age. Animation in its various forms is at the heart of the arts as they are practiced today, and Animate has proved its relevance through the broad range of artists and writers it has nurtured and provided a platform for. I know that the APEngine site is read regularly by the moving image community. I have written often for the APEngine site and have always been very proud to be associated with it. I urge the Arts Council to reverse its decision.

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  24. Very disappointing news. I've been lucky enough to work with Animate and their support has been invaluable. AP is a unique organisation and to axe it after so many successful years is a big mistake.

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  25. Shame on you, Arts Council.
    What is truly amazing about Animate Projects is that, in less than four short years, it has established a thriving community of practice- a new space for us to engage with ideas about the (animated) moving image, experimentation, innovation, and meaning - whether we are artists/film-makers/academics/audiences.
    That's no small feat.
    As an artist film-maker based a long way from London, I feel part of Animate Projects because its online presence is magnificent, as is its commitment to bringing challenging work to new audiences through nifty commissioning, imaginative screening opportunities, careful budgeting, smart partnerships, and making full use of digital technologies.
    The Arts Council should reward Animate Projects for all the valuable entrepreneurial work it has done to re-invigorate the spirit of the very best of experimental film-making - and increase its funding.

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  26. Extremely disappointing. It's obvious that the first things to go (in regards to cuts) would be anything deemed uncommercial or experimental. Suppose animators should just shut up and get working on Tangled 2. Very, very sad.

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  27. This is wretched news, for animators and audiences alike. Animate's commissioning record is second to none, and I've been constantly impressed by the videos and writing they've been serving up on the APEngine website.

    I know times are bad but Arts Council England should really look again at this depressing decision.

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  28. Shortsighted decision. Animate supports work that's accessible and fun, and not merely experimental and obscure. Truly democratic work that appeals to a wide cross-section of people, it may not seem uncommercial but it's certainly popular and amazing value for money. Very bad decision.

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  29. Terrible decision which will culminate in the decimation of incredibly fertile sign-posting, resources, support and location for important work. I feel for emerging filmmakers who will have less and less of a sense of community and gathering as these organisations are left to collapse. Animate was a crucial hub and this is sheer vandalism.

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  30. Having just seen the Len Lye exhibition at the Ikon in Birmingham I was reminded of the tradition and impact of experimental animation. Animate and Animate Projects have been a hugely significant source of production, advocacy and support for experimentation in animation in the UK. It would be a tragedy if this important strand of the visual arts is lost.
    Mark Cosgrove
    Creative Director
    Encounters Short Film Festival

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  31. Another inspirational project goes vanishing. Animate will be greatly missed.

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  32. Hattie Masterson27 January 2011 at 18:17

    I was an intern with you just over a year ago and was proud to be associated with such an innovative, creative organisation. The work that you guys support and output is fantastic.

    I am very saddened to hear the news and urge the Art Council to reconsider

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  33. Elisabetta Fabrizi27 January 2011 at 18:21

    Im very sad animate will loose its ACE funding; I have worked with you all and I think you are amazing professionals doing a great job. After the BFI's decision to close the BFI Gallery, this news is yet another big blow to the commissioning of the moving image in the UK. I hope ACE will reconsider.

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  34. As a Canadian-based film programmer, I have been deeply impressed with the work of Animate Projects. Projects supported by Animate Projects have had a very significant international profile (I've seen them in festivals in Europe, North America and Asia). Some of the strongest work that has come out of the UK has been supported by Animate Projects (as seen by the amount of awards this work has garnered), so their demise will be a huge blow to the international presence of British short film in the international marketplace. It will be a severe loss.

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  35. Hello,

    Am so sorry to hear this. This is really such a backwards move and I question the reasoning behind this beyond "too much competition".

    Animate have introduced people to really exciting new ways of working without falling prey to being whimsical or pigeonholing different genres or ways of working in art - the emphasis has been on inclusion, quality, and bringing this to an audience.

    Arts Council - we should be making more of our rich culture, as much as the audience makes the most of experiencing it. We should all be working together and it doesn't feel like that at all.

