The Children's Committee is not only involved in the content and presentation of the annual British Academy Children's Film and Television Awards (considering categories, chairing juries, providing key editorial advice) but is increasingly involved in developing membership events throughout the year to raise the profile of children's film and television and to highlight the Academy's commitment to the industry.
The Children's committee consists of three elected representatives of each of the three sector committees (Film, Television and Games). The rest of the committee is co-opted.
Harvey Elliott - Chair and Elected Representative of the Games Committee
Harvey is CEO of Marmalade, overseeing the Marmalade Game Studio developing titles for young audiences across mobile devices, and the Marmalade technology; that enables game and app developers to create rich content to release across a multitude of mobile devices, phones, tablets smart TVs and desktop computers. Prior to joining Marmalade, Harvey was VP, General Manager of Bright Light at Electronic Arts (EA) driving intellectual properties targeting family and mainstream audiences including the Harry Potter game franchise. Harvey has been in the games industry for nearly 20 years in a number of studio leadership roles and with a title roster which has included multiple Harry Potter titles, Crazy Taxi, Alias, Dakar Rally 2 and Burnout 3: Takedown amongst many more. Prior to joining EA in 2003, he was Studio General Manager of the Cheltenham Studio for Acclaim Entertainment, with overall responsibility for Acclaim’s Teesside and London studios.
Harvey Elliott is Chair of the BAFTA Children's Committee, and the BAFTA Games Committee.
Justin Johnson - Deputy Chair and Elected Representative of the Film Committee
Justin Johnson works for the British Film Institute, selecting films for younger audiences at BFI Southbank and the London Film Festival. He is a regular contributor to Radio and TV on matters concerning children's films, animation and films in general. He has served on juries at many European Film Festivals including Berlin, Copenhagen, Zlin and recently the European Film Awards Young Audience Award and has served as both a selector and a juror for the British Animation Awards. During his time at the BFI, he has curated seasons such as The Disney 50, the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary and in partnership with the Shanghai Animations Studios, Pixar and the Swedish Film Institute as well as hosting many on-stage events and interviews. He is also Head of Venues for BFI Southbank.
Simon Spencer Elected Representative of the Television Committee
Simon is currently busy bringing the paper pop-up world of “Zack & Quack” to life on Nickelodeon.
Most recently Simon has been creative producer for the live action and animation preschool hybrid “Waybuloo” first shown on Cbeebies. Prior to that he was at the helm of “Thomas and Friends”; re-introducing the old British favorite to PBS in America.
Simon joined the BBC in the early 1980s as a floor assistant and worked his way up the production ladder to direct on a wide variety of entertainment programmes, including “In Sickness & In Health”, “Wogan” and “Rory Bremner”.
Simon left the BBC in 1995 and after a period of continuing to work as a freelance director on different comedy and music series – including the RTS award-winning “Gayle’s World” – he segued into children’s television directing and producing for the “Walt Disney Company”. He went on to direct and produce for “The Jim Henson Company”, establishing himself as a pre-school creative / series producer. He has since produced pre-school series for an array of international broadcasters.
Simon is very proud that his work in pre-school television has earned him three BAFTA nominations first as a director and also as a producer. As he says: “Children’s television is a rich creative playground where I remain extremely happy to play along”.
Head of Content Partnerships, Original Channels, YouTube, EMEA
Biography to follow
Helen Blakeman is a BAFTA and International Emmy Award winning writer, both of which she received for her TV screenplay adaptation of ‘Dustbin Baby’ (BBC/Kindle Entertainment) starring Juliet Stevenson, David Haig and Dakota Blue Richards. She also wrote the much-acclaimed and controversial film ‘Pleasureland’ for Kudos/Channel 4 (BAFTA, RTS nomination) and has scripted numerous episodes of teen soap ‘Hollyoaks’ (Lime Pictures/C4).
For theatre, she has written ‘Caravan’ (Bush Theatre, London, directed by Gemma Bodinetz). For ‘Caravan’, Helen won the George Devine Award and was nominated for Lloyds Playwright of the Year Award. She has also written ‘Normal’ for the Bush (Pearson Playwright Award) and ‘The Morris’ for the Liverpool Everyman.
Helen’s is currently creating a long-running series for CBBC and a movie adaptation of a children’s classic. She is also currently writing a play for the Royal Court Theatre, London.
Managing Director, Kindle Entertainment
In 2007, Anne founded Kindle Entertainment together with Melanie Stokes. In just over five years, Kindle has established a reputation in the market place for fresh, innovative content with a twist of comedy with recent productions such as RTS winner Big and Small; BAFTA & International Emmy winner Dustbin Baby; Jinx, a live-action comedy for CBBC; Some Dogs Bite a film for young adults for BBC3; and currently airing on CBBC, a live-action drama set in 15th century Florence, Leonardo. Kindle also coproduced Sky One’s New Year hit minidrama series, Treasure Island, starring Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver. Kindle Entertainment have recently won the Children’s BAFTA for Independent Production Company of the year for the second year running.
