Karen Toliver

As executive vice president of creative for Sony Pictures Animation, Karen Toliver is responsible for the creative supervision of a number of upcoming features for the studio, from inception to script, and through production.

In her role, Toliver is also in charge of recruiting key storytelling talent, and discovering and acquiring new creative material and intellectual property aligned with Sony Pictures Animation’s vision including original concepts, books, comics, video games, shorts, websites, and toys.

Toliver is also the producer of the animated short film, “Hair Love,” directed by Matthew A. Cherry.

Toliver has extensive experience in production and development, including 10 years at Fox Animation where she supervised the production of the “Rio” film franchise and the latest three films in the “Ice Age” series, which grossed a combined $3.1 billion at the worldwide box office. Toliver also spearheaded the original feature “Ferdinand,” which was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature.

Toliver served as a production executive at Walt Disney Animation Studios on films such as “Brother Bear,” “Chicken Little,” and “Meet the Robinsons.”

Toliver began her career as an assistant at Walt Disney Pictures working on the “Mighty Ducks” franchise.

Everett Downing

Everett Downing is an animator, story artist and director living in the Greater Los Angeles area. Born in Boulder, Colorado and raised in Denver, he studied Film, focusing on computer animation at Columbia College in Chicago. Everett began his career as a story artist at Big Idea Productions before making his break into feature film, animating at Blue Sky Studios on the original “Ice Age.” He worked as an animator and story artist on three more features there (including “Robots,” “Ice Age 2,” and “Epic”) before taking a position as an animator at Pixar Animation Studios. After animating on several award winning feature films (every feature from “Ratatouille” to “Monster’s University”), he transitioned back into story where he boarded on the “Toy Story That Time Forgot” and “Cars 3.” He’s since worked on several feature films at Dreamworks Feature Animation, Paramount Studios, and Sony Pictures animation. Currently he’s working at Netflix Animation where he just finished storyboarding on Jorge Gutierrez’s animated mini-series, “Maya and the Three.”

Opening Night, US Premiere

Weathering With You: Screening #3

October 18, 2019 8:30 pm
Sold Out

From October 18-20, visit JAPAN HOUSE Library, Level 5 (located in Hollywood & Highland) to see Weathering With You storyboards created by Makoto Shinkai.

This exhibit is free, visit www.japanhouse.jp/losangeles for more details.

Max Lang

Max Lang is an Oscar®-nominated and BAFTA®-winning animation director. He jointly directed the award-winning animated films The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom for Magic Light Pictures as well as the animated Christmas special Albert for Nickelodeon. He was assistant Director on the first season of The Amazing World of Gumball for Cartoon Network.

Max is also a story artist, illustrator and character designer. Max’s illustrator credits include collaborations with his wife Suzanne on the picture books, Families! Families! Families! and the New York Times and Independent Booksellers bestseller, Grumpy Monkey.

Filmmaker Q&A, Special Event

Frozen 2: Behind the Scenes

October 19, 2019 11:00 am
Sold Out

Be among the first to experience new footage from Frozen 2, the breathlessly anticipated sequel to the 2013 phenomenon Frozen.  For your guide, Director and Academy Award® winner Chris Buck takes you on a journey out of Arendelle in pursuit of the origin of Elsa’s powers. Featuring behind-the-scenes insight and footage from from the upcoming film, this exclusive sneak peek at the making of the film is one ticket worth melting for.

RUSH TICKETS AVAILABLE 

Matt Williames

Matt Williames began his 23-year career at the age of 14, when he started working professionally as an animator while still in junior high school. At the time, Matt worked on projects ranging from the animated feature Quest for Camelot, to independent shorts, including the Oscar nominated Stubble Trouble.

After high school, Matt attended CalArts’ Character Animation program, and at age 20 went on to be hired by Warner Brothers Feature Animation as an animator on Looney Tunes: Back in Action.

Upon the wrap of that film, Matt was met at a crossroads of career paths: stay doing what he loved in hand drawn animation, which seemed to be dying a slow death, or pursue CG, which was booming and employing all of his friends. He chose the former – a career that has taken him to almost every major studio, working across several different capacities, and leaves him as one of the few remaining hand-drawn animators actively working in the industry. Matt has worked on such films as Coraline, Princess and the Frog, Me and My Shadow, and was part of the core team that animated the Oscar-nominated and Annie Award-winning Adam and Dog.

Matt just wrapped as the supervising animator of Mogens from the highly anticipated hand drawn animated film, Klaus, and is currently doing character design for Warner Animation Group’s DC Super Pets. He lives in Southern Oregon with his wife and 3 daughters.

Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec

After graduating in Applied Arts, Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec joined the Ecole des Gobelins in 2003. Her first two short films, Madame (made during her studies in 2006 ) and Escale (2010) were selected at the Annecy.

In addition to her work as a graphic designer on television sets and advertising for luxury brands, she also worked as an animator on short films like Bang Bang! by Julien Bisaro, nominated at the 2015 César Awards for the best animated film, and Smart Monkey by Vincent Paronnaud (Winshluss) and Nicolas Pawlowski.

Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec continued her career as a character animator for feature films such as Ernest and Célestine, The Rabbi’s Cat, The Day of the Crows and April and the Extraordinary World. In 2016, she collaborated as a cartoonist on the animated series “Lastman”, an adaptation of the comic strip created by Bastien Vivès, Balak and Michaël Sanlaville.

The Swallows of Kabul is her first feature film as Director.

Zabou Breitman

At four years old, Zabou played in one of the episodes of the TV show “Thierry la Fronde” alongside her father, Jean-Claude Deret. Zabou studied cinema, modern Greek and English for her bachelor’s degree and attended the Simon course.

She was an Animator at “Recré A2” in the 80s ands made her film debut in 1982. Often playing more comedic roles (BANZAÏ, THE BEAUF, PROMOTION SOFA), it did not take long for her to distinguish herself. In the 90s, she worked with filmmakers like Diane Kurys (LA BAULE-LES-PINS, 1990), Coline Serreau (THE CRISIS, 1992), Philippe Lioret (CORRESPONDENCE REQUIRED, 1997) and Pierre Jolivet (MY SMALL COMPANY, 1999), or the Jaoui / Bacri tandem in KITCHEN AND DEPENDENCY in 1993.