    Vicki Bennett
    People Like Us

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  36. I’m devastated to hear of the possible closure of Animate! For the want of one more year of interim GfA funding, the possibility of having Animate! as a stable organisation funded through NPO would have a significant impact on the development, not just of animation in the UK and worldwide, but right across artists moving image practice. Animate! and its inspirational staff, shines a beacon for sense and collaboration, and leads the field in distribution, dialogue and practice, not least through the innovative APEngine serving all moving image practitioners.

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  37. So sorry to hear that Animate Projects will have to shut down. Very much enjoyed working with you on Charlie Tweed collaboration and was looking forward to future joint projects.

    I hope you can preserve your on-line archive so that it stays public as it's an fantastic free resource.

    Best wishes,
    Marie-Anne McQuay
    Spike Island

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  38. I don't understand this decision at all. The work Animate! and Animate Projects has supported has always been high quality, inspiring, accessible, critically interesting and it must surely contribute quite directly to the UK economy. Experimental animators and artists hoping to work in this form - which demands so much of the artist's time - already struggle to find opportunities to create high quality work; this decision is stupid.

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  39. What a shame. It was one of the few resources I know that would support creative animators with their projects, which is something I have always envied. Animate Projects did valuable and important work and I hate to think that is will be ending.

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  40. Insane. "Not fair or consistent..."? Why? I hope the organisation can continue in some form from 2012. Let us know.

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  41. This is truly shocking news. ANIMATE! is a vibrant and vital organisation that provides much-need support to artists, and really gets the word out about their work. What a terrible and short-sighted decision.

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  42. Josephine Lanyon27 January 2011 at 19:39

    I have been so impressed by the work of Animate! under its new co-Directors. The company has gone from strength to strength in commissioning new works, exploring on-line exhibition in a really creative way and publishing excellent texts. Whilst at Picture This I collaborated on a number of projects with the team and found fun matched with passion and knowledge.

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  43. Really bad news I hope that somehow Animate projects can exist in some form.

    I dont know of any other organisation which generates such consistent, intelligent and enteraining content. This is a short sighted move.

    Good luck to all of the Animate staff. Hope you can move things forward in a different direction and stay positive!

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  44. I'm so sorry to hear about this. We were about to start work in earnest on an animation with Animate Projects. They have been brilliant to work with over the past year and it seems a terrible thing to let all of this expertise, knowledge, experience and enthusiasm disperse. Organisations like Animate need to be kept going. I hope there is a way for it to continue in some way into the future.

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  45. What a shame! Never been funded by ANIMATE! myself, but totally support any organisation which encourages experimentation and innovation.

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  46. Such a Shame! Whilst studying animation I found the ANIMATE work to be a huge inspiration, an example of the excellence that can be achieve through such a wonderful medium.

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  47. This is an incredibly shortsighted decision and the Arts Council should urgently reconsider. Animate Projects are a unique and invaluable organisation who reach far beyond simply funding animation. Through the projects they fund and their websites they act as a focal point for experimentation and discussion, which in turn has a greatly positive effect on the wider cultural landscape. Ceasing to fund them will undoubtedly have a significant, destructive effect on the vitality and energy of this country's moving image culture, and on what respect and confidence our artists and filmmakers may have had in ACE.

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  48. All key research in any discipline takes place at the edge of practice, not at the centre. It's as true for art and culture as for oncology or nuclear physics. It makes no sense remove key outliers researching artistic practice (especially in a growth industry such as animation) to protect a core of large scale organisations that merely continue with traditional culture. Short sighted and plan wrong. Just like the Arts Council.

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  49. This is a bloody tragedy - the bean counters once again showing that they know the price of everything and value of nothing.
    I can still recall floating through Hyde Park having just had my first Animate commission accepted - Hopefully something positive will come of this, although right now insurrection is looking increasingly likely.

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  50. Tragic news. A great loss.

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  51. ACE must be forced to reconsider this shortsighted and bizarre decision.

    Animate's value lies in the fact that it is not only a curatorial agency, but also an open, approachable and generously spirited moving image organisation.

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  52. Very sad to hear that such a great institution like Animate will not receive funding, hoping that you will reform into another shape or form in future. There has to be a forum for the artform of animation such as Animate has been. It is sad that this society does not value art or animation enough to fund it properly, hope winds will change.

