Packed weekend of animation events planned; portion of opening night party proceeds to benefit Women in Animation.
Tickets are now on sale using Brown Paper Tickets for this year’s newly-revived LA Animation Festival (LAAF), which runs November 30-December 2 at its new home, the Mayflower Club in North Hollywood.
The fun starts with an Opening Night Preview Party that includes a concert performance by SpongeBob Squarepants star Tom Kenny and his 13-piece soul band, The Hi Seas, featuring songwriter/producer and rock legend Andy Paley, co-author with Tom of Best Day Ever. This red-carpet event will feature many of the weekend’s guests, including Honorees director/animator Chris Prynoski and VR pioneer Evette Vargas. One-third of the proceeds of the opening night party will benefit Women in Animation.
The festival includes competition programs, panels, the Los Angeles premiere of Joanna Priestley’s feature selection North of Blue on Saturday, with Ms. Priestley in attendance, and the only major L.A. screening of the award-winning feature Tropical Virus from designer Powerpaola and director Santiago Caicedo on Sunday. Among the weekend’s panelists are Simpsons director David Silverman, King of the Hill co-showrunner David Krinsky, Family Guy writer Jaydi Samuels, Boondocks writer Carl Jones, animation historian Jerry Beck, Book of Life director Jorge Guiterrez, Kubo creator Shannon Tindle, LEGO 2 co-director Trisha Gum, legendary animator Bob Kurtz, Emmy-winning producer Patricia Jausoro, Afro-Samurai producer Eric Calderon and Isle of Dogs production designer Paul Harrod, who will present a special screening and making of the Wes Anderson feature, sponsored by L.A. stop-motion makers Stoopid Buddy Stoodios and Screen Novelties. A full schedule and rundown of the panel guests is available on the festival website.
A selection of work from this year’s honoree Chris Prynoski, co-owner with his wife Shannon of innovative animation powerhouse Titmouse, will be featured in a special Saturday evening program presented in a TV chat-show style Q&A and screening. Prynowski will be awarded with the LAAF 2018 Honoree prize during the evening. Speaking about the honoree, festival co-director John Andrews noted, “In the circles I travel in, there is unanimous agreement that it's time to honor Chris P for all he's done for our community.”
Capping off the weekend is Sunday’s Competition Awards Ceremony, which honors first, second and third place winners in several judged categories -- several special awards will also be handed out, including VR Pioneer, which will go to New York Times “Artist to Watch” Evette Vargas, an award-winning writer, director and producer of multi-platform and VR projects. “It’s such an honor to be recognized by the Los Angeles Animation Festival in this way, and being in the phenomenal company of Chris P makes it doubly so,” Vargas commented. Also, on Sunday night, CalArts character animation star Gabrielle Capili makes a very special live appearance with her pet dinosaur!
Competition judges are Beck, Calderon and former Ottawa International Animation Festival director and panel moderator Tom Knott, Nexus Studios co-founder Chris O’Reilly, Titmouse partner/art director Antonio Canobbio, director Yvette Kaplan, known for the Beavis & Butt-Head series and feature as well as her co-creation, Zack & Quack, and award-winning independent filmmakers/animation faculty members Sheila Sofian (USC) and Maureen Selwood (CalArts). Competition finalists and competition screenings will be announced November 16th.
Festival Sponsors are Bang Zoom! Entertainment (Screening Sponsor), Octopie Studios (Panel Sponsor), Toon Boom (Awards Sponsor), BruJaja Productions (Prize Sponsor) and P4STV (Hospitality Sponsor). The Mayflower Club is at 11110 Victory Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606. Tickets (incl. limited WEEKEND PASSES) and event information can be found at: laaf.bpt.me.