World Animation & VFX Summit to Honor Phil Roman, Bonnie Arnold

Animation Magazine’s World Animation and VFX Summit will honor Phil Roman, iconic animator and founder of Film Roman, and How to Train Your Dragon 2 producer Bonnie Arnold at its opening-night gala Nov. 2 at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey.

This year’s six honorees, selected for their contributions to the art, technology and business of animation and visual effects, are:

* Phil Roman (Iconic animator and founder of Film Roman): Lifetime Achievement Award.

* DreamWorks Animation’s Bonnie Arnold (How to Train Your Dragon 2): Feature Producer of the Year Award.

* RGH (Rubicon Group Holding): Breakout Studio of the Year Award.

* Jim Cummings (Winnie the Pooh): Voice Talent of the Year Award.

* David Silverman (The Simpsons): Director of the Year Award.

* Ellen Goldsmith-Vein (Gotham Group’s Founder): Angel Award.

“We are thrilled to have such a distinguished group of thought leaders and visionaries at our summit this year and glad to have them share their priceless insights about the global art and business of animation and visual effects with our attendees,” said Jean Thoren, president and publisher of Animation Magazine and founder of the World Animation and VFX Summit, running Nov. 2-5.

The summit’s keynote speakers include acclaimed producer and director Rob Minkoff (The Lion King, Stuart Little, Mr. Peabody and Sherman); David Steinberg, senior VP of production at Nickelodeon; and Paul Babb, CEO of Maxon.

Feature Film Case Studies panels include presentations by members of Disney’s Big Hero 6 animation and VFX team.

The summit also will welcome award-winning director Christopher Miller (The LEGO Movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), producer Dan Lin, animation co-director/editor Chris McKay and cinematographer Pablo Plaisted to discuss the making of Warner Bros.’ hit feature The LEGO Movie.

The summit’s first full day will feature top-tier feature film and legal panelists, including: director Tony Bancroft (Mulan, Bunyan & Babe), David Silverman (The Simpsons, The Longest Daycare) and veteran legal professionals Jody Simon, Nancy Newhouse Porter and Gotham Group talent manager Julie Kane-Ritsch. Also, director Dean DeBlois (DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon 2), Paul Young, co-founder of Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon (producer of Song of the Sea) and LAIKA’s Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi (directors of The Boxtrolls) are among the luminaries of this year’s Oscar Contenders panel. Attendees can also take away tips on how to make an international film get wider exposure in the U.S. Panelists include; Melissa Boag, VP of kids and family entertainment at Shout! Factory; and Simon Crow, founder and president of SC Films.

The second day of programming lineup includes a focus on television, Canadian talent and theme park entertainment. Our “Innovators of the Great White North” panel features Mary Bredin (Guru Studios), Rob Davies (Atomic Cartoons) and Shabnam Rezaei (Big Bad Boo). We then move to Mattel Playground Productions’ Julia Pistor, Rough Draft’s Claudia Katz and Family Guy producer Kara Vallow, who will discuss their everyday challenges, victories and strategies for success. The summit’s “21st Century Tools of the Trade” panelists include CelAction president Andy Blazdell, Proof Inc.’s founder and chief creative officer Ron Frankel, Pixeldust’s founder and president Ricardo Andrade, Ghost Town Media’s creative director Brandon Parvini, and FlickerLab founder and creative director Harold Moss.

Acclaimed former Disney animator Glen Keane (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Tangled), production designer Max Keane and technical project lead Rachid E Guerrab will discuss the making of Google’s beautiful new 2D animated short Duet. Tuesday’s lineup also features a timely look at some of this year’s exciting new theme-park technologies with Richard Taylor (media director of themed entertainment at RGH), Daren Ulmer (president and chief creative at Mousetrappe) and Frank Drucker (head of broadcast production at All Things Media).

Tickets to this Gala and Awards Ceremony and the Summit are now available for purchase at:

Members of the Animation Guild, ASIFA, OBS, VES, WGA and WIA will receive a 10% discount on tickets.

A full package VIP badge includes:

• Opening night Gala and Awards Ceremony with a catered buffet.
• Full Yacht Club buffet breakfast, catered buffet luncheon in the private dining area with VIP guests for both days.
• Intensive and informative industry seminars.
• Networking Cocktail reception for both days.

For more information, contact Nancy Bates at

The World Animation & VFX Summit
The World Animation & VFX Summit


  1. I LIke Your magazine, but I would to know if you have add on 3D Animators movie makers, because I trying to fine some help on turning my self published pictures book into an Animated movie.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here



Get the DAILY SCOOP on what's going


Most Popular


Win the 'Mad God' SteelBook

enter for your chance to win




    Print or Digital - Subscribe!
Already a subscriber? Access your digital edition