World Animation & VFX Summit: 2017 Honorees, Master Classes & Panelists

The 2017 edition of the World Animation and VFX Summit has announced this year’s recipients of the Hall of Fame awards and panelist lineup. This year’s honorees, recognized for being industry “Game Changers,” are:

– Actress Nancy Cartwright (iconic voice of Bart Simpson)—award presented by The Simpsons exec producer Al Jean.

– Producer Lori Forte (Ice Age movies, Ferdinand)—award presented by Fox Animation Studio president Vanessa Morrison.

– Director, writer & animator Glen Keane (Dear Basketball, Disney feature animation)—award presented by director John Musker (Moana, Princess and the Frog, Hercules, Aladdin).

– French animation distributor PGS Entertainment’s Philippe and Guillaume Soutter (Miraculous, ALVINNN!!! and The Chipmunks, The Little Prince)—Award presented by TV producer Tom Lynch (Scout’s Safari, The Secret World of Alex Mack).

– Frederator Studios founder/CEO and Emmy-winning producer Fred Seibert (Adventure Time, Castlevania, The Fairly OddParents) — award presented by Herb Scannell, former president of Nickelodeon Networks.

– DreamWorks Animation’s head of TV physical production Mark Taylor—award presented by Margie Cohn, head of DreamWorks TV Animation.

The awards ceremony, held at the beautiful beachside Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, will be hosted by one of the top voice-over artists working in the business today: Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants).

“We are thrilled to be presenting awards this year to some of the key game-changers in the animation industry,” says Summit founder and publisher of Animation Magazine, Jean Thoren. “Our industry is poised for enormous and exciting changes in the next few years, and we are very pleased to have some of the biggest innovators and thought leaders in our field sharing their vision for the future with us at our event.”

The gala event will be followed by two packed Summit days in the intimate surrounds of the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey. All-inclusive networking breakfasts, lunches and cocktail parties anchor the all-day panel lineup of industry luminaries. The focus is on easy access, face-to-face interactions. Speakers will share inspiring information about their experience, the future of the animation and VFX industry, its best practices, new ideas and the technologies that will make life in 2018 easier for producers, studio owners and talent.

The final day of the Summit on Wednesday, November 1 will feature Master Classes for the Masters with storycentral founder/creative director Alison Norrington (How to Design Powerful VR Experiences for Younger Audiences), E*D Films exec producer Archita Ghosh (An Indie Studio’s Guide to the Future of Animation, Education and Production), Fred Seibert (How to Have Lunch and Sell Your Show Successfully!) and the creator of The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom and Bunsen Is a Beast, Butch Hartman (Creating Profitable Animated Hits in a Non-Linear World). Breakfast, lunch, an afternoon break snack and cocktails with appetizers will be served. Attendees can purchase these classes individually or as a full-day pass.

The 2017 Summit will showcase panels on the making of some of the year’s top animated features such as Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, The Boss Baby and Ferdinand. It will also bring to focus some of the innovations in new media, co-production opportunities, the future of streaming and the changes in the TV animation landscape and the promise of the VR universe. The summit will also present a must-see panel on the making of the acclaimed short Dear Basketball, with animation icon Glen Keane and basketball legend Kobe Bryant. Panelists confirmed so far include:

Agnes Augustin, CEO/president, Shaw Rocket Fund

Christine Brendle, CEO, FUN Union

Kobe Bryant, CEO, Kobe Inc.

Lawson Deming, owner/vfx supervisor, Barnstorm VFX

Mo Davoudian, creative director/CEO, Brain Zoo Studios

Vanessa Chapman, managing director, VCJ Media

Pete Denomme, CEO/exec producer, Switch VFX & Animation

Joel Douek, composer, sound designer

Ruth Fielding, producer/partner, Lupus Films

Archita Ghosh, exec producer/partner, E*D Films

Jorge Gutiérrez, director, Son of Jaguar

Michaela Hart, animation exec, production specialist

Michael Hefferon, president, Rainmaker & Mainframe Studios

Guillaume Hellouin, chairman/cofounder/producer, TeamTO

Max Howard, producer and animation consultant

Kevin Tod Haug, vfx designer

Terry Kalagian, VP creative, Gaumont Animation

Ken Katsumoto, EVP family entertainment, Lionsgate Entertainment

Glen Keane, director, Dear Basketball

Iryna Kostyuk, producer/creator/media expert

Peter McHugh, manager, The Gotham Group

Chris McKay, director, The LEGO Batman Movie

Alison Norrington, writer/producer/founder, storycentral

Chris O’Reilly, co-founder/ECD, Nexus Studios

Sandra Rabins, producer/animation executive

John Robson, managing director, Wildbrain

Adam Rumanek, founder, Aux Mode

Richard Scott, CEO, Axis Studios

David L. Simon, animation producer and executive

Carlos Saldanha, director, Ferdinand

Philippe Soutter, co-founder, PGS

Irene Sparre, exec producer, Wil Film

Mark Taylor, EVP physical production, DreamWorks Animation Television

Toper Taylor, president, Network of One

Nicolas Trout, co-head of animation/exec producer, Mikros Image

Tom van Waveren, CEO/creative director, Cake

Lin Zhang, CEO, DeZerlin Media

To learn more about the event and secure tickets, visit

Jean Thoren at World Animation & VFX Summit
Jean Thoren at World Animation & VFX Summit
World Animation & VFX Summit
World Animation & VFX Summit



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