In 2001, she directed her first feature film, BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES, with Bernard Campan and Isabelle Carré. The film was awarded with 3 Césars including best first feature film. This was followed in 2006 with THE MAN OF MY LIFE and in 2009, JE L’AIMAIS. During this decade, Zabou Breitman acted in the films of Michel Deville (ALMOST PEACEFUL, 2002), Gilles Lellouche (NARCO, 2004) and Rémi Bezançon (THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, 2008).She acted under the direction of Pierre Schoeller, THE MINISTER with Olivier Gourmet and the PERFUME OF THE LADY IN BLACK by Bruno Podalydes.

In 2010 she directed her fourth feature film NO ET MOI, based on the novel by Delphine De Vigan.In 2017, she co-wrote and directed the TV series “Paris Etc.” for Canal Plus.

At the same time, she has pursued a successful career as a theater director, notably with “Winter under the table” (Molière du Metteur en Scène 2003), Roland Topor, “Des Gens”, an adaptation of Molière’s work by Raymond Depardon and “La Compagnie des spectres” (2010) by Lydie Salvayre.

Currently her show “logiquimperturbabledufou” is being performed at the Theater du Rond-Point.

Anca Damian

Anca Damian studied at the Academy of Theatre and Film Arts where she obtained a diploma in Cinematography and a Doctor’s degree in Arts, Cinema and Media. After graduating, she worked as a director, screenwriter and producer for several documentaries on art related topics, and also as a director of photography for two long feature films, and many other documentaries and short films.

In 2008, she made her first long feature film as a director, screenwriter and co-producer, Crossing Dates/ Intalniri Incrucisate (2008), a layered story that made Jay Weisseberg write in Variety “keep your eyes on Anca Damian”. The film was selected in international film festivals like Busan, Chicago, Goa, Cottbus, Goteborg and Rome.
In 2012, her second feature as Director, screenwriter and producer, Crulic – The Path To Beyond / Crulic Drumul Spre Dincolo, received international success. Both the autobiographic narration and theexperimental form ensured the Kafkaesque movie favour of many festival selectors – Locarno, Telluride,BFI London Film Festival, Annecy, Busan, New Directors/New Films in New York among others 250 festivals. The movie got more than 35 international prizes, among which the Cristal Award in Annecy.

In 2013, her next feature, A Very Unsettled Summer/O Vara Foarte Instabila an innovative look upon aPirandello-inspired love triangle, was an English- speaking film with international cast: Kim Bodnia, Jamie Sives and Ana Ularu. The coproduction also gathered Romanian, Swedish, Czech and UK partners.

In 2015, her second animated feature The Magic Mountain/Muntele Magic continues to establish Anca Damian’s visual innovation style combined with strong topics. The story of a Don Quixote in Afghanistan is also the second film of a trilogy that started with Crulic. It world premiered in Annecy, and had its international premiere in Karlovy Vary IFF international competition. It was selected in more than 60festivals, such as San Sebastian, Leipzig, Amiens, Busan and won 11 international prizes. Anca Damien was also the first to receive the Audentia Award in 2016 offered by Eurimages, which intends to celebrate women who have had the courage to become a director, by giving their work greater visibility and inspiring other women to follow in their footsteps.

In 2018, her most recent live action feature Moon Hotel Kabul premiered in Warsaw IFF, where it received the Best Director accolade, while her latest short animated feature The Call travelled the world in 40 international festivals, among which Annecy, Toronto, Sundance, and won 5 international prizes.

She was awarded the Mirada International Award in Madrid International Film Festival 2018 – New Directors Platform, for being “a total creator, a true landmark and an unchallenged inspiration for new directors”.

Ayumu Watanabe

Born in 1966, Watanabe joined Studio Mates in 1986 and debuted his first original picture with the same studio. In 1988 he moved to Shinei Videos and was active in a wide range of roles including key animator, animation director, and director.

Watanabe directed the short theatrical release Obachan no Omoide (2000), and the feature film Doraemon: Nobita’s Dragon 2006 (2006) and became a free agent in 2011. After that time, he tirelessly built up his directing portfolio with projects such as the TV series Mysterious Girlfriend X (2012), Danchi Tomoo (2012-15), If Her Flag Breaks (2014), Space Brothers (2012-14), and Ace Attorney (2016). Three TV series directed by Watanabe aired in 2018, including After the Rain, Gurazeni, and Major 2nd.

Children of the Sea is his fourth time directing a full-length theatrical release.

Marcell Jankovics

Marcell Jankovics has written, designed and directed several hundred animated short films: singles and series. He directed the first full-length animated film produced in Hungary, Johnny Corncob (1973). He was the leading director of the series Gustavus, Hungarian Folktales and Legends from the Hungarian History. Besides directing, he was the writer, storyboard and graphic designer, and part animator of his three full-length animated films: the aforementioned Johnny Corncob, Son of the White Mare (1981), and Song of the Miraculous Hind (2002), as well as of his independent short films. Since 1989 he had been working on the drama The Tragedy of Man, an animated feature adapting the work of noted Hungarian dramatist, Imre Madách, which was ultimately completed and released in 2011. His short films have been equally celebrated with Sisyphus (1974) having been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 48th Academy Awards, and Fight (1977) receiving a Palme d’Or for short film at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival.

Marcell Jankovics was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1941. In 1960, one year after leaving high school, he joined the Pannonia Film studio, where he began as an apprentice, but was soon appointed to as- sistant animator and then to animator. Since 1963 he has made animated films independently. In 1964 he was chosen to be a member of the directing triumvirate of the worldwide popular animated series Gustavus. Since 1965 he has worked as a film director. In 1995 he became Art Director of Pannonia Film studio, and was then its Managing Director from 1996–2007.

