LatinX in Animation (LXiA) announces the return of Animation Day (Friday, June 3) as part of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival’s 21st edition. This year’s Animation Day presents a thrilling schedule of exclusive premieres, panel discussions or “cafecitos”, masterclasses, portfolio reviews, animated episodic program, animated shorts program and more.
Co-founded in 1997 by actor, director, and producer Edward James Olmos, the Los Angeles International Latino Film Festival (LALIFF) is a high-profile event that showcases the talents and perspectives of Latinx filmmakers from all over the world. LatinX in Animation (LXiA), launched by Co-Founders Magdiela Hermida Duhamel and Bryan Dimas, represents a diverse group within the animation, VFX and gaming industries and is dedicated to uniting a talented pool of innovators with heart to create exceptional stories across multiple platforms.
“We’re excited for the return of Animation Day at LALIFF, which is a festival that continues to elevate and highlight the importance of animation and underrepresented voices in an ever changing entertainment landscape,” said Duhamel.
“We’re excited to expand Animation Day programming with the inclusion of more talks, screenings, and the first in-person screening of a dedicated animation shorts program at the festival,” Dimas added. “This year’s animation programming is a testament to the talent of Latinx filmmakers who are telling unique and powerful stories that can only be done so in the animation medium.”
Established last year and co-curated by LatinX in Animation, LALIFF Animation Day is a celebration of animation by organizing programming that highlights and celebrates the work of Latinos, and creating opportunities for LXiA members to engage, educate, and inspire the next generation of animation professionals. Its overwhelming success in 2021 has expanded its sponsors, which include returning supporters Cartoon Network Studios and Warner Bros. Animation, and new sponsors for 2022 including Warner Bros. Discovery Access, Nickelodeon Animation, Paramount Animation, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Disney Television Animation.
Kicking off Animation Day, are virtual coffee chats, or cafecitos, which will spotlight professionals from studios that include Warner Bros. Animation, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney Television Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery, Crunchyroll and the upcoming series Hazbin Hotel and feature film Perlimps, demonstrating the breadth and diversity of perspectives in the animation industry.
Cafecitos will include the following studios and speakers:
- Cafecito with Warner Bros. Animation featuring guest speakers Abe Audish (Supervising Producer, Bugs Bunny Builders) and Luis Gadea (Character Designer, Bugs Bunny Builders).
- Cafecito with Paramount Pictures in partnership with Nickelodeon Animation featuring guest speaker Christine Benitez (SVP, Multicultural Marketing and Brand, Paramount Pictures).
- Cafecito with Walt Disney Animation Studios with a featured conversation with Renato Dos Anjos (Head of Animation, Encanto), Kira Lehtomaki (Head of Animation, Encanto), and Kaity Martinez (Assistant Choreographer, Encanto) that shines a light on the behind-the-scenes work that went into animating the characters, musical numbers, and most importantly the dancing of the Academy Award-winning animated feature film Encanto.
- Cafecito with Disney Television Animation with guest speakers Rafael Chaidez (Producer, Marvel’s Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur), Melinda Carrillo (Associate Producer, Alice’s Wonderland Bakery), Janelle Martinez (Production Supervisor, Firebuds).
- Cafecito with Sony Pictures Animation featuring guest speaker Octavio Rodriguez (Head of Story, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse)
- Cafecito with Netflix featuring guest speaker Karissa Valencia (Creator/Showrunner, Spirit Rangers).
- Cafecito featuring guest speaker Aaron Davidson (Sr. Director, Original Programming, HBO Max) who will speak about the inaugural HBO Max X WBD Access Animated Shorts Program.
- Cafecito with Crunchyroll featuring guest speakers Gita Rebbapragada (Chief Marketing Officer, Crunchyroll), Andre de Abreu (Sr. Director of International Business Operations, Crunchyroll) and Josellie Rios (Senior Marketing Manager for LATAM, Crunchyroll).
- Cafecito with Vivienne Medrano, creator of the highly anticipated A24 animated series Hazbin Hotel.
- A special live Cafecito and Q&A with Oscar-nominated Brazilian filmmaker Alê Abreu, Executive Producer Ernesto Soto Canny and Director’s Assistant Viviane Guimarães as we dive into an exclusive work in progress preview of the upcoming animated feature film Perlimps.
For industry professionals, Netflix is presenting an interactive Writing for Animation Masterclass with LALIFF and LatinX in Animation, to prepare emerging Latin/a/o/x/e writers with the skills to land their first writing gig. The masterclass is designed to offer education, advice, and practice for writers interested in learning and entering the screenwriting animation industry. In tandem with last year’s events, virtual portfolio reviews will return with even more participating studios. Cartoon Network Studios, DreamWorks Animation, Disney Television Animation, Netflix, Nickelodeon Animation, Sony Pictures Animation and Warner Bros. Animation will provide a wide-array of portfolio reviews for LXiA members in all disciplines related to animation, offering an opportunity for professionals to further hone their skills.
The evening of Friday, June 3, will feature the screenings of two original animated series from Cartoon Network Latin America, Frankelda’s Book of Spooks and Rey Mysterio vs The Darkness. The in-person screening will include a live Q&A with creators of Frankelda Arturo Ambriz and Roy Ambriz, from Cinema Fantasma, and Los Hermanos Calavera, founders of the studio ¡Viva Calavera!, for Rey Mysterio. The Q&A will be moderated by José Iñesta, Co-Founder of Pixelatl film festival, the main gathering of Latin American creators and the global animation, comic and video game industries. The animated episodic series My Year of Dicks from Sara Gunnarsdóttir and Pamela Ribon and produced by Jeanette Jeanenne will screen as part of the Short Episodics Program competition.
To conclude Animation Day programming, on the afternoon of Saturday, June 4, LXiA offers an in-person screening of its highly anticipated Animated Shorts Program. Inline with LALIFF’s mission to showcase Latinx talent, the program will feature the works of filmmakers across Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, France, Argentina, Spain and the U.S. The Animated Shorts jury comprises Guillermo Martinez (Director, Sony Pictures Animation), Nicole Rivera (Vice President, Original Series Development, Cartoon Network Studios) and Simón Wilches-Castro (Animation Director, Titmouse). The selected all-around best animated short will be awarded the top prize of Best Animated Short Film, which will include a Wacom Cintiq presented by Wacom and a one-year license to animation software from Toon Boom Animation.
LALIFF Animated Short Films Program:
- Canicas – Eduardo Altamirano (Mexico)
- Chilly and Milly – William D. Caballero (U.S.)
- It Rains – Carolina Corral & Magali Rocha (Mexico)
- It Was Raining – Ignacio Lillini (Argentina)
- Reparations – Wilson Borja (Colombia)
- Something in the Garden – Marcos Sánchez (Chile)
- Tamgù – Isabel Loyer & Luis Paris (Argentina/France)
- The Girl Behind the Mirror – Iuri Moreno (Brazil)
- The Weight of It – Olivia Marie Valdez, Sandra Afonso Rodríguez, Einar Soler Fernández (Spain)
- Uninhabited– Camila Donoso Astudillo (Chile)
- We Are Here – Doménica & Constanza Castro (U.S.)
LALIFF will run from Wednesday, June 1 to Sunday, June 5. Animation Day will be held Friday, June 3 virtually and in person. Festival events and screenings will take place at the TCL Chinese Theatres and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. For the LALIFF full programming slate and schedule please visit www.laliff.org. Tickets are now available to purchase through the festival’s site here.