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  53. This is shocking news. We STRONGLY urge Arts Council England to reconsider. Animate Projects remains one of the few visual arts organisations who commission work from a broad range of practitioners, traversing artists, animators and filmmakers. They are unafraid to support work that seeks to advance moving image practice and are a world apart from those arts organisations who rarely take risks and only support established artists or filmmakers. As an artist existing 'on the margins' of the London film and art worlds, we cannot overestimate the importance of such an organisation. Please think again ACE.

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  54. it is really shameful that such an important resource should have to go. This is not just not-funding, this is destruction of cultural values.

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  55. This is very disheartening. I'm starting to put on experimental short film nights and Animate Projects has been a constant source of inspiration. It seems inexplicable that such a key organisation in their field should be allowed to go under, and it doesn't bode well for future ACE decision making.

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  56. Animate have been responsible for some of the most surprising and innovative moving image projects I have seen in the last few years. They have nurtured some truly inspirational artists, and the work made seems to genuinely explore and interrogate the boundaries between so many artforms. They have made me question what animation can be, and I have found their website a fabulous resource for challenging and engaging me as an artist and in a teaching context.I find this news utterly depressing and one of the most significant and regrettable cuts amongst many.

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  57. This decision is totally unfathomable and damaging, and i'm really gutted for all the staff at Animate who I had the pleasure to meet recently. To close down such a hardworking, approachable, innovative, inspiring organisation, which supports such experimental yet engaging practice, just beggars belief. Like all the idiotic public sector cuts, a stupid, ideological decision as a warning to the rest.

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  58. This is a major blow to the animation and arts community worldwide. Animate has directly and indirectly been responsible for some of the most significant advances in the field since its beginning. On a personal note, Animate has always been a source of inspiration and support for me, and I strongly urge the Arts Council to reconsider their decision.

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  59. Tch! Thank you for your work AP :)

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  60. SAD NEWS...

    This project is wonderful...

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  61. So sorry to hear this, I hope the British Council reconsiders. Even though I am not in England I have enjoyed getting your emails and viewing your programs online. It was always fresh and interesting to see what you developed and curated. I hope the archive will remain active, but the loss of new programming will have considerable impact on the field, both to animators and to those who appreciate visual delight and innovation.

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  62. I am so sorry to hear this. I hope that Animate projects can exist in some form in the future!.

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  63. This is a shame! I cannot believe it. AP initiated most substantial work over the years. If you feel we can support you somehow, do not hesitate to get back to us.
    With best wishes,
    Lars Henrik Gass, director International Short Film Festival Oberhausen,

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  64. I suppose it was preditable, another nail in the old coffin. I am so sorry.

    Emma Calder

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  65. Very bad news for Animate, very bad news for us all.

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  66. Another bad day for the arts. Animate is the high water mark of quality in cutting edge animation and moving image curatorship, presentaion and distribution. It's brilliant on-line presence and programmes in venues across the world have delivered an impact far beyond its means - attracting thousands of curators, artists, theorists and audiences.

    This must not be lost. Animate's work is simply too brilliant.

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  67. Animate! is the most important funding schemes and online resource for a generation of animators, writers and directors. How many people has this scheme helped? How many great films has it produced? How many of us were lucky enough to have worked with Dick?
    Animate! has punched above it's weight creatively speaking for a long time so this is a sad decision for those of us who have been personally involved with Animate! but this a dreadful long term decision for the future of UK animation.

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  68. Very sorry to hear of the demise of Animate, which comes as yet another sad indictment of misguided, arbitrary and punitive ConDem cuts to the Arts.

    The cultural loss is immense, of course. As one of the many filmmakers who got their first opportunity to explore genuinely experimental and innovative work through the scheme, I can also attest to the broader economic benefits, stimulating commercial spin-off projects, job creation and exports.

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  69. Jeez! We should all just get our coats. I'll order the taxis.

    A sad day indeed :-(

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  70. Very sad news - & an incredibly misguided decision for the future of animation in the UK - wish I could say I was suprised : (

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  71. this is so sad and shortsighted... can we start an actual petition against it? i'm sure we'd get thousands of signatures.

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  72. This is terrible, terrible news. An insult to all Dick, Gary and Jacqui et al's hard work, enthusiasm and commitment for animate over the years. I am very sorry.

