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ASIFA U.K.'s Pat Raine Webb Passes Away

ASIFA U.K. President Pat Raine Webb died Friday. Webb was an AWN contributor, animation festival regular, freelance researcher, writer and programmer in animated film with more than 30 years in the animation industry.

Webb passed away on Friday on a London bus of a severe heart attack, and is survived by her longtime companion Margot Grimwood.

As well as serving as president of ASIFA-UK, Webb was John Halas’ executive assistant when his studio Halas & Batchelor was in business. In recent years she was a contributor to, Korean magazine ANIMATOON, and several other publications. She served on several festival juries, was a freelance researcher and film programmer. She had dedicated much of her adult life to animation, including helping ASIFA grow.

Vivien Halas said, “Pat joined Halas & Batchelor in 1977 as my father’s assistant and for the next 15 years she helped him with work on productions such as THE WILHELM BUSCH ALBUM and A MEMORY OF MOHOLY NAGY. More importantly she organized and dealt with the running of ASIFA while John was President (1976 to 1985) and later honorary president. In 1988 he sent her off to Zagreb to represent him. As far as I know this was her introduction to the world of animation festivals, a world that she savored. Pat shared her knowledge of both films and filmmakers in the many articles she wrote sharing with us her experience and views. Often just by reading her reports I felt as if I’d been there, met the people, seen the films and eaten in the best bistro."

Condolences can be sent to Grimwood at her London home: 94 Norton Gardens, Norbury, London SW16 4TA.

Journalist Nancy Phelps remembers her friend, "One of my favorite memories is the look on Pat's face as Margot and I broke into song at the Zagreb festival in 2006 singing the song "Sisters" from the movie WHITE CHRISTMAS. I will miss her wit and wisdom so much. I was a juror with both of them at the 2007 Bradford Animation Festival and the last night, after everyone else had left we sat in the hotel bar drinking, laughing and swapping stories -- such a warm and wonderful evening."

Famed animator Richard Williams added, "Pat was a remarkable person -- the most wonderful, warm-hearted and wise spirited woman. And we are stunned to think she will no longer be there to so generously cheer us along . We shall all miss her very much."

Renowned British animator Joanna Quinn added her fond remembrances: "Pat was a very special person and had friends all over the world. The last time I saw her she was dancing away with all the students at this year's Bradford Animation festival -- full of life and laughing. It's hard to imagine we won't see her face at festivals anymore. I loved her very much and she'll be hugely missed. My thoughts are with Margot -- I can only imagine how she must be feeling."

Animation historian John Canemaker added, "Pat was a charming, warm and knowledgeable historian of animation, and, indeed, during her years with John Halas and deep involvement with ASIFA-UK, a participant in that history. She was encouraging to new talent and supportive of all animators and their works. Her descriptive writings brought one into the moment of events and artists' lives. She was also lots of fun. I'll always remember at Annecy this year sharing a dinner table with Pat and her beloved partner Margo at a private party Dick Williams and Imogen Sutton threw for friends. Pat and Margo were warm, witty and a pure delight to be with. I will miss Pat very much, especially her laughter and positive spirit."

AWN is collecting thoughts and memories of Pat at this In Remembrance post.