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.

Bonnie Arnold

A leading force in imaginative storytelling, Bonnie Arnold is a prolific film producer whose work spans myriad genres, and appeals to multiple generations. Bonnie is a Golden Globe winner, and an Academy Award® nominee. For the past two and a half years, Bonnie served as President / Co President of Feature Animation at DreamWorks Animation, overseeing an impressive slate that included such recent successes as “Kung Fu Panda 3,” “Trolls,” and “The Boss Baby”. She is currently serving as a producer on the upcoming “How To Train Your Dragon 3,” set for release in 2019, in addition to the film adaptation of Cressida Cowell’s upcoming book series “The Wizards of Once”.

Bonnie produced the critically acclaimed “How to Train Your Dragon” and its sequel, “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” based on the popular books series (also by Cressida Cowell). Bonnie championed the story of Hiccup and Toothless from the start and was instrumental in bringing the successful franchise to screen. Both films were nominated for Academy Awards®, and received multiple nominations from the HFPA, PGA and BFCA, in addition to winning numerous awards and accolades from ASIFA-Hollywood (the Annies) and the Visual Effects Society. “How to Train Your Dragon 2” won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature and was the top-grossing animated of 2014, with a global box office exceeding $620 million.

The combined global revenue for Bonnie’s film producing efforts throughout her career reaches over $2.2 billion at the box office.

An accomplished filmmaker in almost every genre, Bonnie’s credits range from producing Sony Pictures Classics’ “The Last Station,” which garnered two Academy Award® nominations, as well as nominations from the Screen Actors Guild; the HFPA; and the Independent Spirit Awards, including a nomination for Best Picture — to Disney’s history-making beloved animated feature sensation, “Toy Story.” In addition Bonnie produced DreamWorks Animation’s 2006 animated comedy “Over the Hedge,” and Disney’s animated blockbuster “Tarzan.”

Bonnie’s previous production credits span a broad range, including the Oscar®-winning epic western “Dances with Wolves” and the hit comedy “The Addams Family.”

Her first entertainment industry job as unit publicist for American Playhouse’s debut production, “King Of America” quickly led to a variety of assignments including Neil Simon’s “The Slugger’s Wife” and Peter Weir’s “The Mosquito Coast”. Her hard work led to her being noticed by Columbia Pictures’ David Picker and resulted in an opportunity to move to Hollywood where she continued to gain producing experience on films such as “Hero” starring Dustin Hoffman, “The Mighty Quinn” with Denzel Washington and REVENGE with Kevin Costner.

Amidst the breadth of her career, Bonnie has also maintained an interest in educating future generations. She serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board of Boston University’s School of Communications and on the Board of Counselors at USC’s Annenberg School of Communications, as well as being a mentor for the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC. In addition, she is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Brenda Chapman

Brenda Chapman


Brenda Chapman started her career as a story artist at Walt Disney Feature Animation in 1987, where she worked on films such as The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, the Oscar nominated Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Fantasia 2000. Chapman was the story supervisor on The Lion King, for which she won the Annie Award.

Chapman then helped launch DreamWorks Animation Studios, where she co-directed the 1998 release of the Oscar winning Prince of Egypt. Chapman was the first woman to direct an animated feature for a major Hollywood studio, for which she won the Movieguide Epiphany and Teddy Awards.

She joined Pixar Animation Studios in September 2003 as a senior story artist on Cars. Chapman then created, wrote and directed Brave – inspired by her relationship with her own daughter – for which she won an Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film.

Other awards include the Novus Creative Catalyst Award, the 2013 Burbank International Film Festival’s Feature Animation Honoree Award and the San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival Achievement Award.

Chapman has helped to develop and consult on films for several studios over many years which include not only Disney, DreamWorks and Pixar, but also Universal, Sony, Lucasfilm and Fox.

Currently, Chapman is writing, directing and producing several projects in different stages of development. She has been engaged to write and direct a Chinese financed/American made feature-animated film – working title Truth for Truth Pictures and is attached to direct Come Away, a live action film written by Marissa Goodhill. She is also collaborating on a hybrid script, working title The Touch, with her husband, director Kevin Lima (Enchanted, A Goofy Movie, Disney’s Tarzan).

Peter Debruge

Peter Debruge is Variety’s Chief International Film Critic. He first joined the Variety team in 2005 as a features editor, compiling the magazine’s annual 10 Actors, Directors and Screenwriters to Watch lists as well as overseeing a range of special editorial sections, including those tied to the magazine’s philanthropy-driven Power of Youth and Power of Comedy events. In 2014, Peter relocated to Paris to head up Variety’s team of international critics, both on the ground in France and on the road at more than a dozen film festivals worldwide.

A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin’s film studies program, Peter wrote his honors thesis on the history and aesthetics of movie trailers (previews, not Airstreams) and taught the graduate-level “Evolution of Film Language” course at Chapman University. Prior to Variety, he spent four years working as an editor for AOL Moviefone, first in New York and then L.A. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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, 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.

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