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  73. What terrible news for a friday morning. i'd sign up for a petition against right now! Arts Council should be ashamed of themselves

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  74. A sad day for me and you guys at Animate Projects. I've enjoyed viewing the Animate films over the years and would like to extend a huge thank you to the late Dick Arnall, for it was he who championed innovation with such vigour and gave me my first job in animation to boot, probably because - all those years ago - we were wearing the same 'Take6' jacket!'

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  75. Dark days.

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  76. very sad and shocking!!
    I do not understand why and how something like this could happen to such a groundbreaking important organisation.

    Quayola

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  77. The Animate team have made a significant contribution to the development of a key area of practice, not to fund this small but effective agency is a very misguided decision on behalf of the Arts Council London. I can only hope that they somehow manage to continue their brilliant work.

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  78. It's a strange time for cuts across the board, if nimrod is being disbanded as a major defense scheme and education being delivered at an alarmingly high cost, it seems no great shock that small arts organisations should also feel the knife edge. In an age of mass internet film distribution, with platforms such as Vimeo and youtube providing historically unparalleled means of access, combined with technological developments in computing and video production, we could arguably say that artist film and video has never been positioned in a stronger environment to flourish. It is always a sad day to see such optimistic projects as Animate receiving cutbacks, but to sit and morn such an inevitable economic shift seems overtly melancholic and inward looking. Instead it is the role of those involved with artist film and video to look outwards and trace new escape routes, carving out a new position. If the ubiquitous image of vimeo, or prosumer film makers using high quality dslr equipment is potentially diluting the essential idiosyncratic nature of artist's film and video, then it is surely evidence to the fatiguing lack of progress and hunger for advancement in the field of artist's video. Lets not let this change overwhelm us with pathos, but look to the arrival of this new age to claim and force a correspondingly new idea of what video art, animation and film can be.

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  79. this just sucks.

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  80. This is terrible news.

    Animate Projects is unique. There isn't another online resource or scheme that delivers the range and depth of work that you commission and distribute, and crucially, make accessible.

    As a pedagogic aid and resource your online archive is immensely valuable to our students. And our work with you through initiatives like the Animate Artist in Residence Scheme and the C4 '3 Minute Wonder' Kubrick Archive project enriched and expanded the scope and ambition of animation at LCC and helped us to define what animation was and could be for our students.

    For the Arts Council to cut your funding - at at time when animation is rightfully 'returned' to the centre of moving image culture and its pervasive presence is sensed more or less everywhere - demonstrates a lack of vision, understanding or knowledge of animation's resurgence and popularity.

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  81. Extremely disappointed to hear the news about animate projects. This government is, it seems to me, systematically trying to destory everything thats great about this country. The only reason the rest of the world is interested in us at all any more is not because of our businesses or banks or the queen or our old buildings but because of our creative brilliance, the only area, apart from perhaps invention and innovation (which is arguably the same thing), in which we punch above our weight in the world arena.

    It would be one thing to just say 'well that seems to be working quite well lets just let it be' like the last govenment or even to not even recognise it, through ignorance and stupidity, like previous Tory governments, but to go out your way to destroy it is unbelievable and unforgivable and..well im lost for words actually.

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  82. Awful and stupid - I am off in a few weeks to speak about 3 animate artists at an international animation festival in Austria. How grim that the work coaxed from them by animate - and the work that would be to come - is regarded as dispensable.

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  83. A terrible decision and a terrible loss for film in the UK...

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  84. As an artist and animator who has just secured Arts Council of Wales funding for a piece that Animate Projects were supporting as an exhibition partner I am appalled at this short sighted decision by Arts Council of England.

    Animate Projects is a unique supporter and innovator of animation and moving image, nurturing animators at crucial stages in their development. Many of these have gone on to become some of the finest internationally recognised talent to emerge from the UK in the past 20 years.

    As an organisation AP has never been more relevant, the cutting edge work it oversees is hugely important – pushing boundaries and influencing the work not just of other artists but also motion graphic designers, post production studios, visual effects designers etc..
    Its closure will have a devastating effect on independent animators and mark a significant loss for the wider creative industries.

    As a teaching resource animateprojects.org is unparalleled, I have yet to find anything else online that can compare to the breadth of knowledge, skill and ingenuity displayed on the AP site. I regularly use it as a primary destination when establishing research directions. For students such as mine, who are geographically isolated, it provides a way of engaging with contemporary practice and exposes them to work they would otherwise be denied.

