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Meet The Puppet Masters

  • Waterside 1 Waterside Plaza Sale, M33 7ZF (map)

A day of masterclass talks, hosted by Ric Michael, with leading lights from the worlds of animation and puppetry. Featuring:

  • Nina Gantz (animator and director, Edmond, Best Short Film BAFTA)

  • Vivien Halas (Halas & Batchelor), one of the UK’s leading animation companies and makers of the acclaimed feature Animal Farm, among other legendary work.

  • Bridget Phelan (art director, Night of the Trampires). Bridget has also worked on Chicken RunWallace and Gromit: Curse of the WererabbitMax and CoCoralineParanorman and The Boxtrolls.

  • Kitty Taylor (animator & director, whose work includes Tree Fu Tom, Bitz and Bob, along with BAFTA award-winning productions of Charlie & Lola and BAFTA nominated Angelina Ballerina).

This promises to be a special day for animators and animation fans.

There will be an opportunity to view a selection of items from the Cosgrove Hall Films Archive at Waterside at this event - see details below.

In addition, we will be screening the newly restored version of Ian Mackinnon’s acclaimed The Sandman short film.

Book online here or call 0161 912 5616.



Animator & Director

Amsterdam-born Nina Gantz, grew up in Rotterdam. From an early age, as the daughter of a theatre technician and an actress, she spent much of her time backstage and watching theatre productions. From these early influences, she developed a keen sense for visual storytelling, something which can be seen in her current style.

Whilst attending St Joost Art school in Breda, Gantz discovered her passion for animation and produced her first notable hand drawn film, Zaliger (2010), which went on to be selected at 37 festivals winning the Golden Panda for best student film at the Sichuan Festival in China.

After setting up Studio Gantz in Rotterdam, she was commissioned, to be head of animation for a live action feature film in the Netherlands, Toegetakeld door de liefde (dir. Ari Deelder).

In 2013 Gantz began a Masters in directing animation at the National Film and Television School where she filmed her first stop motion film Edmond.

Edmond has received overwhelming acclaim thus far and since its premiere at Zagreb International Animation festival, it has won prizes including the Short film Jury award for animation at Sundance and a BAFTA for best animated short. Since graduating, Gantz has been working freelance on a variety of projects. Having recently signed to London production company BlinkInk, she is currently developing a number of scripts for television shows, shorts and a feature length film whilst exploring new ways of combining live action and animation techniques.


Halas & Batchelor Animation

Halas & Batchelor Cartoon Films occupies a unique place in British cinema. The studio was formed in 1940 and produced films for the next fifty years. It was the country's largest and most influential producer of animated films from the early forties until the mid seventies, ranging from Animal Farm, to the Jackson 5 to Kraftwerk’s Autobahn 1980.

Vivien has enjoyed a successful career as a graphic designer, before taking over the running Halas and Batchelor and organising its film archive in the mid 90s. She donated most of the physical collection to the BFI and its best loved films are distributed in many countries with the latest in HD/Blue Ray with Network Distributing.

She is co-author of Halas & Batchelor, an animated history (2006) with Paul Wells and A Moving Image, Joy Batchelor (2014) and has contributed to numerous animation and design publications 

For more information see


Art Director, Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Bridget has over 18 years’ experience in the animation industry and has worked on 6 stop motion feature films - Chicken RunWallace and Gromit: Curse of the WererabbitMax and CoCoralineParanormanThe Boxtrolls and Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires

Having returned from the USA after working at Laika she brings further experience from her work on half hour specials such as Robbie the Reindeer and Hamilton Mattress.


Director & animator

Kitty has directed and animated commercials, promos and short films for a diverse range of companies including BBC, HIT Entertainment, CITV, Tiger Aspect, Blue Zoo and Jellyfish Pictures.

For the last 20 years she has concentrated on developing and directing series for children.

Her series work includes directing 13 x 10 minutes of Percy the Park Keeper and 26 x 10 minutes and one 48-minute Christmas Special of Angelina Ballerina (original 2D series) both for Grand Slamm Children’s Film and Hit Entertainment.

Kitty Taylor worked within Tiger Aspect to develop Charlie and Lola for television. She has directed 3 series of Charlie and Lola including the Christmas and Autumn Specials, which have earned her three BAFTAs.

Meet the Puppets from the Cosgrove Hall Films Archive

In between the masterclass talks, attendees are able to view a selection of items from the Cosgrove Hall Films Archive which is held at Waterside. Our archive manager Rosy Whittemore will be on hand to discuss her work and show artefacts including:

  • Noddy

  • Postman Pat

  • Bill & Ben

  • The Cyclops (designed by Ray Harryhausen)

  • Lavender Castle Characters

  • Cinderella Characters

  • Dangermouse animation cels

  • The Wind in the Willows

  • Original paintings by Brian Cosgrove OBE


11:00- 17:00







Earlier Event: October 18
Breaking Ground