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Jonathan Hodgson -  Senior Lecturer in Animation

Jonathan Hodgson

Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader - BA Animation

Jonathan Hodgson is a member of the Electronic and Digital Arts Research Cluster.


Jonathan Hodgson is an internationally renowned award winning animation director based in London. He is also a senior lecturer and programme leader of BA Animation at Middlesex University. He was educated at Liverpool Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. He recently directed the animation for writer/director David Goyer's Da Vinci's Demons series as well as a five minute animation about the plight of the Guantanamo Hunger Strikers for The Observer.

His first commission after leaving the RCA an animated short about nuclear disarmament for the United Nations with co-director Susan Young. He was a director at Felix Films, a founder member of Bermuda Shorts and a director at Speedy Films before setting up Sherbet with Producer Jonathan Bairstow in 1996. Here he was director of animation on numerous high profile advertising campaigns including Saab USA, Bell Atlantic, United Bank of Switzerland, Vanguard, the Home Office and Persil. His short films have won many awards including a BAFTA in 2000 and a BAFTA nomination in 2002. In 2008 he directed the animation for the award winning documentary feature The Age of Stupid which had its worldwide cinema release in 2009. In 2010 he directed the animation for The Trouble with Love and Sex, the first full length animated documentary on British TV, a 50 minute animated documentary about relationship counselling for BBC2’s Wonderland documentary strand. In 2012 he was commissioned by Guardian Films to direct a five minute animation about the persistent practice of juvenile hanging in Iran as a spearhead for Amnesty International End the Death Penalty campaign. In 2013 he directed Guantanamo Bay: The Hunger Strikes for Guardian Films. In 2014 he directed the animation for Bananland: Blood, Bullets and Poison, feature length documentary produced by La Isla Foundation, USA and directed Meron’s Story, an animated documentary for Womankind Worldwide. In 2015 he collaborated with the philosopher Alain de Botton on a short film entitled What Comes After Religion for The School of Life. In 2016 his film Rug was a Vimeo Staff Pick and was included in the One Minute Hull Artists Moving Image Festival curated by Kerry Baldry.

He has been commissioned to make films for amongst others, the BBC, Channel 4, The Arts Council of England and Film London’s LAFVA scheme. In 2003 he set up Hodgson Films as an outlet for his personal films and continues to be represented Paris based animation production company Papy3D for short films and by Sherbet in London for commercials. In 2005 he was featured on the BBC4 Documentary series Animation Nation.

He has presented retrospectives of his films at Presented master class and retrospective at KASK Cinema, Ghent, Belgium, Norwich Animation Festival, Hull Short Film Festival, Anima Mundi Animation Festival, Brazil, Eksjo Animation Festival, Sweden, Etiuda & Anima Film Festival Krakow and London International Animation Festival. He has presented master classes in three Canadian cities for the National Film Board of Canada and at Haifa Film Festival in Israel.

He has lectured extensively including Royal College of Art, Surrey Institute Farnham and the Film Akademie Barden Wurtemburg, Germany. Was a mentor for the A.I.R. Scheme, the Channel 4 MESH scheme and The London Animation School and has been an external examiner at for BA Illustration and Animation at Kingston University, BA Animation at Westminster University, BA Illustration and BA Animation at Norwich School of Art & Design and is currently external examiner for BA Animation at the University of East London.

Research Interests

Jonathan’s research interests focus on the creative potential of animation as a visual medium for interpreting and communicating complex, abstract and difficult subject matter. He has a strict commitment to working on projects of an ethical and humanitarian nature and has a particular interest in the workings of the conscious and unconscious mind. His work aims to provide insight and understanding and to stimulate serious debate.

Publications about Jonathan’s work

2016  Drawn From Life Animated Documentary Anthology, published by Edinburgh University Press. Authored chapter entitled The Making of The Trouble with Love and Sex.

2015 TYPEMOTION: Type as Image in Motion Ed: Bernd Scheffer, Christine Stenzer, Peter Weibek, Soenke Zehle. Feeling My Way and The Man with the Beautiful Eyes featured in the book and accompanying DVD collection.

2015 Animated Wonderworlds Catalogue for group exhibition at the Museum of Design in Zurich, Switzerland.

2014  Art Journal OPEN Vol 73, no. 2 Summer 2014 Guantananmo Bay: The Hunger Strikes featured as an Artist’s Project (9 pages). The College Art Association, New York, USA.

2013 Love Impossible Catalogue for group exhibition, Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea.

2013  Animated Documentary by Annabelle Honess Roe. Published by Palgrave Macmillan. Several pages of the book are devoted to my films, in particular Feeling My Way, a still from which is also featured on the cover of the book.

2011 Animation Sketchbooks Author: Laura Heit. Publisher: Thames & Hudson We watch films, we love films but we rarely get to see the first spark that inspired them. This book will give the viewer private access to intimate pages, early experiments, uninhibited doodles, and innovative approaches at their very beginning. My aim is to create a book rich with drawings, paintings, collages, and sketches that show the conceptual stages of a larger project. It’s a sneak peek, a glimpse into how you think, and how you work things out on paper.

2009 Animation in Process Author: Andrew Selby. Publisher: Laurence King Publishing. Interview and illustrated profile. Films featured on the accompanying DVD.

