Bafta award-winning animator from Kentish Town scoops lifetime achievement award

Jonathan Hodgson. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Jonathan Hodgson. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A Bafta award-winning animator from Kentish Town who has worked on children’s TV series Charlie and Lola as well as feature films, has won a lifetime achievement award at a Spanish film festival.

Jonathan Hodgson, who lives in Islip Road, scooped the Luna de Valencia Award at the Valencia International Film Festival after working in the animation industry for nearly 30 years - but says he is not done yet.

The 53-year-old said: “I feel weird about receiving a lifetime achievement award because I’m not that old! I’ve got a few years left to go with my creative output.

“I always feel slightly shocked and overwhelmed to be sitting in a big auditorium surrounded by stars but its wonderful.”

This is not the first award Mr Hodgson has been honoured with.

His five-minute film The Man With The Beautiful Eyes won a Bafta for best short animation in 2000 and he has also won a couple of gongs at the prestigious British Animation Awards.

“The first time I won an award I was gobsmacked and now, I’m not complacent, but as a filmmaker you’re only as good as your last film,” he said.

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The Middlesex University lecturer, who received his lifetime achievement award in late June, is focusing on making documentary-style films in the later stages of his career.

In 2011, his animated film The Trouble With Love and Sex was broadcast on the BBC. In it he asked people to speak openly about their relationships by creating an alternate animated identity for them.

“The films I am making are much more ethical in their subject matter, such as Age of Stupid, which helped to raise awareness of the environment,” said Mr Hodgson.

“I’ve always wanted to do something slightly different than the usual. Animation was traditionally very cartoon-y whereas I wanted to make documentary projects.”

Mr Hodgson, who has a studio in Bartholomew Road, Kentish Town, prefers animation to live-action films because he can create something from nothing.

“Being able to create my own vision of something is very exciting,” he said.

“A live action director has to have a good amount of money and many great actors. But with animation, it takes a long time, but you can do it yourself if you want to and create a whole world from your imagination.”