    I can only assume that the Arts Council of England fail to recognise that Animate Projects are the sole providers of support for artists/ animators working in this field in the UK, if they fold there will be no one to fill the enormous space they leave behind.

    In this current climate Animate Projects should be celebrated as an example of excellence that offers value for money and fits all the long term goals as outlined in ACE own strategic framework. I would strongly urge ACE to think again about this funding decision.

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  85. More short sighted cuts.Twenty one years of funding the production of original and experimental animation, which has provided a consistent rich source of culture to the UK and beyond, why does this have to be cut? It will be missed.

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  86. I can't believe the Arts Council is axing all funding for Animate.This is an organisation that has worked tirelessly to support and promote animation. Animate succeeds in bringing out the very best from the artists they commission by their genuine enthusisam and belief in what they do. Animate was started by the wonderful Dick Arnall who knew what a vital contribution animation makes to the world art scene . The films made are shown worldwide and are always inspiring and challenging.

    ANIMATE IS UNIQUE. ARTS COUNCIL YOU ARE MAKING A MISTAKE.

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  87. An incredibly myopic decision. Downright weird in fact, given how fascinating this field of practice is right now. It's a sorry reflection on the arts council if an organisation that's done this good a job of witnessing and catalysing amazing work gets axed...

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  88. I'm studying animation now thanks in a large part to your fantastic work. Courses are growing nationally, and we lose the most valuable exhibition resource we have?

    The UK loses more of its prestige by the day.

    A very sad day for you and animation as a whole...

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  89. Katerina Athanasopoulou28 January 2011 at 18:42

    Animate has produced railblazing films that have earned England international recognition within short film. It has nurtured new and established artists and was an oasis of experimentation amongst the animation world.

    Axing it makes absolutely no sense, apart from the funding for new films the website was an invaluable tool for education, with amazing films reaching and inspiring the public.

    The Arts Council has lost sight of how innovation matters, of how independent filmmakers "scratch the world with unexpected tools" as Dick Arnall used to say. A grim time.

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  90. I'm extremely disappointed to hear about Arts Council England’s recent decision to discontinue funding for Animate Projects. As an American-based film curator and journal editor, I have always been impressed by the quality and eclecticism of the Animate Projects program. From my perspective, they are one of the most compelling and effective commissioning organizations in the field of animation and artists' cinema. Its demise would be a huge loss to the international film community. I hope that Arts Council England will reconsider their decision.

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  91. Animate has been right at the forefront of experimental animation for nearly two decades

    Animation is no longer an artistic backwater but a massively broad industry that integrates into the digital economy so lauded by the Government. You can't have a cutting edge animation industry if you don't support its practitioner's most artistic endeavors.

    The sad truth is we'll be both culturally and ironically commercially poorer without the likes of Animate.

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  92. Terrible news. Animate was/is an amazing organization, producing fantastic cutting-edge work across genres and in various formats. Truly unique. ACE has made a huge mistake. I hope you can find some alternative way of going forward.

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  93. I'm shocked and troubled that Animate may close. Our sector, of small visual arts organisations that create experimental new work, are where real innovation takes place in the visual arts. Animate is an important part of the overall contemporary art landscape, and I do hope you can find a way to continue.

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  94. Well if Animate is successful in its Portfolio bid then it will be back. However the howls of protest expressed above are just the start of what will happen once the real arts cuts happen. The peculiar GFTA status of Animate just means it is a ahead of the pack. Thing is to argue against the whole of the cuts rather than just saying no don't cut this particular one.

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  95. Very sad news. There aren't many organizations that support contemporary animation the way that AP has. It was such a pleasure to work with them last year and I very much hope that they can appeal the decision and have their funding reinstated.

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  96. I am very grateful I had the opportunity to make a film with animate. I was also lucky to have the on going support of channel 4 until the animation department closed down. If Animate is deceased - it's the end of another era and potentially will lead to a desert period in animation culture. We need to plan ahead - prepare the soil and sow seeds, to give it an agrarian slant, if we are to have a rich future. Its inevitable but very regrettable and short sighted that the arts always go first and a shame that some excesses from city bonuses and industry can be diverted or an arts tax levied to help our culture.
    David Anderson

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  97. But hang on the Arts Council has not axed Animate as it was not a RFO but getting funding on a project by project basis from the Grants for the Arts Scheme (lottery money) which was never intended to cover core costs or a be a substitute for being a RFO. If Animate is of such national importance (and arguably it is) then it will become part of the new portfolio of organisations.

