Gary Thomas

Film Programme Manager


Gary’s background is in artists’ film and animation, and alongside his British Council job he works as a creative producer and curator. He is co-founder and director of Animate Projects, which works at the intersection of film, animation and art. Animate co-commissions include Unfolding the Aryan Papers by Jane and Louise Wilson (with BFI Southbank and The Stanley Kubrick Archives) and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s A Letter to Uncle Boonmee (winner of the Grand Prize at Oberhausen).

He was previously Head of Moving Image for Arts Council England, working on policy development for digital distribution and strategic initiatives for archive and commissioning of artists’ moving image. He devised several national and broadcast schemes, working with artists and filmmakers including Steve McQueen, John Maybury, Carol Morley, Andrew Kötting and Clio Barnard.

He has co-directed several short films with artist Tim Shore that have screened around the world. He coordinates the Animation Alliance UK advocacy group.

He has a degree in Media Studies from the Polytechnic of Central London and an MA in the History of Contemporary Art from Chelsea College of Art. He is a trustee of UK Young Artists and National Dance Company of Wales, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Specialties for British Council Film Team: Film activities in East Asia and China; animation and experimental film

Working at British Council since: 2011

Best thing about working on British Council Film Team: Apart from the snacks, I always impressed how everyone knows so much stuff!

Career highlight so far: In early 2016, I worked with the British Council Music team on a ‘lab’ week that brought together filmmakers and musicians from the UK and East Asia. At the British Council, we’re usually focused on the outcome of creative process, so it was great to spend some time exploring ideas at what might be the start of something.

Favourite British film: 2001: A Space Odyssey and Bill Douglas Trilogy

Favourite British film of 2016: The Childhood of a Leader

To contact Gary: gary.thomas@britishcouncil.org