Since 1988 he has regularly made television programs and given talks on the radio on film-related sub- jects. He is the co-founder the DUNA TV (1992), a Hungarian-speaking channel with English subtitles covering half of the world. He was the co-author of the New Hungarian Encyclopaedia (1993–1997), and participated in the Hungarian pavilion of the EXPO 2000 in Hannover. From 1998–2000 he was the President of the National Cultural Fund of Hungary. He is a member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts, the President of the Hungarian Cultural Society (since 1998) and president of the St Stephen Founda- tion (since 2006). – World Cultural Council

Amp Wong

WHITE SNAKE
Amp was involved in the production of Little Door Gods, Tea Pets, Cats and Peachtopia.Before joining the Light Chaser Animation Studios, he worked in CGCG (Xiamen) Inc. and Imagi Animation Studios, as animation supervisor and assistant director,and participated in the Hollywood animation series such as Astro Boy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Green Lantern.

Ji Zhao

Ji Zhao studied at the Communication University of China and UCLA. He has nine years of working experience in the field of filmmaking and has participated in the editing of a number of films home and abroad, such as The Karate Kid: The Grandmaster, Swordsmen and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Zhao worked as the editor and post-production supervisor of Little Door Gods, Tea Pets, Cats and Peachtopia.

Zhao made his directorial debut with co-director Amp Wong on Light Chaser Animation’s 2019 film White Snake, a breakout success in China and an official selection of Animation Is Film. In 2021, Zhao directed New Gods: Nezha Reborn, the first film in Light Chaser Animation’s New Gods universe, which re-imagines classic Chinese mythology. Zhao’s latest film, New Gods: Yang Jian, is the follow-up to New Gods: Nezha Reborn and the second entrant in Light Chaser Animation’s exciting new world.

Yonfan

Yonfan wrote, directed and produced all 14 of his motion pictures.
Throughout his career, he gave Maggie Cheung her first on-screen romantic role and made Chow Yun-fat a box- office star, Story of Rose (1985), discovered Daniel Wu, Bishonen (1998) and revived the career of the legendary Rie Miyazawa, Peony Pavilion (2002). He has worked with practically every Chinese screen siren of his era. He has restored his complete film library and is now restoring his photographic work including images of China and Tibet in the late 70’s and 80’s.
As a connoisseur of Chinese paintings, Yonfan has made donations to Musée Guimet Paris and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. He has had books of his art collections, photography, memoirs of world cinema and short stories published in Chinese, English and Japanese.
No.7 Cherry Lane is Yonfan’s debut animation and his first new film in a decade (Prince of Tears in Venice Competition, 2009)

Marc Du Pontavice

Marc du Pontavice, Xilam Animation’s President, began his career with GAUMONT, where he co-founded GAUMONT Television (1991‐95), supervising the production of a hundred hours of prime time fiction, including the series Highlander. He created GAUMONT Multimedia, whose assets he acquired in 1999 to found Xilam Animation.
Since that time, Xilam has established itself as one of the world’s leaders in animation production, with several worldwide successes, including series such as Oggy and the Cockroaches or Zig & Sharko, all exec produced by Marc du Pontavice.
Xilam has won several awards (7 nominations and two prizes at the Annecy festival). In the past two decades, the company has built up a catalogue of over 2000 animation series episodes, broadcast in more than 190 countries. Today, Xilam employs over 400 people, including 300 artists.
Marc du Pontavice has also produced a dozen feature films; live action films (such as the acclaimed Gainsbourg, a Heroic Life by Joann Sfar) and animation movies (I Lost My Body by Jeremy Clapin), films which have been selected for competition in major festivals (Cannes, Venice, Annecy, etc) and which have been awarded three “Césars.”

Makoto Shinkai

Makoto Shinkai was born in Nagano prefecture in 1973.

In 2002, he debuted with self-produced Voices of a Distant Star, which won many awards including Best Public Submission at the Tokyo International Anime Fair 21. His first feature released in 2004, The Place Promised in Our Early Days won Best Animated Film in the 59th Mainichi Film Awards. In 2007, 5 Centimeters Per Second won Best Animated Feature Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and the Lancia Platinum Grand Prize at the Future Film Festival in Italy. In 2011, Children Who Chase Lost Voices was released nationwide and won the Golden Monkey King Award at the 8th China International Cartoon and Animation Festival. In 2013, The Garden of Words won Best Anime Feature Film in Germany’s Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film.

In 2016, Your Name was released to great commercial success, becoming the second-highest-grossing film behind Spirited Away (2001). At the 40th Japan Academy Prize, it won Excellent Animation of the Year and Screenplay of the Year, a first for an animated film. Also critically acclaimed overseas, it won many awards including Best Animated Feature Length Film at the 49th Sitges Film Festival, as well as Best Animated Film at the 42nd Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

Atsuya Uki

In 2006, a short film Uki created for a university graduation project was selected as the first sponsored work by the Tokyo Douga Kakumei [Anime Innovation Tokyo]. The short animation based on the project CENCOROLL was released in 2009 and met with highly favorable reception. Uki later worked as a character designer for titles such as the 2012 television anime Tsuritama, directed by Kenji Nakamura, and the theatrical and OVA title Digimon Adventure tri., directed by Keitarou Motonaga, between 2015 and 2018. In addition to anime production, Uki works as a manga artist and illustrator.

Rebecca Sugar

Rebecca Sugar is the creator of Cartoon Network’s six-time Emmy-nominated series Steven Universe, an animated slice-of-life action comedy revolving around Steven, the “little brother” to a team of magical aliens—the Crystal Gems—who defend the planet Earth.
After graduating from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) with a BFA in Animation, Sugar joined Adventure Time in 2009. During her time on the iconic series as a storyboard artist and writer, Sugar garnered both Emmy nominations and an Annie Award win, as well a deep fan base following the many songs she wrote for the show.
Sugar’s work has been hailed for its inclusion, making history as the first animated series to win a GLAAD Media Award in 2019, with previous nominations in 2017 and 2018. The series was also awarded the 2018 Peabody Award in the Children and Youth Entertainment category.
Sugar was also included in Variety’s Hollywood’s New Leaders 2016: The Creatives list, where she was recognized alongside other notable artists such as Damien Chazelle, Jerrod Carmichael and Donald Glover. A children’s book adaptation of the Emmy-nominated Steven Universe episode “The Answer” also written by Sugar was released on Sept. 6., 2016 where it became a New York Times bestseller.

