Keynote Speaker Announcement: Paul Wells

Tuesday 14 July 2015

We are excited to announce the first keynote speaker for the 2016 Screen Futures Summit: the UK’s Professor Paul Wells, Director of the Animation Academy at Loughborough University. Paul has a long list of credits as a scholar, screenwriter and director of animation, comedy and animated documentary and he will be presenting a series of talks and screenings at Screen Futures. Paul will also be sharing his vast experience through a series of workshops including ‘Writing for Animation’ and ‘Writing for Children’.

Professor Paul Wells is director of the Animation Academy, a research group dedicated to cutting-edge engagement with Animation and related moving image practices. Paul is an internationally established scholar, screenwriter and director, having published widely in animation and film studies, and written and directed numerous projects for theatre, radio, television and film.

Paul’s books include Understanding Animation (Routledge, London), Animation and America (Rutgers University Press), The Fundamentals of Animation (AVA, Lausanne), and The Animated Bestiary: Animals, Cartoons and Culture (Rutgers University Press) ’ now all standard texts in the study, practice and research of animation as a field. His work also embraces collaborative texts, including Drawing for Animation (AVA, Lausanne) with master animator Joanna Quinn, and Re-Imagining Animation (AVA, Lausanne) with Johnny Hardstaff, leading graphic designer and filmmaker with Ridley Scott Associates.

Paul’s text, Scriptwriting (AVA, Lausanne), forms the basis of workshops and consultancies he has conducted worldwide. His continuing professional engagements include working with writers from The Simpsons and SpongeBob SquarePants, and developing animated shorts, children’s series, documentaries and features in Norway, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the United States.

Paul’s radio history of the horror film, Spinechillers won a Sony Award, while Britannia – The Film was chosen as an Open University set text. His recent television documentaries on John Coates, Geoff Dunbar, and John Halas – the latter based on his book Halas & Batchelor Cartoons – An Animated History (Southbank Publishing, London) with Vivien Halas – have been presented at festivals globally. He was also a consultant for the BBC’s Animation Nation.

Paul is Chair of the Association of British Animation Collections (ABAC), a collaborative initiative with the BFI, BAFTA and the National Media Museum.