MA RCA Film & Television
BA (Honours) Graphic Design 1st Class
Jonathan Hodgson is an internationally renowned, BAFTA winning animation director based in London. He studied animation at Liverpool Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. In 2011 he directed the animation for Wonderland: The Trouble with Love and Sex, the first full length animated documentary on British TV.
After leaving the Royal College of Art in 1985 his first professional commission was to co-direct an animated short about nuclear disarmament for the United Nations. He went on to direct at various animation studios before co-founding in Sherbet in 1996 with Jonathan Bairstow. At Sherbet he directed numerous high profile advertising campaigns including Saab USA, United Bank of Switzerland, Vanguard, Home Office, Persil and collaborated with legendry illustrator Maurice Sendak on a TV commercials campaign for Bell Atlantic. In 2007 he worked as an art director on the animated TV series Charlie and Lola and the following year was Animation Director on Franny Armstrong's groundbreaking documentary feature The Age of Stupid. His short films have won numerous awards including a BAFTA in 2000 for The Man with the Beautiful Eyes and a BAFTA nomination in 2002 for Camouflage.
He has presented retrospectives in the UK, Brazil, Sweden, Israel, Spain and Poland and was invited by the National Film Board of Canada to present master classes in three major cities. His work is featured on numerous books and DVD compilations, most recently Animated Sketchbooks by Laura Heit. He has lectured extensively and 2008 became the programme leader for BA Animation at Middlesex University.
He continues to combine teaching with animated filmmaking and has recently directed documentaries about juvenile hanging for Amnesty International's End the Death Penalty campaign and the Guantanamo Hunger Strike for The Observer.
2013 Guantanamo Bay: The Hunger Strikes
2012 Mostafaei: End the Death Penalty
2011 The Trouble with Love & Sex
2009 Age of Stupid
2006 Forest Murmurs
2004 Diesel – Where Is He?
1999 The Man With The Beautiful Eyes
1997 Feeling My Way
1987 The Doomsday Clock
1985 Train of Thought
1983 Night Club
The Age of Stupid (2009)
Griersons - Best Cinema Doc 2009 (Nominated) Sheffield Documentary Festival
Middle East International Film Festival 09 (Jury Special Mention)
Birds Eye View Film Festival - Best Documentary 2009
Griersons - Best Green Doc 2008 -> Sunny Side of the Doc - Best Green Doc 2008
Sunny Side of the Doc - Film Most Likely To Be Cinema Hit 2008
Sunchild International Environmental Festival - First Prize
Forest Murmurs (2006)
Time Out Award for Best London Film – London Short Film Festival 2008
UK FILM COUNCIL AWARD Best Film of the Festival 2nd runner up – London Short Film Festival 2008
Nominated for Best Short Animation - BAFTA 2002
UNICEF Prize - World Animation Celebration Los Angeles, USA
Prize for the Best Experimental film - Iranian Young Cinema Society, Tehran, Iran
Main Prize - FilmFest Dresden, Germany 2002
Silver Goat - Poznan Children's Film Festival, Poland 2001
Best Documentary Film - Best Before 2002 Hildesheim Germany 2002
1st prize - 'Tough Eye' Turku - Finland 2002
The Man with the Beautiful Eyes (1999)
Best Film Under 7 Minutes - British Animation Awards 2000
Best Short Animation - BAFTA 2000
First Prize for Animation - Filmfest Dresden, Germany
Special distinction for the freedom of line and the intense message - Annecy 2000
WAM!NET Animation Award - Rushes Soho Shorts Festival 2000, London
Finalist for Cartoon D'Or - Cartoon Forum 2000 Gotland
Special Mention - 'Castelli Animati' Rome, Italy
Special Prize for the Best Animation Short Film - Granada, Spain
Best Animated Film Prize - Colvilh??, Portugal
Prix du court m??trage 2000 - Bourg-en-Bresse, France
First Prize International Festival of Film & Animation - Valencia, Spain
The C.O.R.E. Digital Award for Best Animated Short - Worldwide Short Film Festival Toronto, Canada
Special Mention in the Section Dialogue Among Civilizations - Iranian Young Cinema Society Film Festival Tehran, Iran
Best Film - Interfilm Berlin
Special Jury Prize - Flickerfest Bondi Beach, Australia
Feeling My Way (1997)
Prize for Most Creative Use of New Technology - British Animation Awards 1998
Grand Jury Prize - Ottawa Animation Festival 1998
Grand Prize - Vedo Corto 99, Italy
