New Speakers Announced: Win Tickets to the World Animation & VFX Summit!

Animation Magazine is gearing up for the returning live edition of our World Animation and VFX Summit, which opens Sunday, November 7 with the sold-out Hall of Fame Awards gala honoring eight game-changing industry luminaries, and continues with three days of informative panels, creative insights and inclusive networking breakfasts, lunches and evening parties hosted on the grounds of North Hollywood’s historic Garland hotel.

“The 2021 Summit will be a timely, optimistic snapshot of our healthy, growing and thriving industry,” says Jean Thoren, Publisher of Animation Magazine and founder of the World Animation and VFX Summit. “Over the past year, animation leaders around the world have shown us that they are ready and more than able to navigate change while protecting their talented employees. Many of those top-level leaders will be sharing their astute visions for their companies during this award-winning, four-day event.”

With even more sessions and guest speakers ready to be announced, Animag is offering a chance for L.A. locals to win free, all-inclusive tickets to attend the Summit (Mon.-Wed., Nov. 8-10). These passes grant access to all panels, speeches, networking meals and parties during the three-day conference (Awards Gala not included). Entrants must reside in the Los Angeles, Calif. area or be able to travel to N. Hollywood and provide own accommodation during the event. Winners must comply with the Summit’s Health & Safety Policy to attend. Enter to win a pair of tickets to the 2021 World Animation and VFX Summit by emailing your name and contact information to

Panels and talks:
Mon., Nov. 8

  • 10 a.m. Opening Keynote: Jorge R. Gutierrez (Director/Creator, Maya and the Three)
  • 11 a.m.  Leading the Industry. With Kristine Belson (President, Sony Pictures Animation), Margie Cohn (President, DreamWorks Animation), Melissa Cobb (VP Kids & Family, Netflix), Ramsey Naito (President, Nickelodeon/Paramount Animation)
  • 12 pm.  Superstar Showrunners. With Megan Nicole Dong (Creator & EP, Centaurworld), John Harvatine IV (Robot Chicken, Crossing Swords, Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.; Co-Founder, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios), Steve Loter (EP, The Ghost and Molly McGee), Aliki Theofilopoulos (EP, Doug Unplugs), Teddy Riley (EP/Co-Creator, Fairfax); Moderated by Brooke Keesling (Bento Box)
  • 2:30 p.m.  Award Season Feature Contenders, Part 1. Flee, Raya and the Last Dragon, Spirit Untamed, Vivo, Wish Dragon
  • 3:30 p.m.  Feature Contenders, Part 2. The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Encanto, Luca, The Boss Baby: Family Business, Ron’s Gone Wrong
  • 4:30 p.m.  L.A. Indie Animation Studio Panel. With BUCK, OddBot, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, Titmouse.
  • 5:30 p.m.  L.A  Animation Studio Party. With a special spotlight on OddBot Animation’s 15th Anniversary.

Tues., Nov. 9

  • 10 a.m. Guide to Selling Your Toon in 2021. With Kelli Bixler (Owner, Bix Pix), Gregory Little (SVP Content, Mainframe Studio), Vladimir Nikolaev (Co-Founder, Wizart) and Sander Schwartz (EP, Skylander Academy, Alien Xmas)
  • 11 a.m. Spotlight on Apple TV+’s New Animation Slate
  • 12 p.m. Animation Execs’ Recipe for Success. With Beth Cannon (VP TV, DreamWorks Animation), Emily Hart (SVP Development, Disney TV Animation), Kari Kim (VP Development, Nickelodeon Animation), Khoby Rowe (Exec Director of Animation, Fox Ent.)
  • 2:30 p.m. Spotlight on Nickelodeon’s Spectacular SpongeBob Multiverse. With exec producers and show runners Marc Ceccarelli and Vincent Waller.
  • 3:30 p.m. Toys, Parks and Toons: A Primer on Updating Popular Brands for New Audiences. With Liz Bartels (Manager, Global Content Planning, LEGO Group), Eric Calderon (EVP, Falcon’s Beyond Global), Christopher Keenan (SVP, Mattel), Brooke Patterson (SVP, Great Wolf Resorts)
  •  4:30 p.m. Animated Shorts Screening and Panel. Blush, Demi’s Panic, Far from the Tree, Namoo, Nona, Robin Robin, Steakhouse, Twenty Something, Us Again
  • 7:00 p.m.: Animated Shorts Cocktail Party

