ASIFA-East’s Festival Makes New York Even Hotter

by Elizabeth Shin

Signe Baumane (left center) and Bill Plympton (right center) cool off with exotic-looking drinks and an entourage of friends. All images courtesy of Toni Tyson.

Everyone who went to the Canter Center at New York University to celebrate this year’s ASIFA-East animation festival experienced some heat.Held on Sunday, May 7, 2000, the festival united more than 250 talented animators, producers and fans from all over the east coast to enjoy its festivities. With most of the attendees in shorts and T-shirts, the ambiance of the festival was both "fun" and "casual" in a very "New York" kind of a way, as Linda Simensky describes it. The event was spread out over a total of five nights, one evening for the award presentations and 4 nights for the judging. Somewhere between 50-75 jury members were present per evening to evaluate the submissions.

Animator Fran Krause (left) and Linda Simensky, President of ASIFA-East (right). Animators Maria Scavullo (left) and Shawn Atkins (right).

Linda Simensky, President of ASIFA-East and VP of Original Programming at Cartoon Network, opened up the final night’s presentation with a brief speech, thanking the people who helped make the evening possible and then proceeded to hand out the awards. "The talent pool has really grown. There’s a little bit of everything going on…2D, 3D, series and independent film people were allthere." The audience was a creative powerhouse with directors like Bill Plympton, George Griffin, Ward Sutton and Mo Willems heating up the arena. Coupled with the humidity, the actual temperature of the event was sizzling.

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