The Jury


Youth Jury 2011

Alex Cox, Peter Cox, James Gill, James Shepherd, Melanie Liddell, Hazel Lowden, Jade McGregor, Simon Rusby and Shannon Ward.

Professional Jury 2011

Jane Crawford – Filmmaker and Artist, Daisy Arts

Jane’s ‘arts’ life began with fine art then as a graphic designer working for ‘Mayfest’ in Glasgow before the theatre beckoned!  After training as an actress and touring with community theatre companies Jane settled in the North East using her skills in art and theatre developing a smorgasbord of exciting programmes that have offered engaging opportunities for many community groups and schools across the North.  Filmmaking began in 2003 with an award-winning documentary ‘HOME’, followed by a vast collection of collaborative work produced with community groups as far a field as North Carolina, USA.  Animated shorts such as, ‘The Princess and the Pendant’, a First Light Award winner also received billing on the Children’s Channel on all Virgin Atlantic Flights travelling across the pond!  She is currently developing an Arts Festival programme together with other community projects and activities.  Contact:

Mark Jobe – Animator, Quay Animation Studios

With eight years experience in animation and children’s book illustration behind him, Mark set up the award winning Quay Animation in 2005. Since then he has worked collaboratively with local animators, visual artists and film makers to produce VFX and animation for the art world, music videos and commercials. His work has been screened at Hollywood Shorts Film Festival, Glastonbury Music Festival and on MTV2.  Mark has produced several animated short films working alongside youth groups.  The most recent “The day the lights went out” was nominated in the ‘Best Animation’ category at this years First Light Awards.

Mark also works collaboratively with the video artist Kelly Richardson providing visual effects research and development for her artwork.  These works have gone on to be screened at Sundance Film Festival  in 2009 and again in 2011, as well as being exhibited at various important museums and public institutions including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, USA), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, Canada) Artpace (San Antonio, Texas) and Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Halifax, Canada), as well as in upcoming exhibitions that include Young Projects (Los Angeles, USA). Public collections of these works include the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, USA), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, Canada) and Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Halifax, Canada).


Vicky Jones – Filmmaker, Haltwhistle Film Project

Vicky Jones is an independent filmmaker who has lived in Northumberland for 12 years. Before that she was in Leicester, where she started making films with people with learning disabilities. She has been inspiring people to make films, and running workshops in all aspects of filmmaking including animation, 16mm experimental film and
editing; for 30 years. She and her partner, Marc McKiernan, set up a production company, Haltwhistle Film Project in 2000. This company has worked with people of all ages and abilities from 4 to 104! School film projects have covered most aspects of the curriculum. She has also been a lead filmmaker on various First Light projects. She is
currently involved with FilmAble, a film company run by and for people with learning disabilities. She also helps run South Tyne Cinema Circuit, a touring cinema, showing films in village Halls in the Tynedale area of Northumberland. email

Joanna van der Meer – Film Education, BFI

Joanna – or Jo as she’s usually known – has worked in BFI Education since 2002 and has been delivering family learning activity both inside and outside the BFI for the past three years.  This has included travelling to the Isle of Wight for the annual Minghella Film Festival, to the Big Chill festival, the Cambridge Science Festival, to schools in the South East, North East, the  West Country and many places inbetween!  Her activities include both making films with families and teaching about film, especially early film and animation.  She once worked for the company that made the Wombles (FilmFair) but has also been a zoo keeper and a film location chef.  She is currently delivering a Europe-wide family learning project funded by the European Commission as well as many other family learning projects and activities.


Andrew Simpson – Filmmaker, Bede Films

Andy Mark Simpson; Writer/Director from Ashington, Northumberland. Debut feature film ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ is a coming-of-age story set in the North East during the 1974 Miners’ strike and was made with his own money on a tiny budget but went on to get national press attention (*** Total Film, *** The Telegraph, ‘Heartfelt’ The Guardian), won festival awards in Britain, USA and India and was released in cinemas around the UK earlier this year. Here’s the trailer for it  Currently developing more coming-of-age projects for youth audiences and running workshops for young filmmakers in the North East.

Can be contacted at

James Taylor – Animator, Arcus Studios

James is Lead Animator of Arcus Studios, a young animation company based at The Shed Creative Studios in Gateshead where his activities include character design, illustration and animation.  Since graduating and forming Arcus Studios with friends, James has created animated content for CBBC and E4, been commissioned to create art installations for Gateshead Council and has run several animation workshops for Jack Drum Arts, Art Fanatics and other community projects.  He is currently developing a full animated children’s series for television.
Contact James at or visit

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