Filmmaker Q&A, Special Event

Ne Zha

October 20, 2019 4:30 pm

SPECIAL SCREENING AND DISCUSSION WITH COLOROOM FOUNDER, YI QIAO

Jérémy Clapin

In the late 1990’s, Jérémy Clapin studied animation and illustration at the École des Arts Décoratifs de Paris (Paris Decorative Arts School). After graduating in 1999, he started working in 2000 as an illustrator and directed his first short film in 2004, Une Histoire Vertébrale (A Vertebral Story), which was very well received in festivals. In 2008, in Skhizein, he told the story of a man hit by a meteorite who finds himself shifted 91 cm from his physical body, thus rendered invisible. Jérémy Clapin then worked in advertising and in 2012 he made Palmipedarium, in which he chose a way to do animation that is much closer to live action.

Europe

Zog

UK · 2019 · 30 min
In English

A true global fan favorite, ZOG won Audience Prizes in three different countries in 2019 (including, most recently, the USA’s New York International Children’s Film Festival). The latest from Magic Light Pictures – the Oscar nominated creators of THE GRUFFALO, ROOM ON THE BROOM and REVOLTING RHYMES – Zog tells the crowd-pleasing, family-friendly story of a young fire breather and his first days at Dragon School.

Animation Is Film is proud to present the Los Angeles premiere of ZOG.

See the short, introduced by director Max Lang, and stay for a Q+A!


Related Events

Filmmaker Q&A, LA Premiere, Special Event

Zog: The Making of

October 19, 2019 10:30 am

FREE TO THE PUBLIC! SPACE IS LIMITED!

Academy Award nominated director Max Lang will be here in-person to introduce the film and answer your questions afterward!

Filmmaker Q&A, Special Event

Hair Love: The Making of

October 19, 2019 11:30 am
Sold Out

MATTHEW A. CHERRY IN-PERSON!

FREE TO THE PUBLIC! SPACE IS LIMITED!

Hair Love

Matthew A. Cherry · Everett Downing · Karen Toliver
US · 2019 · 6 min
In English

Hair Love is a story about learning something new.

In 2007, after retiring from the NFL, Matthew A. Cherry moved to Los Angeles, and switched gears to begin work as a production assistant.  After working on over forty commercials, he developed his skills as a director, transitioning from music videos to his first feature film (2012’s THE LAST FALL).

In 2017, he launched a Kickstarter campaign for an animated short about a black father’s struggle to learn how to style his young daughter’s hair. It became the most highly funded short film campaign in the platform’s history and was later released in theaters nationwide.

Join director/writer/producer Matthew A. Cherry, director Everett Downing Jr., and producer Karen Rupert Toliver for a screening of the short and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of HAIR LOVE.


Related Events

Filmmaker Q&A, Special Event

Klaus: Behind the Scenes

October 20, 2019 11:00 am

Animation Is Film is proud to present this exclusive sneak peek at one of the most highly anticipated animated features of the year – Netflix’s KLAUS! Hear from filmmakers – director Sergio Pablos (live, via satellite) and Animation Supervisor Matt Williames (live, in-person) – about the production, and see never-before-seen footage of this groundbreaking new film.

Europe

Klaus

Sergio Pablo · Matt Williames
Spain · 2019 · 98 min
In English

When Jesper (Jason Schwartzman) distinguishes himself as the postal academy’s worst student, he is stationed on a frozen island above the Arctic Circle, where the feuding locals hardly exchange words let alone letters. Jesper is about to give up when he finds an ally in local teacher Alva (Rashida Jones), and discovers Klaus (Oscar winner J.K. Simmons), a mysterious carpenter who lives alone in a cabin full of handmade toys. These unlikely friendships return laughter to Smeerensburg, forging a new legacy of generous neighbors, magical lore and stockings hung by the chimney with care.

An animated holiday comedy directed by Despicable Me co-creator Sergio Pablos, KLAUS co-stars Joan Cusack, Will Sasso and Norm Macdonald.


Related Events

Special Event

The Best of Annecy: Spotlight on Women Directors

October 20, 2019 11:00 am
Sold Out

Showcasing some of the best animated shorts directed by women in 2019, this special program features a diverse array of beautiful, thought-provoking short films from around the world.

Ramen (Gobelins / Various / 1 min)
Nuit Cherie (dir. Lia Bertels / Belgium / 14 min)
Sister (dir. Siqi Song / USA-China / 8 min)
Daughter (dir. Daria Kashcheeva / Czech Republic / 15 min)
The Elephant’s Song (dir. Lynn Tomlinson / USA / 8 min)
Uncle Thomas (dir. Regina Pessoa / Canada-France-Portual / 13 min)
Mimi (dir. Lisa Fukaya / Denmark / 5 min)
Symbiosis (dir. Nadja Andrasev / France-Hungary / 13 min)
Story (dir. Jolanta Bankowska / Poland / 5 min)

 

Special Event

Steven Universe The Movie

October 20, 2019 1:15 pm
Sold Out

A rare chance to see Steven, in all his singing glory, on the big screen in his biggest adventure yet. Presented with behind-the-scenes footage.

Featuring a special Q&A with Co-Executive Producers Kat Morris & Joe Johnston.

RUSH TICKETS AVAILABLE 

Sergio Pablo

Sergio Pablos’s experience in the Animation field has not only been limited to the Original Story or Executive Production of the well-known Despicable Me feature hit. His career includes credits as Supervising Animator for Disney titles such as Tarzan, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Hercules just to name a few.

Sergio’s work has led him to be nominated twice to the Annie Awards: for his Character Design work on Fox’s Rio and for his Character Animation on Disney’s Treasure Planet. Sergio is currently writing and directing the original animated feature Klaus at the Sergio Pablos Animation Studios in Madrid, Spain.

Gitanjali Rao

Gitanjali Rao emerged into the international stage with her animated short, ‘Printed Rainbow’ which premiered in Cannes Critic’s week 2006 and won the Kodak Discovery Award, Petite Rail D’Or and Prix Du Jeune. The film went on to win 25 awards and was short listed for the Oscar in 2008.

Her four independently produced animated shorts, Printed Rainbow, Blue, Orange and TrueLoveStory, have been to over 150 International film festivals and received over 30 awards. She has just completed her debut Animated feature Film, Bombay Rose.