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  98. Apichatpong Weerasethakul29 January 2011 at 16:17

    I am saddened to imagine that Animate Projects will cease to exist. It has been one of the most important organizations that contribute so much to the contemporary media culture. I have worked with its team for the past 3 years and can testify to their professionalism and devotion to cinema and art. Many of my peers in Thailand and abroad are great admirers of Animate Projects and look at it as a model for creativity and education. I wish I could convince the Arts Council of England to spare a moment to reconsider their decision. With its solid portfolio and staff, Animate Projects cannot be replicate easily in the future.

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  99. Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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  100. The Arts Council’s decision to stop funding Animate is the most perverse I have heard for some time.

    World animation has now discovered ways of making money, and fortunes are being invested in new technologies and mass production and this is great. But somewhere along the way funding for the development and nurturing of innovation has got squeezed out – EXCEPT, until now, via Animate.

    These days I am frequently asked to speak about how Channel 4 was for a certain period able to develop new animation talent and new approaches in form and content, and it has become more and more obvious to me how absolutely central Animate was to that project. For the extraordinary quality and variety of the work but also because it is an extremely low-budget scheme and therefore better able to weather economic buffetings than our more lavish individual direct commissions: it has thus had a longer life than any other animation initiative. I can also second Mario Cavalli’s comments on the Animate blog, attesting to ‘the broader economic benefits’ of the scheme, ‘stimulating commercial spin-off projects, job creation and exports.’ I have witnessed this at first-hand, as well as hearing the laments of professionals around the world as to the paucity nowadays of this kind of stimulus to creative inputs into commercial projects.

    I can also, incidentally, testify to the high esteem in which the scheme is held all over the world. Of course its very many festival successes are also proof of this.

    I gather that Channel 4, having suffered its own economic problems, was just gearing up to move back into this area, with Animate a key component of its animation activity. With Channel 4 on the brink of renewing its backing to this unique scheme it would be all the more tragic if the Arts Council were to walk away at this stage.

    Clare Kitson, Channel 4 commissioning editor for animation 1989-99

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  101. I am appalled at this short sighted decision by ACE.

    As an organisation AP has never been more relevant, the cutting edge work it oversees is hugely important – pushing boundaries and influencing the work not just of other artists but also motion graphic designers, post production studios, visual effects designers etc..
    Its closure will have a devastating effect on independent animators and mark a significant loss for the wider creative industries.

    As a teaching resource animateprojects.org is unparalleled, I have yet to find anything else online that can compare to the breadth of knowledge, skill and ingenuity displayed on the AP site. I regularly use it as a primary destination when establishing initial student research directions. For students such as mine, who are geographically isolated, it provides a way of engaging with contemporary practice and exposes them to work they would otherwise be denied.

    I can only assume that the Arts Council of England fail to recognise that Animate Projects are the sole providers of support for artists/ animators working in this field in the UK, if they fold there will be no one to fill the enormous space they leave behind.

    In this current climate Animate Projects should be celebrated as an example of excellence that offers value for money and fits all the long term goals as outlined in ACE own strategic framework. I would strongly urge ACE to think again about this funding decision.

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  102. To add to all the comments above, the number of artists and filmmakers who have voiced support is testament to how important Animate has been both, both in the UK and abroad. The kind of dialogue around animation they have encouraged between television, cinema and the visual arts seems more relevant than ever; and the fact the organisation has been able to support such a wide range of practice, from small commissions to this year's Palme d'Or winner at Cannes, makes it unique and irreplaceable.

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  103. Animate Projects plays a vital role in the development of Animation. Not only Animation but Visual Arts in general. It is very shortsighted to just axe it. It is deeply disappointing to witness this happening.

