2023 CHALLENGE JUDGES
We are so excited to welcome this years judging panel. Representing the best of puppetry, puppet building and film making this years trio are not to be missed.
Anurupa Roy is a puppeteer, puppet theatre director and puppet designer. She is the Founder and Managing Trustee of The Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust, a puppet theatre group based in Delhi, India since 1998.
Anurupa uses puppets to create visual narratives and works with communities using puppets to represent their own stories, this includes conflict zones like Kashmir. She is committed to the training of a future generation of professional puppeteers and facilitates regular workshops, organises masterclasess and in 2018 co-founded the Foundation Program the first professional puppet training program in India, under the ages of UNIMA, the puppeteers union.
She has a Diploma in Puppet Theatre from DI (Dramatiska Institutet for Film, T.V, Drama and Radio ) at The University of Stockholm, SWEDEN and has been trained in traditional glove puppetry, from La Scoula Della Guaratelle (School of Traditional Glove Puppetry) in Naples, ITALY under Bruno Leone in 2002.
She has been a Researcher in Residence- 2011- Deutches Forum DFP in Bochum, Germany and at Institute International de la Marionette Charleville – Mezeires in France. She has been a Pro Helvetia Artists at Residence at Rote Fabrik in Zurich and guest faculty at World Arts and Cultures at UCLA in Los Angeles, USA.
Anurupa has also directed performances for Katkatha, TIE Company National School of Drama and Jana Natya Manch and is the Creative Director of Puppetoscope, India’s first International Puppet Film Festival, plus she is:
- a CLORE Chevening Fellow for the year 2022-23.
- a recipient of the Ustad Bismilla Khan Yuva Puraskar 2007 – National award for contribution to puppet theatre by the Ministry of Culture.
- currently the trustee of UNIMA India, the Indian chapter of the Union Internationale de la Marionette and a part of the UNIMA International training commission.
Brian Fisher is an actor, movement artist and puppeteer, and is well-known for his BAFTA winning contribution to Bad Wolf’s adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s fantasy series His Dark Materials. Endlessly curious and playful, Brian has worked as a puppeteer and movement artist with the likes of Warner Bros., Netflix, HBO, Apple TV and the BBC where he has helped breathe life into characters on set.
As the Head of Creature FX on His Dark Materials, Brian and his team supported the VFX Department, Directors, Camera Team and actors through the use of puppetry to represent the myriad of creatures that feature in the show. This role also included working hand in glove with the incredible Ruth Wilson to create the iconic character of Mrs Coulter and her golden monkey.
Brian is the Founder and Managing Director of Practic Creations. Practic Creations is a dynamic and newly-formed company, founded with the mission to build, provide, work with and alongside Film and Television productions who need Creature, Puppet and Special Effect Assets to achieve their unique vision.
Nicolette Santino is an actress and puppeteer who has been trained by the Jim Henson Company, Sesame Workshop, The Muppets Studio Workshop, and The Groundlings.
Nicolette has worked extensively with Coldplay by puppeteering the character Angel Moon in the 2022 and 2023 Music of the Spheres World Tour. In addition to performing live on stage with Coldplay, she can be seen puppeteering Angel Moon in Coldplay’s Biutyful music video and in an interview and song performance with Chris Martin on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Nicolette is also a series regular on Nickelodeon’s The Barbarian and the Troll and plays multiple characters such as Sharon, Tee Winkle, and Kendar. Furthermore, Nicolette regularly performs in Henson Alternative’s Puppet Up! Uncensored live puppet improv show at the Jim Henson Studios. Her puppetry can be seen in other films and television shows such as Earth to Ned on Disney + and Crank Yankers on Comedy Central as well as The Muppets Mayhem, Muppets Haunted Mansion, and the feature film, The Happytime Murders.
Last year’s judges:
Araceli Cabrera Cáceres is a Chilean-born, Bristol-based, theatre director, producer, scriptwriter, performer, dancer, puppeteer, and found object theatre puppetry artist. She has worked around the World with children and young people to engage their imaginations through visual narratives, leading performing arts workshops in educational settings. She is also the creative producer and editor of the award-winning ‘Freedom Kids Podcast’.
After 15 years working in the home entertainment industry, working in the UK and NYC for studios such as Disney, Paramount, Fox, Warner Brothers and many more on a variety of projects ranging from music to children’s content, I moved to Bristol, UK and am now MD of Loaf Productions where we specialise in concert, corporate and video production. I’m also a partner in Qu Studios, the South West’s only infinity green screen cove, (also including our infinity white cove/kitchen studio), MD of Bristol Big Screen, and MD for MixedUpPixels, the design arm of Loaf Productions and Qu Studios.
In 2022 we have been working on a number of animated pilot episodes for pre-school and will be developing these into series and interactive experiences in 2023.
With contacts across the board from Sesame Street, The Furchester Hotel and other animated puppet and animated children’s series, to links with broadcasters and studios (including our own Qu Studios) I look forward to seeing everyones submissions to this superb competition.
Izzy Bristow is a puppet designer and film maker based in Bristol UK. She has worked in both the UK and the United States to hone her skills and express her deep love for the intersection of engineering and movement where puppets thrive.
Her work varies from the massive to the minuscule, including the larger than life puppets for Dinosaur World Live and tiny sets for live action puppet films and stop motion animation. Other creditor including fabrication for Madagascar the Musical, West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Alice’s Adventures Underground, Regent Park’s acclaimed production of Little Shop of Horrors and design for many of The House of Funny Noises films. She has also worked for Bristol based companies Green Ginger and Pickled Image as a puppet fabricator and costume maker. Abroad she works for regional theaters like the Denver Center of Performing Arts and the Santa Fe Opera, filling roles from puppet maker to assistant costume designer.
As a founding member of the puppet film collective House of Funny Noises she wants to challenge puppet film convention and find new ways to use the medium within the era of short format socially distanced theater.