Justin Chang

Justin Chang is a film critic for the Los Angeles Times and for NPR’s “Fresh Air”,” and a regular contributor to KPCC’s “FilmWeek.” Before joining The Times, he was chief film critic at Variety. He is the author of the book “FilmCraft: Editing” and serves as chair of the National Society of Film Critics and secretary of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. In 2014 he received the inaugural Roger Ebert Award from the African-American Film Critics Assn. A Southern California native and USC graduate, he lives with his wife and daughter in Pasadena.

Matthew A. Cherry

Chicago native Matthew A. Cherry is a former NFL wide receiver turned filmmaker who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers and the Baltimore Ravens.

In 2007 he retired and moved to LA to pursue a career in entertainment landing work as a production assistant on over 40 commercials and as a director for over 20 music videos. Matthew received his first credit in 2008 when directed a music video for R&B artist Terry Dexter. Since then he has gone on to direct music videos for Michelle Williams featuring Beyonce & Kelly Rowland, Tweet, Jazmine Sullivan, Lalah Hathaway, Kindred The Family Soul, Snoop Dogg, The Foreign Exchange, Bilal, N’Dambi, Maysa Leak, Dwele, Najee, K’Jon and Chloe X Halle. In addition to directing music videos Matthew directed the short film entitled This Time starring Reagan Gomez-Preston & Terri J. Vaughn and recently released a new short film entitled Forward which premiered on Ebony.com. Matthew also writes & directs web series like the award winning series “Almost 30” and “Almost Home”.

Matthew is also a feature filmmaker and first feature film The Last Fall starred Lance Gross, Nicole Beharie, Vanessa Bell Calloway Keith David, Harry Lennix and Darrin Dewitt Henson. The Last Fall made its world premiere at SXSW Film Festival and received awards at the African American Film Festival (ABFF) for Best Screenplay and Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (MVAFF) for the HBO Best Feature Film Award. After a limited theatrical release The Last Fall was acquired by Image Entertainment in Fall 2012 and made itstelevision premiere on BET in December 2012 and is currently streaming on Netflix and Hulu.
Matthew’s latest feature film 9 Rides premiered at SXSW 2016 in the Narrative Spotlight category and stars Dorian Missick, Omar Dorsey, Robinne Lee, Xosha Roquemore, Amin Joseph, Skye P. Marshall, Thomas Q. Jones & Tracie Thoms and is about a Uber driver who gets life changing news on New Years Eve. It was shot on the iPhone 6s.

Most recently Matthew directed upcoming episodes of the TBS series ‘The Last OG’ with Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish, the CBS drama event series ‘The Red Line’ executive produced by Ava Duvernay & Greg
Berlanti and the hit new ABC action comedy series ‘Whiskey’ Cavalier which stars Scott Foley & Laura Cohan. Matthew was also an executive producer on the Academy Award nominated film BlackKklansman from Spike Lee and is a Co-Producer on the TBS series The Last OG. His current project is titled Hair Love and it is an animated short film about an African American father trying to do his daughters hair for the first time and he recently partnered with Sony Pictures Animation on the project.

Matthew works at Jordan Peele’s production Company Monkeypaw (Us, Get Out, Twilight Zone) as a film and television executive.

Suzanne Buirgy

Suzanne Buirgy has created an impressive roster of credits in her 20-year career in Animation and Visual Effects. Suzanne began her career at Digital Domain, one of the premiere VFX houses in the country, where she spent nine years serving as DPM on a variety of films including How the Grinch Stole Christmas, XXX, The Italian Job and Peter Pan.

After arriving at DreamWorks Animation in 2005, Suzanne jumped into the role of Production Executive and worked on a number of films in that capacity including Over the Hedge,Kung Fu Panda, and Shrek the Third before moving into the role of Producer.

Suzanne was an Associate Producer on How to Train Your Dragonand acted as Co-Producer on Kung Fu Panda 2, which garnered an Academy Award® nomination for DreamWorks in 2012. She also produced Home which was released in March of 2015 and starred Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Steve Martin.

Currently, Suzanne is serving as producer on Abominable, a co-production between DreamWorks Animation and China’s Pearl Studio. Directed by Jill Culton and Co-directed by Todd Wilderman, it is slated for release in the fall of 2019.

Additionally, this native Californian spent a number of years on the road as a touring singer-songwriter. As a member of the all-girl band The Riveters, Suzanne played extensively in Los Angeles. She began her touring career after winning the prestigious “New Folk” award at the Kerrville Folk Festival and co-produced three records as a solo artist. Her beginnings as an actress in the long-running musical revue, A 5-6-7-8 as well as a principal role in the first national touring company of The New York Shakespeare Festival’s The Pirates of Penzance round out her eclectic career.

Suzanne draws upon her creative background and a degree from the University of Hard Knocks, adding her practiced understanding of both entertainment and production to the success of DreamWorks Animation films.

Europe

I Lost My Body

Jérémy Clapin · Marc Du Pontavice
France · 2019
In French

In a Parisian laboratory, a severed hand escapes its unhappy fate and sets out to reconnect with its body in this Cannes Critics’ Week selection. During a hair-raising escapade across the city, the extremity fends off pigeons and rats alike to reunite with pizza boy Naoufel. Its memories of Naoufel and his love for librarian Gabrielle may provide answers about what caused the hand’s separation, and a poetic backdrop for a possible reunion between the three. Based on the novel “Happy Hand” by Academy Award® nominee Guillaume Laurant (Amelie)


Related Events

Filmmaker Q&A, LA Premiere

I Lost My Body

October 20, 2019 7:30 pm
Sold Out

INTRO & Q+A w/ DIRECTOR JÉRÉMY CLAPIN AND PRODUCER MARC DU PONTAVICE

Los Angeles Premiere, presented in partnership with COLCOA French Film Festival

The most celebrated animated film so far this year, Jérémy Clapin’s I Lost My Body claimed the Nespresso Grand Prize in Critics’ Week at Cannes as well as both the Cristal for Best Feature Film and the Audience Prize at Annecy.