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  104. The closure of Animate Projects is also a stop to imagination. More than ever we need to collectively draw an image of our future. Animation is key to political thought! Don't stop motion, draw the line, animate!Don't stop motion, draw the line, animate!Don't stop motion, draw the line, animate!Don't stop motion, draw the line, animate!Don't stop motion, draw the line, animate!Don't stop motion, draw the line, animate!Don't stop motion, draw the line, animate!Don't stop motion, draw the line, animate!Don't stop motion, draw the line, animate!Don't stop motion, draw the line, animate!Don't stop motion, draw the line, animate!Don't stop motion, draw the line, animate!Don't stop motion, draw the line, animate!Don't stop motion, draw the line, animate!Don't stop motion, draw the line, animate!Don't stop motion, draw the line, animate!Maxa

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  105. Cutting animate is very short sighted and displays a distinct lack of understanding of how valuable it is as an organisation for its support of both animation and visual arts and all of the links it has encouraged between television and cinema.

    It is also incredibly short sighted because there are no organisations that deal with animation within the visual arts in the UK and very few that provide artists working in animation and film with exposure and critical discussion around their work.

    Animate provided me personally with such an opportunity and I am very sad to think that others will not be able to work with Animate and understand the great value that they provide as an organisation.

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  106. Animate is and should continue to be an important resource, discussion platform, programming and strategic organisation. Jacqui and Gary have oodles of amazing experience and knowledge. Working with them as co-commissioners on Ben River's Slow Action has shown that Animate are open and interested in experimentation,  qualities we truly need to protect and nurture. Animate feed into the arts ecology providing vital exposure and connecting to audiences. Animate are an important partner organisation for PT. Since 2009 Animate have published and debated our works and co-commissions including projects by Mandy McIntosh, Hito Steyerl, Ben Rivers and Mel Jackson. Allowing Animate to close is surely counter to ACEs focus on digital priorities and its shocking to me how this decision could have been made.
     
    Lisa Panting
    Director, Picture This

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  107. It seems the creative industries are really set to take a pounding in this round of cuts. This seems astonishingly short-sighted given the need to rebalance the economy, and the fact that this is one of the UK's strongest and most competitive sectors. Even putting aside artistic and social concerns, this is just plain bad economics.

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  108. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  109. Has the Arts Council been taken over by philistines or has it simply lost its head?! Animate deserves more investment and support, not cuts!

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  110. This Country just gets worse and worse. How can a country like England claim to be so supportive of talent, yet in every field you look in, the government seems to be doing it's best to extinguish it. Oh yeah, the country will claim to be proud of it's talent in filmaking, the arts, sport etc...and the great British people that delivered that talent...but the reality is: in this country, if you have a talent and want to succeed, by prepared to do it off your own back and with no support and if you get anywhere, well to be honest you did bloody well! It makes me feel sick the way this country is going.

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  111. This is another kick in the doldrums from this Government, they wont be happy till we all shoot ourselves penniless and poor , unemployed and unable to afford to live, and now starved of art too. Thanks.

    I voted Labour and all I got was this lousy coalition.

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  112. I am greatly saddened by this, yet wearily unsurprised. When I was commissioning COIL in the 1990s, I worked with many artists and filmmakers who, at the time or later, received Animate awards. It was always one of the most exciting and diverse schemes around, commissioning widely. What Animate Projects have done to build upon and expand that legacy in the past few years is remarkable - something the Arts Council should be proud of, should be rewarding and sustaining for the extraordinary value they get from their relatively modest funding.

    If ACE is willing to jettison 21 years' successful investment in animation on a technicality - which sounds like its been based on unannounced changes in priorities - then surely the House of Commons Select Committee on Culture should consider scrutinising such opaque decision-making? Perhaps they can shed new light on how ACE have come to make this 'fair' and 'consistent' decision – which seems entirely unfair and inconsistent given their funding of Animate over the past 4 years through Grants for the Arts.

    I feel great concern that such wasteful, pointless undermining of a key arts organisation does not bode well for the National Portfolio selection process either. What other unannounced priority changes might be being played out, determining the fates and lives of others in the arts? How will ACE win the trust of arts organisations and artists without a transparent and independent evaluation of their own decision-making processes? Has Baroness McIntosh's highly critical report (2008) into their last review of 'investment strategy' already been forgotten? Are similar patterns simply being repeated?
    http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/investstratrev.pdf
    Dark times indeed.