2008 British Animation: The Channel Four Factor Author: Clare Kitson. Publisher: Parliament Hill Publishing. Chapter devoted to The Man with the Beautiful Eyes, illustrated with stills from the film. A still was also used for the cover of the US edition.

2007 Digital Encounters Author: Aylish Wood. Publisher: Routledge ISBN: 0415410657 Feeling My Way is discussed in chapter one.

Digital Encounters is a cross media study of digital moving images in animation, cinema, games and installation art. In a world increasingly marked by proliferating technologies, the way we encounter and understand these story-worlds, game spaces and art works reveals aspects of the ways in which we organise and decode the vast amount of visual material we are

2006 The Animate! Book: rethinking animation Edited by Benjamin Cook and Gary Thomas. Publisher: LUX, London in collaboration with Arts Council England ISBN: 0-9548569-1-0 Interview focusing on Feeling My Way which is also included on the accompanying DVD.

2004 Animation Now Authors: Rida Queiroz, Julius Wiedemann. Publisher: Taschen ISBN:3822825883 Illustrated profile of The Man with the Beautiful Eyes and other work. Film also included on Accompanying DVD.

2004 Animation Unlimited Authors: Liz Faber, Helen Walters. Publisher: Laurence King ISBN:1856693465 Interview and illustrated profile of The Man with the Beautiful Eyes. Film also included on accompanying DVD.


  • 2010    Relationships
  • 2008    Age of Stupid
  • 2006    Forest Murmurs
  • 2004    Diesel – Where Is He?
  • 2001    Camouflage
  • 1999    The Man With The Beautiful Eyes
  • 1997    Feeling My Way
  • 1987    The Doomsday Clock
  • 1985    Train of Thought
  • 1984    Menagerie
  • 1983    Night Club
  • 1981    Dogs


The Age of Stupid

  • Griersons - Best Cinema Doc 2009 (Nominated) Sheffield Documentary Festival
  • Middle East International Film Festival 09 (Jury Special Mention)
  • Birds Eye View Film Festival - Best Documentary 2009
  • Griersons - Best Green Doc 2008 -> Sunny Side of the Doc - Best Green Doc 2008
  • Sunny Side of the Doc - Film Most Likely To Be Cinema Hit 2008
  • Sunchild International Environmental Festival - First Prize

Forest Murmurs

  • Time Out Award for Best London Film – London Short Film Festival 2008
  • UK FILM COUNCIL AWARD Best Film of the Festival 2nd runner up – London Short Film Festival 2008


  • Nominated for Best Short Animation - BAFTA 2002
  • UNICEF Prize - World Animation Celebration Los Angeles, USA
  • Prize for the Best Experimental film - Iranian Young Cinema Society, Tehran, Iran
  • Main Prize - FilmFest Dresden, Germany 2002
  • Jury Prize - Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, Germany 2001
  • Silver Goat - Poznan Children’s Film Festival, Poland 2001
  • Best Documentary Film - Best Before 2002 Hildesheim Germany 2002
  • 1st prize - ‘Tough Eye’ Turku - Finland 2002

The Man with the Beautiful Eyes

  • Best Film Under 7 Minutes - British Animation Awards 2000
  • Best Short Animation - BAFTA 2000
  • First Prize for Animation - Filmfest Dresden, Germany
  • Special distinction for the freedom of line and the intense message - Annecy 2000
  • WAM!NET Animation Award - Rushes Soho Shorts Festival 2000, London
  • Finalist for Cartoon D’Or - Cartoon Forum 2000 Gotland
  • Special Mention - ‘Castelli Animati’ Rome, Italy
  • Special Prize for the Best Animation Short Film - Granada, Spain
  • Best Animated Film Prize - Colvilhã, Portugal
  • Prix du court métrage 2000 - Bourg-en-Bresse, France
  • First Prize International Festival of Film & Animation - Valencia, Spain
  • The C.O.R.E. Digital Award for Best Animated Short - Worldwide Short Film Festival Toronto, Canada
  • Special Mention in the Section Dialogue Among Civilizations - Iranian Young Cinema Society Film Festival Tehran, Iran
  • Best Film - Interfilm Berlin
  • Special Jury Prize - Flickerfest Bondi Beach, Australia

Feeling My Way

  • Prize for Most Creative Use of New Technology - British Animation Awards 1998
  • Grand Jury Prize - Ottawa Animation Festival 1998
  • Grand Prize - Vedo Corto 99, Italy
  • Short Film Competition First Prize - International Film Festival “Film and Architecture” Berlin 2000
  • International Media/Art Award 2000 - ZKM Karlsruhe Germany

Night Club

  • Special Jury Prize - Annecy Animation Festival 1983
  • Mari Kuttna Award - London Film Festival 1983 Award for Best Animation, -
  • Tours Festival of Cinematography 1983
  • Animation Prize - Munich Film Festival 1984
  • Saatchi & Saatchi Award - New Contemporaries 1983
  • Joint 1st Prize - Stuttgarter Trickfilmtage 1983
  • Sold to BBC2 for Animation Now series


  • Best Student Film - Stuttgarter Trickfilmtage 1981
  • Best Student Film - Cambridge Animation Festival 1981