US Premiere

Bombay Rose

October 20, 2019 4:30 pm
West Coast Premiere

SHe

October 19, 2019 9:30 pm
Filmmaker Q&A, US Premiere

No. 7 Cherry Lane

October 20, 2019 1:15 pm
Sold Out

INTRO & Q+A w/ DIRECTOR YONFAN

Filmmaker Q&A, Opening Night, US Premiere

Weathering With You: Screening #2

October 18, 2019 8:30 pm
Sold Out

Weathering With You is the highly-anticipated new film from director Makoto Shinkai and producer Genki Kawamura, the creative team behind the critically-acclaimed, global smash hit Your Name.

The summer of his high school freshman year, Hodaka runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo, and quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits. The weather is unusually gloomy and rainy every day, as if to suggest his future. He lives his days in isolation, but finally finds work as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. Then one day, Hodaka meets Hina on a busy street corner. This bright and strong-willed girl possesses a strange and wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky. With stunning visuals, depicting both the intricate detail of the Tokyo streets, to the sweeping beauty of a rain streaked sky, Weathering With You combines the artistry and powerful emotional pull that has come to define director Makoto Shinkai’s films.

Already a box office hit in Japan, Weathering With You is Japan’s official International Feature Film entry to the 2020 Academy Awards®. A GKIDS release.

From October 18-20, visit JAPAN HOUSE Library, Level 5 (located in Hollywood & Highland) to see Weathering With You storyboards created by Makoto Shinkai.  This exhibit is free, visit www.japanhouse.jp/losangeles for more details.

Filmmaker Q&A, West Coast Premiere

White Snake

October 20, 2019 7:30 pm

INTRO & Q+A w/ CO-DIRECTOR JI ZHAO!

Anime

Weathering With You

Makoto Shinkai
Japan · 2019 · 111 min
In Japanese

Weathering With You is the highly-anticipated new film from director Makoto Shinkai and producer Genki Kawamura, the creative team behind the critically-acclaimed, global smash hit Your Name.

The summer of his high school freshman year, Hodaka runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo, and quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits. The weather is unusually gloomy and rainy every day, as if to suggest his future. He lives his days in isolation, but finally finds work as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. Then one day, Hodaka meets Hina on a busy street corner. This bright and strong-willed girl possesses a strange and wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky. With stunning visuals, depicting both the intricate detail of the Tokyo streets, to the sweeping beauty of a rain streaked sky, Weathering With You combines the artistry and powerful emotional pull that has come to define director Makoto Shinkai’s films.

Already a box office hit in Japan, Weathering With You is Japan’s official International Feature Film entry to the 2020 Academy Awards®.

A GKIDS release.

Filmmaker Q&A, Opening Night, US Premiere

Weathering With You: Screening #1

October 18, 2019 7:30 pm
Sold Out

Featuring an introduction and a Q&A after the showing with Director Makoto Shinkai.

Europe

The Swallows of Kabul

Critically embraced after its Un Certain Regard screening in Cannes, Zabou Breitman and Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec’s harrowing story of two Afghani couples living under the shadow of the Taliban (based on the novel by Yasmina Khadra) has enjoyed universal acclaim on the festival circuit.

Summer 1998 – Kabul under Taliban rule. Zunaira and Mohsen are young and in love. Despite the daily violence and misery, they hope for a better future. One day, a foolish gesture causes life to take an irrevocable turn.


Related Events

Filmmaker Q&A, LA Premiere

The Swallows of Kabul

October 19, 2019 7:30 pm

INTRO & Q+A w/ DIRECTOR ELÉA GOBBÉ-MÉVELLEC

LA Premiere, Special Event

Son of the White Mare

October 19, 2019 4:15 pm

Ride Your Wave

Masaaki Yuasa
Japan · 2019
In Japanese

From visionary director Masaaki Yuasa (The Night is Short, Walk on Girl; Lu Over the Wall) comes a deeply emotional new film that applies his trademark visual ingenuity to a tale of romance, grief and self-discovery.
Hinako is a surf-loving college student who has just moved to a small seaside town. When a sudden fire breaks out at her apartment building, she is rescued by Minato, a handsome firefighter, and the two soon fall in love. Just as they become inseparable, Minato loses his life in an accident at sea. Hinako is so distraught that she can no longer even look at the ocean, but one day she sings a song that reminds her of their time together, and Minato appears in the water. From then on, she can summon him in any watery surface as soon as she sings their song, but can the two really remain together forever? And what is the real reason for Minato’s sudden reappearance?


Related Events

West Coast Premiere

Ride Your Wave

October 19, 2019 7:30 pm
Sold Out
Europe

Marona’s Fantastic Tale

Anca Damian
France · 2019
In French

With the release of her Cristal Award-winning Crulic – The Path to Beyond in 2011, Anca Damian’s presence was announced like a lightning bolt. Since then, the subjects of her films – the narratives and the documentaries, the live-action as well as the animation – are united by their abiding senses of empathy and humanity.  Her latest takes these traits and casts them upon a traveler of the four-legged variety.

Marona is a mixed-breed Labrador whose life leaves deep traces among the humans she encounters. After an accident, she reflects on all the homes and different experiences she’s had. As Marona’s memory journeys into the past, her unfailing empathy and love brings lightness and innocence into each of her owners’ lives, in this beautiful and deeply emotional story of an average dog and her extraordinary life.

 


Related Events

Filmmaker Q&A, US Premiere

Marona’s Fantastic Tale

October 19, 2019 1:30 pm

INTRO & Q+A w/ DIRECTOR ANCA DAMIAN

Children of the Sea

Ayumu Watanabe
Japan · 2019 · 111 min
In Japanese

Children of the Sea is the latest feature from Japan’s Studio 4°C, the acclaimed studio behind AIF alumni MFKZ and Mind Game, and is directed by Ayumu Watanabe, with a score by award-winning composer and longtime Studio Ghibli collaborator Joe Hisaishi (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro). The film is adapted from the manga of the same name by author Daisuke Igarashi, which won the Excellence Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival.

When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea as she does. Ruka’s dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the oceans’ fish.

