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Apply Today: CAPE Animation Directors Accelerator Program

In collaboration with Sony Pictures Entertainment, the initiative provides next-gen Asian and Pacific Islander animation professionals a chance to hone creative and leadership skills via panels, workshops, masterclasses and mentorships; application deadline is October 6.

Non-profit organization CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) announced the return of the CAPE Animation Directors Accelerator with Sony Pictures Animation SVP Creative Kevin Noel as program chair. In collaboration with Sony Pictures Entertainment, the initiative identifies and equips the next generation of Asian and Pacific Islander animation professionals with the skills needed to become directors in feature film and episodic animation.

"I am honored to be joining CAPE and their CADA program, following in the footsteps of my colleagues Justinian Huang and Michelle Wong, who did an incredible job providing the opportunity to help creatives from the AAPI community with unprecedented access to key creators in the animation industry in its inaugural year,” said Noel. “Animation is a boundless medium that is celebrating a surge of new ideas from storytellers who dare to innovate and take risks, and I hope this program will continue to empower a new generation of talent to push the envelope and bring their unique perspectives to the craft."

Co-founded by Justinian Huang (VP, Creative, Sony Pictures Animation) and Michelle Wong (producer, K-Pop: Demon Hunters), the Accelerator provides selected participants an opportunity to hone artistic and leadership skills through a series of panels, workshops, and masterclasses from high-level executives, producers, and creatives in the animation industry, as well as receive one-on-one executive mentorship.

“With the global animation market size projected to surpass $600 billion by 2030, it’s astounding that we can count on roughly two hands the number of Asian American feature film animation directors (and zero Pacific Islanders),” said CAPE executive director Michelle K. Sugihara. “CAPE is excited to team up with Sony Pictures Entertainment once again to supercharge these creatives’ rise into the feature film director’s chair.” 

Past program mentors and speakers include Maggie Kang (drector, K-Pop: Demon Hunters); Arthur Fong (visual development artist The Mitchells vs The Machines); Wira Winata; Galen Chu; Alyce Tzue; Henry Yu (director, Surf’s Up 2: Wavemania), Yori Mochizuki, Matt Braly (Creator, Amphibia), John Aoshima ; (co-director, Ultraman); Daniel Chong (creator, We Bare Bears); Jay Hasrajani (creator, Boons and Curses); Domee Shi (director, Turning Red); Jude Weng (director, Finding ‘Ohana); Janet Wu (director, Original Animated Film and Family Features, Netflix); Jason McConnell (Director Of Development, Movies & Series, Nickelodeon Animation); Scott Sakamoto (Creative Development, Netflix); Jason Caparaz (VP, Development, DreamWorks Animation TV); Larry Jonas (producer, Trollhunters); Kurt Albrecht (producer, The Mitchells vs The Machines),; Tim Yoon (producer, Maya and the Three); and Osnat Shurer (producer, Moana).

Ideal candidates for the Accelerator will have 5+ years in animation and ambitions of being the creative lead for animation film or episodic projects. Prioritized levels of experience include Head of Story, Episodic Director, Art Director, CG Director, Technical Director, VFX Supervisor, Editor, and Production Designer.

Submissions are now open until October 6. More information and the application are available here.

As part of the CAPE Animation Directors Accelerator, CAPE is holding a panel at Lightbox Expo in Pasadena on Saturday, October 28, centering on comic book adaptation featuring Randall Park (director, Shortcomings); Karen Gaviola (director, The Boys); and Steve Maeda (co-showrunner, Netflix’s One Piece).

The CAPE Animation Directors Accelerator is part of other industry-renowned CAPE initiatives such as the CAPE New Writers Fellowship; CAPE Leaders Fellowship; Julia S. Gouw Short Film Challenge; and CAPE Emerging Executive Committee, as well as the soon-to-be-launched CAPE Database, a public-facing database for Asian and Pacific Islander talent, executives, and reps.

Source: CAPE

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.