Wed., Nov. 10

  • 10 a.m. How to Find the Right Global Partners. With David Michel (Founder/President, Cottonwood Media), Chris Henderson (Founder, AstroNomical), Dan Clark (Dan Clark Company), Frank Saperstein (Owner/CEO/EP, Surprise Bag). Moderated by Jan Nagel.
  • 11 a.m. The Business of Show Business. With Hillary Levi (Literary Manager, The Gotham Group), Anna Berthold (Agent, UTA), Mark Zavadskiy (CEO, Riki Group), Carol Contes, Jody Simon, Troy Underwood.
  • 12 p.m. Drawing on Diversity and Representation: The Next Steps. With Camille Eden (VP, Animation Recruitment, Nickelodeon), Jinko Gotoh (Producer, Klaus, Escape from Hat), Cort Lane (EP, My Little Pony: A New Generation), Silvia Olivas (Writer/EP, Maya and the Three), Michelle Wong (Producer, Vivo)
  • 2:30 p.m. Blending VR Tech and Animation. With Kim Adams (Nexus Studios), Jonathan Hagard (Director, Replacements), Shyam Kannapurakkaran (VR Production Tech Artist, Stargate Studios), Paul Mezier (EP, NoveLab), Erick Oh (Director, Namoo)
  • 3:30 p.m. The Quiet Revolution: Unleashing the Promise of Real Time. With The Third Floor’s Joshua Wassung (Founder), Dane Smith (VP), Connor Murphy (Virtual Production Manager), Motoki Nishii (Environmental Art Director)
  • 4:30 p.m.  Closing Keynote: A Fireside Chat with Clark Spencer (President, Walt Disney Animation Studios)
  • 5:30  p.m.  Closing Night Festivities

Joining a roster of dozens of talented directors, producers and creatives as well as savvy executives previously announced, recently added panelists and speakers include:

  • Anne Berthold, Agent, UTA
  • Enrico Casarosa, Director, Luca
  • Marc Ceccarelli, Co-Exec Producer, The Patrick Star Show
  • Aphton Corbin, Director, Twenty Something
  • John Derevlany, Writer/Producer, Squish, The Muscleteers
  • Michael Favelle, CEO/Founder, Odin’s Eye Entertainment
  • Kelley Gardner, VP of Current Series Animation, Nickelodeon
  • Louis Gonzales, Director, Nona
  • Ben Kalina, COO, Titmouse
  • Brooke Keesling, Head of Animation Talent Development, Bento Box
  • Heather Kenyon, Head of Production & Development – Citizen Kids, Citizen Skull
  • Kari Kim, VP of Animation Development, Nickelodeon
  • Joe Mateo, Director, Blush
  • Dan Ojari, Director, Robin Robin
  • Brooke Patterson, Senior VP Brand Experiences, Great Wolf Resorts
  • Mikey Please, Director, Robin Robin
  • Frank Saperstein, Owner/CEO/Exec Producer, Surprise Bag
  • Clark Spencer, President, Walt Disney Animation Studios
  • Troy Underwood, Content Exec and Producer
  • Vincent Waller, Co-Exec Producer, The Patrick Star Show

Health and Safety Policy: To ensure the safety of staff and guests, the World Animation & VFX Summit will require proof of approved vaccine administered at least two weeks prior to the Summit or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of attending the Summit. The event will also require a valid ID. Temperature checks will be conducted on all attendees upon arrival and masks are required to be worn at all times in accordance with L.A. County requirements.

A huge thanks to our generous industry sponsors: Apple TV+, British Film Commission, CelAction, CNC (Centre National du Cinema et de l’Image Anime), Cottonwood Media, DreamWorks Animation, Film France, Fox Rothschild Attorneys at Law, The Gotham Group, Illumination, Mainframe Studios, Mattel TV, Netflix Animation, Nickelodeon, OddBot Animation, Pixar Animation Studios, Riki Group, Sony Pictures Animation, Walt Disney Animation Studio and Wizart Animation.

Learn more and register to attend at



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