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World Animation Feature Films and VFX Summit Kicks Off

The inaugural edition of The World Animated Feature Films and VFX Summit kicks off October 28-30 at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, CA.

Los Angeles -- When traditional news sources are shutting down their print editions, it is with great pride that Animation Magazine — the only global print and online magazine dedicated to all things animated — celebrates its 25th anniversary. The animation-industry source is going back to its roots in industry events, with the inaugural edition of The World Animated Feature Films and VFX Summit.  

This international gathering of industry pros, has announced its full 2012 conference agenda. Running three days (Oct. 28-30), this timely event offers informative panels about the making and distribution of international movies such as DreamWorks’ highly anticipated Rise of the Guardians and Sony’s blockbuster pic Hotel Transylvania, as well as showcasing some of the cutting-edge animation and VFX trends and technologies that will have an impact on the future of this fast-evolving entertainment sector.

“We are delighted to bring back this popular animation event to Southern California,” said Jean Thoren, event founder and the president and publisher of Animation Magazine. “Our hope is to see this summit grow and thrive each year to serve the diverse animation and VFX communities and provide a central point for exchanging ideas and forging global partnerships. In addition, the summit will provide attendees with a great opportunity to meet fellow animation-industry professionals and learn about the latest projects and advancements in technology in our favorite art form. We hope the attendees will come together to animate their own picture of the future for this growing industry.”

The 2012 edition of the Summit opens with a special welcoming cocktail party on Sunday, Oct. 28, beginning at 6 p.m. at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, co-hosted by Disney and Animation Magazine. On Monday morning, Digital Domain co-founder Scott Ross will kick things off in grand style with a keynote speech about the state of the industry, highlighting the necessary steps for revitalizing the VFX community worldwide. The keynote is followed by a panel on how DreamWorks’ lavish new feature Rise of the Guardians came to life, with director Peter Ramsey and producers Nancy Bernstein and Christina Steinberg.

Also Monday morning, GKIDS President and Founder Eric Beckman will discuss the evolution of his trailblazing, New York-based indie company and how he was able to champion artistic features from France, Spain, Belgium, Japan and various other countries around the world. Beckman and GKIDS will be the recipient of Animation Magazine’s 2012 Distributor of the Year Award for continuing to bring acclaimed titles such as The Rabbi’s Cat, The Painting, From Up on Poppy Hill, Wrinkles and Zarafa to U.S. shores.

Also on tap for Monday is a special look at ins and out of agencies and management representation, with Donna Felten, owner of Natural Talent; Eric Robinson, exec VP, production and development at The Gotham Group; Jim Strader, CEO of Quattro Media, and Annette van Duren, owner of Van Duren Agency. Kevin Baillie, CEO of Atomic Fiction; Danielle Plantec, co-founder of Scanline; Mike Romey, pipeline supervisor at Zoic Studio, and Jeff Young, president and COO of Arc Productions will be on a special panel focusing on VFX survival tools for independent VFX artists. Also, Matt Plec, senior product designer at The Foundry; Todd Prives, VP at ZYNC, and Joan Vogelesang, president and CEO of Toon Boom Animation will unveil some of their latest technical achievements during afternoon panels. Vogelesang is also the recipient of Animation Magazine’s 2012 Humanitarian of the Year Award.

Tuesday’s agenda features a very useful how-to presentation by Oscar-winning producer Max Howard and ASIFA President Frank Gladstone on how to prepare animated features and shorts for Academy Award consideration. Then, attendees are invited to take in a special behind-the-scenes look at the making and distribution of Sony’s blockbuster hit Hotel Transylvania ,with director Genndy Tartakovsky, producer Michelle Murdocca, Sony’s president of worldwide distribution Rory Bruer, and Michelle Raymo Kouyate, Sony Animation’s president of production. The panel is followed by two timely keynotes about the realities of global co-productions in today’s tumultuous financial climate by Christian Kubsch, president of Prana Studios, and Eric S. Rollman, president of Rollman Entertainment.

Petteri Pasanen, CEO and partner at Anima Vitae; Joseph Pearson, exec director of Tripod International, and Fred deWysocki, partner and co-founder of Fantastic Films International will be on hand to discuss the state of international co-productions. Also planned for Tuesday afternoon is a revealing look at writing animated features for an international audience, with speakers Mike de Seve (Baboon Animation), director/writer Raul Garcia, writer Jeffrey Scott (Monkey Business) and producer Frank Gladstone.

The program will close with a special presentation by Miles Romney, Yekra’s co-founder and CEO and Lee Waterworth, the company’s co-founder, chair and president of Yekra, who will introduce their innovative distribution technology platform and discuss how they are able to allow distributors, indie filmmakers and content producers to monetize their projects with ease.

Source: Animation Magazine

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.