~ The prestigious awards recognise Simon Devereux’s dedication to diversity as ACCESS:VFX continues to inspire leading animation, VFX and games studios ~
LONDON 17 March 2020 – ACCESS:VFX, an industry-led non-profit coalition of leading VFX, animation and games studios, is proud to announce that the prestigious Visionary Honours has recognised Simon Devereux for Community Person of the Year. This follows news of the initiative reaching over 50 members, featuring the likes of Aardman Academy, Epic Games and The Farm Group.
The awards that celebrate popular culture, media and entertainment inspiring social change or debate, include influential public figures Lewis Hamilton and Stormzy on the shortlists. Simon Devereux’s nomination honours his dedication in leading ACCESS:VFX for almost 3 years, connecting competitor brands across the industry and pushing towards the same goal – encouraging inclusion and diversity.
“I’m delighted to be nominated for the Community Person of the Year award. ACCESS:VFX would be nothing without the hardworking and passionate people who really care about improving diversity in VFX, animation and games. It’s a pleasure to be a part of a group that actively creates more opportunities for aspiring creatives and strives to make the industry a better place to work in,” says Simon, founder and director of ACCESS:VFX.
ACCESS:VFX delivers a wealth of experience around the globe, fast expanding in the UK and rapidly spreading across North America, with chapters in Montreal, New York and Chicago. Blue Zoo, DNEG, Moonraker, Framestore, Cinesite, Carse & Waterman Productions, and many others are actively inspiring creatives from diverse backgrounds with practical tools essential to succeed in the industry.
Sponsored by international creative house Foundry and powered by e-learning platform Prospela, ACCESS:VFX’s e-mentoring scheme includes representatives of member companies supporting young talent. Currently, 266 mentees and 147 mentors work together to boost job opportunities, discuss academic needs and even add to hands-on experience with apprenticeships and work experience.
“The feedback we receive from mentees is exceptional. The mentors are doing an amazing job to help the next generation of talent. But we still need more creatives, VFX artists, creative directors, storyboard artists, and pretty much anyone who holds down a role in our creative industry to join our efforts,” adds Simon.
Now with over 50 members, the initiative’s growing workforce will enable more workshops, mentors, and regional events to support the industry’s diversity drive. The UK’s VFX sector is estimated to be worth more than £1 billion a year to the UK economy, yet is currently 85% white and only 27% female.
“Aardman Academy is thrilled to be a part of ACCESS:VFX and we can’t wait to contribute to the great work you’re already doing,“ comments Claire Brindley, senior HR adviser, Aardman Academy.
“We joined the initiative because Ntropic is all about true artistry and amazing creative which is in part a result of diverse and unique perspectives and life experience – it’s only natural for the Ntropic family to support the organization,” Laura Livingstone, executive producer, Ntropic.
“ACCESS:VFX does such great things for young people and our industry it wouldn’t feel right not being involved!” adds Anne-Louise Gordon, head of VFX, The Farm Group.