In the last week, hundreds of students, faculty, alumni and entertainment executives gathered for a duo of screenings and celebrations showcasing the 2017 CalArts Character Animation and Experiemental Animation programs.
Wednesday night’s Character Animation Producer’s Show was held at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles, where three of Hollywood’s most notable women in animation were applauded as Guests of Honor by the 700-strong audience: Two-time Emmy-winning director Stevie Wermers-Skelton (Prep & Landing, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure), Oscar nominee Meg LeFauve (writer-director, Gigantic; co-writer, Inside Out), and CalArts alumna Josie Trinidad (co-Head of Story, Zootopia, Ralph Breaks the Internet).
The Guests of Honor were charged with presenting the three Producer’s Show awards. Wermer-Skelton presented The Walter and Gracie Lantz Animation Prize — juried by the Character Animation faculty — to Yonatan Tai for his film Mr. Carefree Butterfly. LeFauve presented the Vimeo Award for Outstanding Student Achievement in Animated Filmmaking to Xiya Lan for I think I love you. The Peers’ Pick Award, voted by students, was bestowed by Trinidad on Jackie Lee for Sewing Circle.
The showcase presented a total of 21 Character Animation films, selected from 167 submissions. The 2017 program represented a range of themes, narratives and aesthetic approaches. These films can be viewed on the dedicated 2017 CalArts Character Animation Vimeo Channel.
The school’s Experimental Animation Showcase was presented on April 27 at REDCAT in downtown, also screening 21 films. The lineup was selected by a faculty committee comprising Maureen Fruniss, Stephen Chiodo, Hillary Kapan, Michael Scroggins, Maureen Selwood, Alexander Stewart and ZAcharia El-Magharbel. The works ranged from hand-drawn, to stop-motion and CGI explorations of ideas, styles and techniques which delighted the audience.