Joanna was born in Birmingham, England and completed a foundation course in art at Goldsmiths College, University of London before studying for a BA in Graphic Design at Middlesex University.
Her first film, Girls Night Out (1986), won 3 prizes at the Annecy Animation Festival. In 1987 Joanna founded Beryl Productions with her partner, producer/writer Les Mills. The couple have collaborated closely in the production of animated films and as educators ever since. Joanna is now a highly acclaimed figure in world animation and was named Animation Laureate 2013 by ASIFA International. Her fine drawing skills, wonderful characterisations and her humour mark her out as a unique talent. She has won a raft of top awards, including Emmys, Baftas and Jury prizes at all the major animation festivals. Two of her films, Famous Fred (1996) and The Wife of Bath (1998) have received Oscar nominations. Her masterpiece, Britannia, a brilliantly biting view of British Imperialism, won her the prestigious Leonardo Da Vinci award in 1996. Joanna has been honoured with retrospectives of her work all over the world including Rome, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Stuttgart, Zagreb, Hiroshima, Toronto, Montreal, Gothenburg, Bradford, Cordoba, Tampere, Ottawa, Valencia and Taiwan.