Lupus Films’ Christmas special The Tiger Who Came to Tea has scooped the Jury Award for a TV Special at this year’s prestigious Annecy Festival. The award was announced at a virtual ceremony, with the animation festival taking place online this year.
Based on the classic children’s picture book written and illustrated by revered author Judith Kerr OBE and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, The Tiger Who Came to Tea was produced by Lupus Films and HarperCollins and directed by Robin Shaw for Channel 4.
Premiering on Channel 4 on Christmas Eve, The Tiger Who Came to Tea attracted millions of viewers over the holiday period and became the network’s best-performing show of 2019 aside from The Great British Bake Off final. Bringing to life the delightful story of what happens when a monstrously hungry tiger turns up unannounced as Sophie and her Mummy are having tea in the kitchen, its illustrious cast included Benedict Cumberbatch, David Oyelowo, David Walliams, Tamsin Greig and Paul Whitehouse, and featured an original song, Hey Tiger!, written by David Arnold and Don Black and performed by Robbie Williams.
The film’s director, Robin Shaw, said: “I am so happy and proud that The Tiger Who Came to Tea has won this award and would like to thank the jury, all the team who worked on the film, and Lupus Films and Channel 4 for making it possible. But my biggest thanks go to the much-missed Judith Kerr for creating this wonderful story that simply leapt off the page and was such a delight to bring to the screen.”
Ruth Fielding, joint managing director of Lupus Films, said: “We are honoured that The Tiger Who Came to Tea has been recognised with this prestigious award, especially considering the quality of the competition from across the globe. It’s a testament to the wonderful work of Robin Shaw and the immensely talented team who worked on the film.”
Caroline Hollick, Channel 4, said: “The Tiger Who Came to Tea was a huge hit with Channel 4 viewers and we are thrilled that it has also struck a chord with an international jury. We are sure that it will continue to be a family favourite for years to come.”
The Annecy Festival is the world's leading animation festival. It hopes to be able to present the award in person to Lupus Films at next year’s festival, which is planned to run from 14-19 June 2021.
The Tiger Who Came to Tea was produced by Lupus Films' founders Camilla Deakin and Ruth Fielding, and directed by Robin Shaw (co-director of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, assistant director of The Snowman and The Snowdog). The special was executive produced by Ann-Janine Murtagh, Katie Fulford and Mia Jupp at HarperCollins Children’s Books
The book has been adapted for the screen by Joanna Harrison (writer of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Co-Writer and Art Director of The Snowman and The Snowdog).
It was commissioned for Channel 4 by Caroline Hollick, Channel 4 head of drama and Chloe Tucker, Channel 4 commissioning executive, drama.
Universal Content Group is managing the international TV distribution, home entertainment and theatrical rights to the special.