Vice President, Original Programming and Development, Disney Junior
Beth Gardiner is Vice President, Original Programming and Development, Disney Junior, the network’s channel for preschoolers. In her role, Gardiner oversees the production and development of programming in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Since joining Disney Channels EMEA in March 2008, Gardiner has commissioned a number of UK productions including the BAFTA nominated Jungle Junction, which debuted as the channel’s most successful programme launch ever and has since established itself as a global success story, available in 21 languages and in 136 countries.
Gardiner was also responsible for the production and development of some of Disney's most successful preschool series including Little Einsteins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, My Friends Tigger & Pooh and Imagination Movers.
Gardiner joined Disney Channel (US) in September 2002 as Director of Development. Previous to that, she was a Production Executive for Nickelodeon where she worked on Nick Jr. series such as Little Bear, Maisy, Kipper, Maggie and the Ferocious Beast and Oswald. Gardiner first joined Nickelodeon as a Coordinator before moving onto Director of Animation, and then Production Executive.
Prior to her career in children's television, Gardiner was a literary agent and teacher’s assistant.
Director, BBC Children's
Joe is responsible for all the BBC’s services for children, on CBBC & CBeebies, TV and online. He joined the BBC Children's department in 1989 and worked on shows such as Blue Peter, Going Live and Record Breakers.
Joe's also worked at Nickelodeon UK as Head of Original Production and Interactive Director, and as Head of News, Factual & Entertainment at CBBC.
Joe is Chair the youth talent schemes of the Edinburgh TV Festival, and is a member The Advisory Panel on Children's Viewing of the BBFC, and the UK Council for Child Internet Safety.
Creative Director at Blue-Zoo
Oli Hyatt has been Creative Director at Blue-Zoo for 13 years, helping it thrive through difficult times for the animation industry. His most recent show Olive the Ostrich is a huge hit on Nick Jr, and has been sold right around the world. He is the Director of Alphablocks Limited; the company behind Cbeebies Phonics show Alphablocks, as well as being the chair of AnimationUK. He has been Broadcast’s ‘Young Animator of the Year’, Guardian’s ‘Young Businessman of the Year’ and has received two BAFTA nominations for Those Scurvy Rascals and Stitch Up Showdown.
Blue-Zoo also won ‘BAFTA Production Company of the year’ 2012.
Matt Locke is Director of Storythings (www.storythings.com) a company that helps people tell stories in a digital world. Current clients included Faber & Faber, BBC, CNN, Dazed & Confused and Pulse Films. As well as running Storythings, Matt founded The Story conference (www.thestory.org.uk) an annual event with speakers from Film, TV, Games, Online, Theatre, Publishing and Art, all talking about how they approach telling stories in their work.
Before starting Storythings, Matt was Head of Multiplatform, and before that, Commissioning Editor for Education at Channel 4.In the first year of its new online strategy, C4 Education projects have won numerous awards, including a BAFTA, BIMA and Flash Forward award for Bow Street Runner (www.channel4.com/bowstreetrunner), a BAFTA nomination for Yeardot (www.yeardot.co.uk) and an EMMY for Battlefront (www.battlefront.co.uk).
Before Channel 4, Matt was Head of Innovation for BBC New Media & Technology. He was responsible for developing and running research programmes within the BBC and with external partners, including developing academic and industry partnerships, and developing open innovation initiatives like http://backstage.bbc.co.uk and http://open.bbc.co.uk/labs/
Vice President of Acquisitions, EMEA at Turner Broadcasting
Cecilia Persson is Vice President of Acquisitions for all Turner Broadcasting’s kids’ channels across EMEA, including Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Cartoonito, Cartoon Network Too and Boing.
Cecilia joined Turner Broadcasting in 2005 as Director of Acquisitions and was promoted to Vice President of Programming, Acquisition and Presentation in 2006. Her role expanded in 2009 to take overall responsibility for Turner Broadcasting’s acquisition strategy across EMEA.
Previously Cecilia was Director of Acquisitions, Planning and Channel Development at Showtime, the Viacom co-owned digital satellite broadcaster. There she was responsible for acquiring a wide variety of products, ranging from kids content to feature films, and oversaw planning and presentation for the company’s seven owned and operated channels.
Based in the UK, Cecilia was responsible for output deals with major studios including Fox, Universal, Paramount, Sony and DreamWorks. Prior to Showtime, Cecilia was Channel Manager at Carlton Cinema.
MD, Penguin Digital
Anna Rafferty is responsible for Penguin Books' UK's award-winning ecommerce and community websites, digital marketing, social media and digital publishing. This includes websites such as penguin.co.uk, puffin.co.uk, penguinclassics.co.uk and spinebreakers.co.uk as well as Penguin's eBooks, apps (like Moshi Monsters, MyFry, Peter Rabbit and more), games, interactive reading and all sorts of other, new, imaginative story-telling tools.
As well as sitting on the Children's Committee, Anna is a trustee of Culture24, a non-profit, cultural publishing organisation supporting arts and heritage venues to reach different audiences across new and emerging digital platforms. It collects and shares cultural data, publishes websites, runs the national Museums at Night campaign and leads action research projects.
Head of Children’s, Five/Milkshake!
Biography to follow