On Sunday April 13, as part of the Bird’s Eye Film Festival, the Barbican art centre in London is set to hold an event to mark the centennial of animator Joy Batchelor (1914-1991). Speaking at the event will be Joy’s daughter Vivien Halas; author and former Channel 4 commissioning editor for animation Clare Kitson; BFI animation curator Jez Stewart, and film critic Brian Sibley, whose work includes books on Disney and Aardman.
The Barbican website outlines the focus of the celebration: “This event, celebrating the centenary of her birth, looks at Joy’s life as both a professional co-running a creative studio and her role as a mother through a film compilation of highlights from her impressive oeuvre.”
Batchelor co-founded Halas & Batchelor Cartoon Films, for some time the biggest animation studio in Britain, with her husband and creative partner John Halas in 1940. Although it is Halas who has received most of the popular attention over the decades, this event is set to place Batchelor firmly in the spotlight. As well as co-founding a major studio, she worked as a director, producer, screenwriter, animator, and character designer during her career; the BFI database credits her with directing more than forty films from Carnival in the Clothes Cupboard in 1940 to The Ass and the Stick in 1988.