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The Knight of Illumination Awards 2016 shakes up judging panel

UK – The Knight of Illumination Awards 2016 (KOI), which celebrates the creative talents of international lighting and digital content designers working in the UK, announces it has added new members to the judging panels of two of the awards categories.

Well-respected and industry-renowned Coral Cooper is now chairperson of its Concert Touring and Events category, with three new judges joining the panel.

Cooper has had an impressive career in lighting design, international touring and lighting console demonstration and was winner of the KOI Lifetime Recognition Award in 2010. Well known throughout Europe, she has spent the last 18 years as an official Philips Vari-Lite product instructor.

“I am absolutely delighted to be chairing this category,” says Cooper. “Since winning the Lifetime Recognition Award KOI has meant a great deal to me, so it’s incredibly exciting to be involved at this level.”

For the 2016 edition, Cooper has taken over from longstanding chairperson Sarah Rushton-Read in coordinating the activities of the Concert Touring and Events judges. Rushton-Read, who is creative director of content creation, communication and events agency The Fifth Estate Ltd, has stepped down after eight years in the role in order to focus on delivering the Awards’ press, PR and marketing campaigns and producing and managing the event itself.

Formally-trained lighting designer and experienced video content creator Miguel Ribeiro, deputy editor of Lighting&Sound International (LSi) magazine Claire Beeson and head of lighting design at creative agency Imagination Jonny Milmer join the panel.

“Being on this judging panel has allowed me to meet lots of new people in the industry which is fantastic,” says Ribeiro. “When I go and see a show as a normal punter I always come out of it with a series of questions I would like to have asked the designer. Being a judge makes that possible which is absolutely wonderful. KOI is so important as it recognises how much goes into creating these amazing shows. I also think it’s great that the Awards celebrates video design – the area I specialise in. As new kid on the block, it’s not always recognised as a ‘discipline’ of its own.”

Ribeiro’s impressive portfolio includes the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and Let’s Dance and Children in Need for the BBC, with a wealth of experience across theatre, corporate events and television. His career has also seen him in the role of Head of Digital Media for VLPS London and later Media Server Specialist for PRG.

As Deputy Editor of Lighting&Sound International for the past 9 years, Beeson has a wide ranging knowledge of the industry and developments and practices in live production. She regularly attends international events representing both PLASA and LSi and is a committee member for the prestigious Showlight Quadrennial lighting conference.

“KOI is a fantastic event that brings the professional lighting community together in celebration of creativity, vision and achievement and I am delighted to have been asked to join the judging team,” says Beeson. “Having always been an admirer of the hard work and creative process behind staging productions of all forms, I look forward to getting stuck in to the judging process and witnessing how lighting and video can push boundaries to create unforgettable experiences for audiences.”

With more than 20 years’ experience in lighting design, Milmer has worked with Imagination for the past decade to help deliver the agency’s global projects. These have included major launch events for Jaguar and Rolls Royce. Before joining Imagination, Milmer designed lighting for theatre, live shows and interiors and was awarded Lighting magazine’s Rising Star Award in 2012.

“The KOI Awards is so good for the industry because it covers a diverse range of projects and talents, celebrating individuals with a broad range of skills,” says Milmer. “It is greatly respected within the industry and amongst our peers. Winners are always highly deserving and are grateful for recognition in the often unsung aspects of the entertainment industry.”

The Theatre category sees its biennial change in judges. Panels of senior critics from national newspapers and the leading specialist arts magazines serve a two-year term, recommending the finest lighting work that they have seen personally up and down the country.

This year Alexandra Coghlan of The Spectator and The Arts Desk, Matt Trueman from Whatsonstage and Variety and Jonathan Gray from The Dancing Times will be taking their turn, joining the Opera, Theatre and Dance subcategories respectively.

Culture critic and broadcaster David Benedict coordinates their activities as chairperson. Formerly arts editor of The Independent and The Observer and chief London critic for Variety, he currently reviews for BBC Radio 4 arts programmes and The Arts Desk.

The Knight of Illumination Awards 2016 Headline Sponsors are Clay Paky and OSRAM. It is also generously supported by Spotlight Sponsors Ambersphere Solutions, Ayrton, d3 Technologies, ETC, FIX8Group, Hawthorn, HSL, Light Initiative, MA Lighting, Philips Vari-Lite, PLASA Media and Events, PRG XL Video, Robert Juliat and VER Aurora TV.

Submissions are currently open for the Television and Concert Touring and Events categories and shows performed or broadcast between 1st August 2015 and 31st July 2016 in the UK are eligible. As with previous years the Theatre section can only be nominated by the judging panel.

Submissions can be made for TV and Concert Touring and Events by visiting the KOI website. The shortlists will be announced in August.

In addition, The Enrico Caironi Lifetime Recognition Award will be presented to an individual whose passion for the industry has gone above and beyond the call of duty, in turn benefiting their colleagues, the industry and the wider world.

The KOI Awards was conceived and is organised by Durham and Jennie Marenghi and prestigious industry organisations the STLD (Society of Television Lighting and Design), the ALD (Association of Lighting Designers) and The Fifth Estate Ltd.