ROGER Mainwood, the Wivenhoe filmmaker and animator, has died after an illness at the age of 65.

His credits included the feature animation Ethel & Ernest, which chronicles the lives of the parents of The Snowman illustrator Raymond Briggs.

It was nominated for multiple awards including best animated feature at the European Film Awards in 2017.

The film was a passion project for Mainwood, who spent eight years developing it, adapting the screenplay from Briggs’ own graphic novel and drawing the majority of the storyboard himself.

Mainwood's death was being widely reported today including by the British Film Institute who tweeted: "We're very sad to hear that Roger Mainwood, a multi-talented animator and director, has died."

Mainwood’s career began in 1979 when, not long out of art school, he directed an animated video for German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk’s single Autobahn.

He then joined renowned UK animation company Halas and Batchelor (Animal Farm), where he worked on commercials.

Mainwood went on to become one of the UK’s leading animation directors while working at London studio TVC. He was an animator on projects including adpations of Raymond Briggs’ books The Snowman, When The Wind Blows and Father Christmas.

He also directed Beatrix Potter’s The Tale Of Two Bad Mice and Johnny Town Mouse, and was animation director on The Wind In The Willows and Willows In Winter.

His TV credits include episodes of the BBC comedy series Stressed Eric, and the Bafta nominated series Meg And Mog.

Mainwood is survived by his wife Valerie and his daughters Naomi and Miriam.