Short Film Competition First Prize - International Film Festival "Film and Architecture" Berlin 2000
International Media/Art Award 2000 - ZKM Karlsruhe Germany
Night Club (1983)
Special Jury Prize - Annecy Animation Festival 1983
Mari Kuttna Award - London Film Festival 1983 Award for Best Animation, -
Tours Festival of Cinematography 1983
Animation Prize - Munich Film Festival 1984
Saatchi & Saatchi Award - New Contemporaries 1983
Joint 1st Prize - Stuttgarter Trickfilmtage 1983
Sold to BBC2 for Animation Now series
Best Student Film - Stuttgarter Trickfilmtage 1981
Best Student Film - Cambridge Animation Festival 1981
Publications about Jonathan's work
2011 Animation Sketchbooks Author: Laura Heit. Publisher: Thames & Hudson We watch films, we love films but we rarely get to see the first spark that inspired them. This book will give the viewer private access to intimate pages, early experiments, uninhibited doodles, and innovative approaches at their very beginning. My aim is to create a book rich with drawings, paintings, collages, and sketches that show the conceptual stages of a larger project. It's a sneak peek, a glimpse into how you think, and how you work things out on paper.
2009 Animation in Process Author: Andrew Selby. Publisher: Laurence King Publishing. Interview and illustrated profile. Films featured on the accompanying DVD.
2008 British Animation: The Channel Four Factor Author: Clare Kitson. Publisher: Parliament Hill Publishing. Chapter devoted to The Man with the Beautiful Eyes, illustrated with stills from the film. A still was also used for the cover of the US edition.
2007 Digital Encounters Author: Aylish Wood. Publisher: Routledge ISBN: 0415410657 Feeling My Way is discussed in chapter one.
Digital Encounters is a cross media study of digital moving images in animation, cinema, games and installation art. In a world increasingly marked by proliferating technologies, the way we encounter and understand these story-worlds, game spaces and art works reveals aspects of the ways in which we organise and decode the vast amount of visual material we are
2006 The Animate! Book: rethinking animation Edited by Benjamin Cook and Gary Thomas. Publisher: LUX, London in collaboration with Arts Council England ISBN: 0-9548569-1-0 Interview focusing on Feeling My Way which is also included on the accompanying DVD.
2004 Animation Now Authors: Rida Queiroz, Julius Wiedemann. Publisher: Taschen ISBN:3822825883 Illustrated profile of The Man with the Beautiful Eyes and other work. Film also included on Accompanying DVD.
2004 Animation Unlimited Authors: Liz Faber, Helen Walters. Publisher: Laurence King ISBN:1856693465 Interview and illustrated profile of The Man with the Beautiful Eyes. Film also included on accompanying DVD.
Programme Leader BA (Honours) Animation
Jonathan's research interests focus on the creative potential of animation as a visual medium for interpreting and communicating complex, abstract and difficult subject matter. He has a strict commitment to working on projects of an ethical and humanitarian nature and has a particular interest in the workings of the conscious and unconscious mind. His work aims to provide insight and understanding and to stimulate serious debate.
2013: Guantanamo Bay: The Hunger Strikes. funded by Guardian Films. A six month project culminating in a film for a viral campaign to raise awareness of the plight of the hunger strikers at Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre who have been cleared for release up to seven years ago.
2012: Mostafaei: End the Death Penalty. Funded by Guardian Films. A six month project culminating in a film for a viral campaign to raise awareness of the high number of juvenile hangings in taking place Iran
2011: Wonderland: The Trouble with Love and Sex. Funded by the BBC. An eighteen month project based on the experience of five people undergoing relationship counselling culminating in a 48 minute film, which was the first full length animated documentary on British TV.
2009: The Age of Stupid. A crowd funded project. A feature length documentary about climate change and related issues, combining live action and animation. The animation was produced over an eight month production period. The final outcome was a film that was both critically acclaimed and seen by a huge international audience.