Pitch Party 2012: First Batch of Judges Announced!

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That’s right, it’s almost time for Animag’s 2012 Pitch Party! The annual competition that gets YOUR toon ideas in front of top industry decision makers and offers the chance to win a pitch session with the judge of your choice! And who are these illustrious judges, you ask? Here are a few of the experienced men and women who have confirmed so far. Keep checking our site for further announcements! For more details, visit www.animationmagazine.net/pitch-party-2012.

Donna Ebbs - Senior Vice President of Programming, The Hub

Donna Ebbs - Senior Vice President of Programming, The Hub

With a diverse array of professional hats acquired throughout her career—from radio DJ, to animator, to record label exec, to film and TV production coordinator—it’s not wonder Ebbs was tapped to help start up the Hasbro/Discovery venture channel The Hub back in 2009. As Senior VP of Programming, she brings her vast industry experience to the tasks of overseeing original content, acquisitions, scheduling, production and post-production of popular toons and live-action fare like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, The Aquabats! Super Show! and Transformers Prime.

Before joining The Hub crew, Ebbs served as VP of Original Programming at Disney/ABC Cable Networks Group, where she oversaw development and production of a heavy movie slate for ABC Family and served as head of specials—helping bring A Miser Brothers Christmas to airwaves—as well as taking on series development roles and the coordination of an internship program at the channel. Her Hollywood career also includes the role of VP of Development & Production of Movies & Miniseres for ABC and “The Wonderful Word of Disney,” and a staggering number of projects with King World Prod., Barwood, Davis Entertainment Television, Goodman/Rosen Prod., Hearts Productions and more.

The New England native attended Boston’s Emerson College, where she concentrated on broadcasting, film animation and political theory. Ebbs has guest lectured at USC and other local colleges, served on high-profile entertainment panels and is on the Television Academy’s Executive Peer Group Committee. Having experienced mentoring youth through the ABC’s scholarship program and The Friar’s Club, she is currently active with The Hub’s philanthropic efforts which include The Boys and Girls Club of Burbank and the national youth activation program GenOn.

Sebastian Debertin - Head of Fiction, Acquisitions & Co-Productions, KI.KA

Sebastian Debertin - Head of Fiction, Acquisitions & Co-Productions, KI.KA

An integral part of the KI.KA team since the joint ARD and ZDF public kid’s channel launched in 1996, Debertin now overseas the Fiction, Acquisitions and Co-Productions department and also serves as Dep. Managing & Programming Director. In this role he has been instrumental in bringing quality animated programs for all age groups to the channel, such as Pet Alien, School for Vampires, Jakers!, Pocoyo, Lila and Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies.

Previous to joining KI.KA, the multiple award-winning TV guru helped launched the international distribution arm of Penta TV Productions, where he served as VP International Sales and Acquisitions. Debertin’s early career saw him serving in a variety of editorial and production roles on children’s programs like Hello Spencer, Leonie Lionheart, Sesame Street and Sandman in addition to non-fiction programs, wildlife documentaries and various animation series.

In addition to his role at KI.KA, Debertin is a tutor and speaker for several institutions including Media Business School, Television Business School, European universities and international film boards. He is a jury member of various film and television awards, and is an active supporter of The German Academy on Children’s Media. Debertin attended the University of Hamburg, where he majored in Sociology, and has successfully completed special training in Editorial and Program Management.

Katie Krentz - Manager of Comedy Animation, Cartoon Network

Katie Krentz - Manager of Comedy Animation, Cartoon Network

A person who really knows her funny stuff, Krentz fills her days as comedy animation manager at Cartoon Network developing and producing the hilarious toon hits that keep viewers coming back for more. She’s also the one to impress if you’re looking to get your animated project green lit!

Before joining the Cartoon Network crew, Krentz served as a development and production executive at Twentieth Century Fox Television, where she oversaw the Inkubation Shorts Program. She was also involved on a day to day basis with cool comedic toons like The Simpsons, Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, American Dad!, King of the Hill, The Cleveland Show, Allen Gregory and Napoleon Dynamite. Previously, Kentz worked in production on Family Guy.

Raised in the Midwest, Krentz graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Telecommunications and Fine Arts.

Linda Simensky - Vice President, Children’s Programming, PBS

Linda Simensky - Vice President, Children’s Programming, PBS

We are so pleased to have the busy veep of kids programming for PBS as a returning judge this year. In her role with the public broadcaster, Simensky collaborates with producers, co-production partners and distributors throughout the development, production, post-production and broadcast phases for beloved kids shows like Curious George, Dinosaur Train, Super Why, Martha Speaks, and Sid the Science Kid for PBS KIDS, as well as Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman, WordGirl and The Electric Company for PBS KIDS GO!

Prior to joining PBS, Simensky was senior VP of original animation for Cartoon Network, where she oversaw the development and production of The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Courage the Cowardly Dog and other major projects. Simensky began her career with a nine-year tenure at Nickelodeon, where she helped build the animation department and launch such popular series as Rugrats, Doug and The Ren & Stimpy Show.

Simensky is a past-president of ASIFA-East, and the founder of New York chapter of Women in Animation. She has lectured at numerous colleges and animation festivals, and has taught courses in animation at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She has written for numerous animation publications and has had several essays published in books including Nickelodeon Nation and The Children’s Television Community.

Simensky holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and history from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s in media ecology from New York University.