UK Arts Council cuts Animate

A sad decision for British short-form animators. The UK’s Arts Council has cut off all its funding to Animate, an organisation that has partnered with the TV station Channel 4 to support about 140 short animated films over the last 21 years. Now that may not seem like a prolific rate of production, but it’s often inspirational work — as you can see in the 84 films chosen to be archived on the Animate website. The funding cut seems to have arisen because the organisation has allegedly been using Grants for the Arts money to cover core costs, since it’s not what’s called a “Regularly Funded Organisation”. That’s rather irregular, but appears to have been tolerated by the Arts Council until now. It seems that this sideways method of funding might have had negative ramifications for the Council in the legal challenges that are set to arise from the coming “bonfire of the RFOs” in the UK. Hence the need for an abrupt cutting off of funds, allegedly. But here’s hoping that Animate can be funded as a proper RFO, once the dust settles in 2012. Of course, by that time the curatorial talent involved may well have other jobs… Sigh. It seems the Arts Council may have shot itself in the foot, again.