Adapting the gorgeous, textured visuals from the acclaimed manga with the stirringly emotive compositions of Joe Hisaishi, Children of the Sea is a wholly unique, sensory experience


Related Events

Filmmaker Q&A, US Premiere

Children of the Sea

October 19, 2019 4:15 pm

INTRO & Q+A w/ DIRECTOR AYUMU WATANABE

Special Event

Cencoroll Connect

October 19, 2019 1:30 pm

Events

October 18, 2019

October 19, 2019

October 20, 2019

Jury

Allison Abbate

Allison Abbate is an executive vice president at Warner Animation Group. Prior to assuming her post at WAG, Abbate was an executive producer on the global blockbuster The LEGO® Movie, and a producer on Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie and Corpse Bride, Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Brad Bird’s Iron Giant.

Read More

Anne Thompson

Born and raised in New York, IndieWire Editor at Large Anne Thompson has been a contributor to the New York Times, Washington Post, The Observer, and Wired. She has served as film columnist at Variety and deputy editor of Variety.com. Anne was the Deputy Film Editor at The Hollywood Reporter, the West Coast Editor of Premiere, a Senior Writer at Entertainment Weekly, and West Coast Editor for Film Comment.

Read More

Carolyn Giardina

Carolyn Giardina is Tech Editor at The Hollywood Reporter and writes its Behind the Screen blog. In 2015, Carolyn was presented American Cinema Editors’ Robert Wise Award, which recognizes a journalist for contributions to film editing. She was the 2011 recipient of the International Cinematographers Guild’s Technicolor William A. Fraker Award for journalistic contributions to cinematography.

Read More

Charles Solomon

An internationally respected critic and historian of animation.

Read More

Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Jennifer Yuh Nelson made her feature film directorial debut with Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011), which earned more than $665 million at the worldwide box-office. She continued on to direct the franchise’s successful follow-up Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016). Nelson has lent her talents to a variety of DreamWorks Animation pictures, including as head of […]

Read More

Jorge R. Gutiérrez

Jorge R. Gutiérrez is a painter, writer and director born in Mexico City and raised in Tijuana. Gutierrez has completed various films, cartoons, and paintings exploring his love of Mexican pop and folk culture.

Read More

Justin Chang

Justin Chang is a film critic for the Los Angeles Times and for NPR’s “Fresh Air”,” and a regular contributor to KPCC’s “FilmWeek.” Before joining The Times, he was chief film critic at Variety. He is the author of the book “FilmCraft: Editing” and serves as chair of the National Society of Film Critics and […]

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Mabel Tam

Mabel Tam is VP/Head Film Buyer of LANDMARK THEATRES. Landmark Theatres is the nation’s largest theatre chain dedicated to exhibiting and marketing independent film. A 16 year veteran of the entertainment industry, she is a graduate of UCLA and resides in LA with her family.

Read More

Matthew A. Cherry

Chicago native Matthew A. Cherry is a former NFL wide receiver turned filmmaker who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers and the Baltimore Ravens. In 2007 he retired and moved to LA to pursue a career in entertainment landing work as a production assistant on over 40 commercials and as a director […]

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Melissa Cobb

Melissa Cobb is Vice President, Kids and Family at Netflix, the world’s leading internet entertainment service. Cobb leads the content team responsible for bringing kids and family titles, both live-action and animated, to Netflix members in 190 countries around the world. Prior to Netflix, Cobb was Chief Creative Officer for Oriental DreamWorks, where she oversaw […]

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Peter Debruge

Peter Debruge is Variety’s Chief International Film Critic.

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Suzanne Buirgy

Suzanne Buirgy has created an impressive roster of credits in her 20-year career in Animation and Visual Effects. Suzanne began her career at Digital Domain, one of the premiere VFX houses in the country, where she spent nine years serving as DPM on a variety of films including How the Grinch Stole Christmas, XXX, The […]

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Anime, Beijing 2019, Mamoru Hosoda

The Boy and the Beast

The latest film from award-winning Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda (Summer Wars, Wolf Children): When Kyuta, a young orphan living on the streets of Shibuya, stumbles into a fantastic world of beasts, he’s takin in by Kumatetsu, a gruff, rough-around-the-edges warrior beast who’s been searching for the perfect apprentice.
Despite their constant bickering, Kyuta and Kumatetsu begin training together and slowly form a bond as surrogate father and son. But when a deep darkness threatens to throw the human and beast worlds into chaos, the strong bond between this unlikely pair will be put to the ultimate test – a final showdown that will only be won if the two can finally work together using all of their combined strength and courage.

Courtesy of Funimation Entertainment

Anime, Beijing 2019, Mamoru Hosoda

Mirai

Mamoru Hosoda
Japan · 2018
In Japanese

The latest from acclaimed director Mamoru Hosoda – whose The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, Wolf Children and Boy and the Beast are also playing the festival. Mirai is a daringly original story of love passed down through generations and brings together two of Hosoda’s most resonant themes: the importance of family and the ability to pass through time. When four-year-old Kun meets his new baby sister, his world is turned upside down. Named Mirai (meaning “future”), the baby quickly wins the hearts of Kun’s entire family. As his mother returns to work and his father struggles to Run the household, Kun becomes increasingly jealous of baby Mirai… until one day he storms off into the garden, where he encounters strange guests from the past and future – including his sister Mirai, as a teenager. Together, Kun and teenage Mirai go on a journey through time and space, uncovering their family’s incredible story. But why did Mirai come from the future?

An official selection at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, and the epic capstone of director Mamoru Hosoda’s career, Mirai is a sumptuous, magical, and emotionally soaring adventure about the ties that bring families together and make us who we are.

A GKIDS release

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. “Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse” introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.

Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Jennifer Yuh Nelson made her feature film directorial debut with Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011), which earned more than $665 million at the worldwide box-office. She continued on to direct the franchise’s successful follow-up Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016). Nelson has lent her talents to a variety of DreamWorks Animation pictures, including as head of story for Kung Fu Panda (2008), and story artist on Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) and Madagascar (2005). Prior to joining DreamWorks Animation, Nelson worked at HBO Animation and served as director, story artist and character designer for HBO’s animated series Spawn, which won an Emmy Award in 1999 for Outstanding Animated Program. She also worked as an illustrator and story artist for the live action film Dark City (1998) for Mystery Clock Productions. She made her live action directing debut with The Darkest Minds (2018), for Twentieth Century Fox. She is currently developing properties both in animation and live action.

