July 28, 2023
Room to Read’s soon-to-be-released film series, She Creates Change, would not have been possible without an incredible all-women team of directors, animation artists, voice actors, composers, producers and writers curated by BAFTA-winning entertainment company, Nexus Studios. These talented women brought a unique and diverse perspective to each film, helping to showcase the stories of six young women from Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program to life.
Today, we’re introducing Hannah Lau-Walker, a 2D animator and director based in London, United Kingdom. With over 10 years of experience within the commercial animation industry, Hannah has worked at indie studios based out of people's living rooms to huge production houses in central Soho.
Since graduating from Central Saint Martins, Hannah developed her 2D animation skills to the level of leading large animation productions and is expanding into directing her own animations. Most recently, she led the production of Trang’s She Creates Change short film, which shares the story of a Girls’ Education Program participant from Vietnam who discovers the courage and confidence within herself to start a YouTube channel that gains success in building community and supporting her family.
Hear more about Hannah's career and artistic journey in her own words below.
I had a lot of support from an early age which gave me the stability and confidence to lean into leadership positions later in my career. As a woman in the [animation] industry, I had found space in areas where other women hadn’t. There were women I knew that were getting stuck in junior roles and I wanted in some small way to give those women the same support I’d been given at an early stage.
To this end, I started She Drew That, a community for women striving to develop and support women within the animation industry. As this community grew, I began to recognize the importance of access and the joy that community and collaboration can bring. Creating more access to the animation industry and incorporating community collaboration into my work has become a focus of my practice as a director working today.
My all-time inspiration is my parents, Tony and Margaret, both educators in their respective fields, who nurtured and supported me from the very beginning. Their love for education was matched only by their critique of the education system itself, which they have strived to improve for everyone throughout their careers. Their endless curiosity and deep respect for anyone who could create with their hands, their huge heart and nearing on aggressive generosity has been a consistent driving force in my life. This critical eye when it came to teaching allowed me the space to ask questions about the way I and those around me were being taught; it enabled me to push back and gave me power in a time when I was malleable and insecure. Which is why I am excited at the opportunity to partner up with Room to Read and help them bring this powerful message into the hands of as many women as we can reach!
The She Creates Change film series, which will be released in October 2023 to commemorate International Day of the Girl, aims to reach all 432 million adolescent girls globally with content and educational curriculum that supports them in creating change in their communities.
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