The World Animation Celebration 2017 festival is just around the corner, with a full two-day schedule of animated short films, informative industry panels, portfolio reviews, speakers, artist demos and more. Presented by Animation Libation Studios and Animation Magazine, WAC will be hosted by Sony Pictures Animation at its Culver City, CA lot this Saturday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 1 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
With 150 short films from 40 countries being showcased in the festival, some of the special screening highlights this year are “King of Indie Animation” Bill Plympton’s newest short, Cop Dog, Marv Newland’s Scratchy, and the West Coast Premiere of Dear Basketball — directed and animated by Glen Keane, scored by Oscar-winning composer John Williams and executive produced by sports legend Kobe Bryant as a poetic ode to the game that changed his life. Keane will also participate in a panel discussion with Dear Basketball’s producer Gennie Rim and production designer Max Keane.
The panel schedule also includes in-depth discussions with key creatives from FOX-TV’s American Dad! (supervising director Brent Woods; directors Valerie Fletcher, Jennifer Graves and Rodney Clouden; color supervisor Mickey Rose; producer Kara Valow), Nickelodeon’s The Loud House (creator/EP Chris Savino, art director Amanda Rynda, storyboard artist Jordan Koch, writer Kevin Sullivan, production manager Sean Gantka), Sony Pictures Animation’s The Emoji Movie (production designer Carlos Zaragoza; visual development artists Aurora Jimenez, Lizzie Nichols, Joey Chou, Ernie Rinard and Yuhki Demers).
Attendees can also take in a roundtable reunion of Classic Disney Animators (Mike Cedeno, Kathleen Quaife, Nik Ranieri, Bruce Smith, Jane Baer, Marlon West) and get pro advice from TV animation vets during Art of the Pitch (Nickelodeon producer Mary Harrington, independent producer Rita Street, Adult Swim producer/director Pete Michels). Animation historian Mindy Johnson will also be on-hand to discuss (and sign!) her latest book, Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation.
“We have a wonderful networking event scheduled for Saturday night, where everyone can take advantage of the intimate setting to really make important connections and discuss their projects and their careers,” added festival director Michael Bonitatis, who also heads Animation Libation Studios.
“We are very pleased to have the band Slime Kings playing at the event, and there will be lots of great food and wine and beer, thanks to our friends at Whole Foods. Of course, none of this would be possible without the incomparable generosity and hospitality of Olivier Mouroux and the rest of the team at Sony Pictures Animation who are hosting this event at the studio.
Tickets and more information at www.worldanimationcelebration.com.