Melissa Cobb

Melissa Cobb is Vice President, Kids and Family at Netflix, the world’s leading internet entertainment service. Cobb leads the content team responsible for bringing kids and family titles, both live-action and animated, to Netflix members in 190 countries around the world. Prior to Netflix, Cobb was Chief Creative Officer for Oriental DreamWorks, where she oversaw development and production, business strategy, production strategy and more for a slate of high-quality animated feature films targeted to a global audience. She also served as a producer at DreamWorks Animation, responsible for animated feature films, including the Academy Award-nominated Kung Fu Panda trilogy. Before joining DreamWorks, Cobb was at 20th Century Fox Feature Animation (Titan A.E. and Ever After) and Walt Disney Pictures, where she was responsible for discovering and developing live-action titles. Cobb earned an M.B.A. from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA and a Bachelor of Science from Stanford University.

Masaaki Yuasa

Masaaki Yuasa is a Japanese animation director, scriptwriter, designer, and CEO of Science SARU. After graduating Kyushu Sangyo University’s majored Fine Arts, he joined Ajia-do (an animation studio in Tokyo) and became a key animator for the anime TV show Chibi Maruko-chan, he also did the animation for the first opening, Full of Dreams, and the ending, Dancing Pompokolin. After becoming freelance, he did the background set design and key animation for the Crayon Shin-chan movies. He also wrote the script for his first directorial work, the 2004 Mind Game, which won the Animation Division Grand Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival put on by the Agency for Cultural Affairs Japan, as well many other awards. He would go on to direct his first original TV anime, Kemonozume (2006) as well as the 2010 The Tatami Galaxy, based off a book by Tomihiko Morimi, both of which won many awards.

In 2014, he also directed, wrote the script, and did storyboarding for Food Chain, an episode of the popular American TV series Adventure Time. This episode was popular enough that he was nominated for the Director’s Award (TV Division) at the American Annie Awards. Lu Over the Wall (2017) is his latest film and it won Cristal for a Feature Film at Annecy International Animation Film Festival.

Anne Thompson

Born and raised in New York, IndieWire Editor at Large Anne Thompson has been a contributor to the New York Times, Washington Post, The Observer, and Wired. She has served as film columnist at Variety, and deputy editor of Variety.com, where her daily blog, “Thompson on Hollywood,” launched in March 2007. Anne was the Deputy Film Editor at The Hollywood Reporter, the West Coast Editor of Premiere, a Senior Writer at Entertainment Weekly, and West Coast Editor for Film Comment. She wrote the film industry column “Risky Business” for L.A. Weekly and the Los Angeles Times syndicate. A graduate of the Department of Cinema Studies at New York University, she has taught film criticism at USC and hosts the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.

Carolyn Giardina

Carolyn Giardina is Tech Editor at The Hollywood Reporter and writes its Behind the Screen blog. Her work as an editor, reporter or columnist has also appeared in titles such as CinemaEditor, SHOOT, British Cinematographer and SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal . She’s co-author of Exploring 3D: The New Grammar of Stereoscopic Filmmaking (Focal Press, 2012). In 2015, Carolyn was presented American Cinema Editors’ Robert Wise Award, which recognizes a journalist for contributions to film editing. She was the 2011 recipient of the International Cinematographers Guild’s Technicolor William A. Fraker Award for journalistic contributions to cinematography.

Peter Debruge

Variety’s Chief International Film Critic, Peter is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin’s film studies program. Prior to Variety, he spent four years working as an editor for AOL Moviefone. In addition to hundreds of reviews for the Austin Chronicle, Miami Herald and Premiere, his writing on film has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Life, Creative Screenwriting, Backstory and IndieWire. Peter also contributed to the book Variety’s The Movie That Changed My Life.

Mabel Tam

Mabel Tam is VP/Head Film Buyer of LANDMARK THEATRES. Landmark Theatres is the nation’s largest theatre chain dedicated to exhibiting and marketing independent film. A 16 year veteran of the entertainment industry, she is a graduate of UCLA and resides in LA with her family.

Jorge R. Gutiérrez

Jorge R. Gutiérrez is a painter, writer and director born in Mexico City and raised in Tijuana. Gutierrez has completed various films, cartoons, and paintings exploring his love of Mexican pop and folk culture. He and his wife Sandra Equihua created the multiple Emmy Award-winning animated television series, “El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera” for Nickelodeon, and he most recently co-wrote and directed “The Book of Life” for Reel FX and 20th Century Fox, which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film

Charles Solomon

An internationally respected critic and historian of animation, Charles Solomon has written on the subject for the New York Times, Newsweek (Japan), Rolling Stone, the Los Angeles Times, The International Herald Tribune, Variety, the Manchester Guardian, and National Public Radio. His books include “The Art of Frozen,” “The Art of the Disney Golden Books,” “The Toy Story Films: An Animated Journey,” “Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Disney’s Animated Classic Beauty and the Beast,” “The Art of Toy Story 3,” “Enchanted Drawings: The History of Animation,” which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and the first film book to be nominated for a National Book Critics’Circle Award. In 2008, he received the LA Press Club Award for radio feature reporting. In 2015, AISFA/Hollywood’s June Foray for service to the art of animation.

Allison Abbate

Allison Abbate is an executive vice president at Warner Animation Group (WAG), a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment. Prior to assuming her post at WAG, Abbate was an executive producer on the global blockbuster The LEGO® Movie, written and directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord; and a producer on Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie and Corpse Bride, Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Brad Bird’s directorial debut, Iron Giant.

The many honors earned by The LEGO Movie include a BAFTA Award, New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) Award for Best Animated Feature, a Golden Globe nomination, and placing second in the balloting from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA). Corpse Bride was nominated for an Oscar and BAFTA Award; Fantastic Mr. Fox earned Oscar, BAFTA Award and Golden Globe nominations, and won the NYFCC’s and LAFCA’s Awards for Best Animated Feature; and Abbate earned a BAFTA Award for The Iron Giant.

Her additional credits include producing the animation for Looney Tunes: Back in Action, co-producing the Academy Award-nominated Mickey Mouse short Runaway Brain, and co-producing Space Jam, which broke new ground by combining classic animated Warner Bros. characters with live action sequences.

Abbate began her career working on several of Disney’s most beloved animated films, including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Rescuers Down Under and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.

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