Barry is an Oscar and BAFTA nominated director usually, but not exclusively, working with animation. He has animated and directed many series for television such as The Wind in the Willows, Rupert Bear and and most recenty, the award winning Toby's travelling Circus. He has worked in significant roles on such feature films as Mars Attacks! and King Kong, and directed over 60 commercials and titles sequences, including a recent campaign for Marketing Manchester. In 2011 he was awarded an Honorary doctorate from the University of Staffordshire, and lifetime achievement awards from festivals in Poland, Recife inBrasil and a University in Bounemouth, and last year a Golden romixx award from a festival in Rome. Barry has taught at universities,studios and schools literally around the world. Barry was president of Anifest in Teplice,in 2012 and on the jury at the Ottawa International Animation festival in September 2012, and President of the Jury at Stuttgart Animation festival in 2013. He filmed a title/leader sequence for Seoul Internation Animation festival. He is often on the jury for the prestigious BAFTA and RTS awards
In 2015, Barry has had 60th birthday retropsectives at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Bristol Puppet Festival, a film festival in Venice and in December, a retrospective at the London Internation Animation Festival.
This year Barry has done several workshops around the country, including the lovely London School of puppetry - in Yorkshire. Also a workshop in turin was a great success.
His own, very theatrical, and often controversial, films have won more than sixty awards around the world, and many festivals have held retrospectives. Barry's films are known for their innovation, passion, elegance, lush visuals and fresh interpretations of familiar subjects. The films are:
- Next, (the complete works of Shakespeare in five minutes) (and noted as one of the 25 films all aniamtion festival programmers should include)
- Screen Play (the Willow Pattern story told through Kabuki) (and voted by ASIFA as the 40th best animation short ever)
- Rigoletto (a version of Verdi’s opera)
- Achilles (a very adult retelling of the Iliad)
- Gilbert and Sullivan (using their words and music to retell of their stormy relationship)
- Hamilton Mattress (an aardvark’s attempt to survive in the corrupt world of showbiz)
These were re-released in 2008 on a compilation DVD: 'Barry Purves – His Intimate Lives' (Potemkin).
The Complete series of The Wind in the Willows is available on several DVD's as is Rupert Bear - Follow the magic.
More recently, Barry has made:
- 'Plume' for ARTE France, 2010 (his own film, featuring a primæval winged man)
- 'Tchaikovsky' for Russian TV, 2011 (an interpretation of the composer's life)
Barry’s films are discussed at length in many books, including those written by Ray Harryhausen, Clare Kitson and Paul Wells, as well as being studied on most animation courses.
Barry has just finished directing a 52 part stop motion children's series for Five, the award winning Toby's Travelling Circus. This started transmitting in september 2012, and is produced by Mackinnon and Saunders for Kommixx Entertainment, and is now available on several DVDs.
Barry was supervisor , last year,on the new series for Ragdoll, called Twirlywoos, which is being screened throughout. 2015
Barry’s first book, ‘Stop Motion – Passion, Process, Performance’ was published in 2008 by Focal Press. Using animation as a catalyst, it looks at the creative process in related media.
A second book, 'Animation Basics – Stop motion' was published in 2010 by AVA Publishing, aimed at students and first time animators. This has been revised and updated and will be published in the spring of 2014.
A revised, second edition of this last book is now out, and is available in several languages.
Barry has written for numerous magazins and books, and features in many books on animation.
Away from film Barry works in theatre when he can, this being another true passion. He has directed and designed ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, ‘The Turn of the Screw’, Jekyll and Hyde’, several Ayckbourns, ‘La Cage Aux Folles’, ‘The Ritz’, ‘Habeas Corpus’, Ronald Harwood’s ‘Quartet’, the farce ‘ Don’t Dress for Dinner’ as well as designing a huge panto, 'Aladdin', in Peterborough. He designed ‘A Man for all seasons’ a new musical by Mal Pope, ‘Cappuccino Girls’, and ‘Murder Mystery Musical’ for the 2009 Edinburgh Festival, which received 5 star reviews. In 2011 he directed and designed 'High Society' . In 2012 Barry directed and designed a Sherlock Holmes play, and then designed the Elton John and Tim Rice musical 'Aida', as well as the wonderful play wih music, 'Glorious'. Last year Barry directed 'Hitchcock Blonde' and designed 'Gypsy', and this year he directed and designed 'Breaking the code' and in November he will be directing Il Trovatore at the royal Northern College of Music.
Barry teaches and gives master classes at studios and colleges all over the world, including regular courses at the National Film and Television School, the National Film school of Italy (animation department) and Staffordshire University. He is often a member of festival juries, judging or curating screenings. In 2011 he was awarded an Honorary doctorate by Staffordshire University for services to the university and animation. In 2011, Barry completed a semester teaching 'Animation' at Manchester University Drama Department.
Barry has also taught ‘Writing for Performance’ at Manchester University, where he was originally a drama student. His own play, written with Emil Wolk, ‘The Eight Wonder’ looks at the making of the original King Kong through the eyes of Ginger Rogers and Fay Wray. A second play treatment, Handel and Lewis, has been written for Liverpool Scenic Workshops – this involves a young opera loving boy and a live 25 foot robot. Several other feature film treatments and play ideas are being written.
Barry hosts many awards evenings, (including, bizarrely, hosting the Chinese equivalent of the X Factor), and does many key note speeches and talks a lot about animation