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Academy of Art University Hosts Women in VFX Panel

Women in VFX
Women in VFX

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Academy of Art University Hosts Women in VFX Panel

In honor of Women’s History Month, Academy of Art University’s School of Animation & Visual Effects is presenting Women in VFX, an exclusive online panel discussion with talented female artists in the visual effects industry, on March 31 at 7 p.m. (PDT). The career stories they will be sharing can hopefully inspire future generation artists to shatter the traditional expectations of women and reach higher for their dreams.

As a global VFX higher education leader, the Academy’s School of Animation & Visual Effects has been advocating for gender equality in the industry and supporting its students to build a successful VFX career.

The panelists — alumni from its programs now working in VFX at different stages of their careers — include Emmy winner Ryan Bauer, compositing supervisor at CoSA VFX; Lauren Ellis, executive producer at Zoic; Jumanah Shaheen, VFX producer at Ingenuity; Melina Cuffaro, production assistant at LucasFilm; and Chaiwon Kim, look development artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

The discussion will be centered on getting started in the VFX industry for entry-level artists, professional advice on advancing careers as senior artists, and building leadership as a female artist in the VFX industry. School director Catherine Tate and Head of Production for StudioX Sasha Korellis will be moderating the panel.

“The gender balance in the VFX industry has been improving over the years but still has a long way to go. The absence of women’s voices in this industry has made the outcome less effective, powerful, and successful. We want to educate and inspire the younger generation VFX artists, especially female artists, to keep their eyes on the ball, and don’t let anyone tell them that they are not good enough,” Tate said.

StudioX is a student-run, faculty-mentored experience that emulates a real-world animation and visual effects production environment. Students work with real clients, produce real films and games, meet real deadlines and solve real problems. The “X” in StudioX stands for the valuable experience students gain as they prepare for animation and VFX careers. Many students start collecting IMDb credits through StudioX even before graduating, such as the Oscar-nominated films Theeb and Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station and many more.

Women in VFX is free and open to the public as a part of the ongoing 2021 School of Animation and Visual Effects virtual webinar and workshop series. To join the virtual panel, register here.

Learn more about the School of Animation and Visual Effects of Academy of Art University at


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