    Instead of feeling powerless in the face of the cuts and gloom, what can be done to help Animate to come out of this stronger and better able to realise its vision? Proboscis has offered Animate space in our studio to work from should they need it, maybe there are other things we can help with too. In lean times we look to our friends and neighbours for mutual support - why not start now?

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  113. You could ask for donations or telethon like the PBS stations in America. Or get incentive funding from one of the States in America like Michigan or Florida. California is broke and cant keep any animation or vfx businesses afloat due to overseas lowballing competition.

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  114. this is very sad news, animate has helped a lot of artists in the past and as a graduating animation student was something that would be good for me and my peers.

    hopefully they will get more funding and continue to support and promote artists in the future.

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  115. Any chance of corporate funding in the City? They do it for opera, which has a much smaller audience....

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  116. I find this such frustrating and angering news. Animate is of enormous importance to the visual arts sector through its support of visual artists, encouragement of new audiences and engagement, ACE should be protecting its cutting edge work. Its is of great importance to other artists, curators and programmers in its provision of information and online films. To me animate and the films it supports are a place of inspiration. Its deeply depressing that this seems to be signaling an unspoken priority shift away from media based visual arts which are often the places where artistic innovation happens, alongside so many of the other things ACE holds up to be important such as new methods of public engagement, collaborative practices and technical innovation. It seems a really pointless waste of public money to stop the investment and risk the huge loss of this such a valuable organisation.

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  117. This is indeed very sad news. Animate Projects has asserted a suitably dynamic approach to the multi-platform moving image culture we experience and live through today, working with an incredibly varied set of artists and across many different modes of exhibition and would be sorely missed. As will APEngine which is one of the richest and most accesible resources for news and discussion about artist and experimental moving image practice anywhere on the web.

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  118. As an artist that's had the pleasure of working with Animate Projects, I echo the sentiments shared by many that the impending closure of such a unique and innovative organisation is shocking and ill thought out. The cultural landscape of this country is richer thanks to the activities of Animate Projects and there is no-one else doing what they are. I really hope that everyone's comments of support will be seriously considered.

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  119. This is incredibly sad news. And a short-sighted folly on the part of Arts Council England. Animate's cultural achievements, profile and audience over so many years has always been really disproportionate to its economic scale. It has helped to support work that seeks to cross between fine art and broadcast modes of production and exhibition, and in this way acted to create genuinely new spaces for both viewing and creating moving images. And recently APEngine has acted as a place to find really engaged discussion of these emerging new forms. These are rare achievements. It takes both time and dedication to grow such an organisation, yet apparently it's so easy to destroy with careless bureaucratic decisions... ...

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  120. It is always easier to dismantle than to reconstruct. This is a very short sighted decision that will gravely affect the ecology of british animation and innovative film, both on the production side and on the level of presentation and reflection. Animate did exactly what it promised : to animate, not only the British audiovisual landscape, but to embed the work of British artists into an international context of the highest ranking. The relevance of Animate for both filmmakers, artists, scholars, students and public at large cannot be underestimated. Their means were always utterly modest in comparison to their output. But of course slashing cultural institutions always had more of a symbolical value than a real economic motif. This is a decision is made by people who do not care about the consequences beyond their ultra-short-sighted personal ambitions. May this growing support for Animate quickly lead to renewed platform, so that the expertise and continuity don't evaporate. Time to Re-animate !

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  121. Ok so your gonna hate me, so be it.

    I don't see why all this moaning at the Arts Council, the decision is done.

    Why you choose to wallow in the self pity of inevitable doom is beyond me.

    If as much effort was put into finding alternative sources of financing, you'd be all done and clear of the Arts Council and their petty and political ways forever.

    Please dont insult me and other saying there is no money out there, its there. Question is are you gonna find it?

    Your choice.

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  122. I think its very sad to see such a wonderful resource die. The UK excels in creativity and this earns the country a lot of money. Projects like animate should be encouraged by the government as a very good long term investment. Look at the number of Brits employed in any big budget Hollywood production, look at Theatre in the UK and abroad, look at animation in the UK and abroad. I cannot imagine how much money this brings into the country. I cannot imagine how much money just the VAT on West End Theatre tickets raises for the government.
    I will be very sorry if this dies especially as I regularly use it to encourage and inspire my students.
    Alan Hudson - Senior Lecturer in Multimedia
    London Metropolitan University

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