LXiA reveals an expansive, exciting slate of premieres, in-person panel discussions, an animated shorts program, and virtual ‘cafecitos’ coffee chats, running June 1-3; LALIFF runs May 31-June 4.
LatinX in Animation (LXiA) has announced its animation programming as part of the 22nd edition of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF). LXiA’s animation events will be embedded throughout LALIFF, with both in-person and virtual events. This year’s animation program will feature a schedule of exclusive animated film premieres, in-person panel discussions and virtual coffee chats, or “cafecitos,'' with animation industry professionals, insightful portfolio reviews courtesy of animation studio recruiters, premieres in the animated episodic program, as well as a world-wide range of talent at the Animated Shorts Program (juried by a panel of critically acclaimed judges).
Co-founded in 1997 by actor, director, and producer Edward James Olmos, the Los Angeles International Latino Film Festival (LALIFF) is a high-profile event that showcases the talents and perspectives of Latinx filmmakers and creatives from all over the world. LatinX in Animation (LXiA), launched by Co-Founders Magdiela Hermida Duhamel and Bryan Dimas, represents a diverse group within the animation, VFX and gaming industries and is dedicated to uniting a talented pool of innovators with heart to create exceptional stories across multiple platforms.
The LALIFF Animation Program, co-curated by LatinX in Animation, celebrates the achievements and excellent talent featured in animation and the animation industry. By organizing events that highlight, recognize, and most importantly, celebrate the work of Latinx creatives, LXiA develops opportunities to network, engage, educate, grow, and inspire the next generation of animation professionals. LALIFF’s past animation programming, which premiered for the first time in 2021, emerged as a day dedicated to animation. Its overwhelming success in past years has contributed to the expansion of Animation Day to now become an integral part to LALIFF and will include a vast variety of animation events throughout the entire festival. Sponsors including Netflix, Cartoon Network Studios, Disney Television Animation, Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Sony Pictures Animation, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Warner Bros. Animation, and Warner Bros. Discovery Access.
June 1st & June 2nd, Industry Writing for Animation Workshops (Virtual)
Ever wonder what sets screenwriting for animation apart from the rest of the entertainment industry? Thinking of making the switch to emerge as a writer for animation? Well, for industry professionals LALIFF and LatinX in Animation will be presenting multiple writing workshop opportunities directly from animation studios! To kick off the animation programming, Netflix will be presenting their Writing for Animation Presentation with LALIFF and LXiA. The second interactive workshop will be a Writing for Animation Television with the Nickelodeon Writing Program. Led by Kate Blatchford (S. Manager of Creative Talent Development & Outreach, Nickelodeon Animation Studio), this workshop is open to LXiA members and is designed to offer advice, education, and practice for writers interested in learning and entering the world of screenwriting suited for the animation industry. Both seminars are developed to assist and prepare emerging Latinx writers with the unique skills to help them officially land their first writing gig in the animation industry.
June 2nd, In-Person Panel Discussions (Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel)
This day will feature engaging panel talks with animation industry professionals and trailblazers from studios including Warner Bros. Animation, Cartoon Network, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Disney Television Animation. In-person panels will discuss a fascinating range of topics, such as upcoming animated films featuring Latinx storylines, providing insight on how to develop a story fit for a world-renowned animation studio, and how Latinx leadership can influence the direction of TV Animation.
In-person Panels will be held at the Roosevelt Theater (inside the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel) They will include the following studios and speakers:
- Panel Discussion with Warner Bros. Animation featuring guest speaker Juan Meza- Leon (Director of the upcoming animated feature Aztec Batman: Clash of Empires, moderated by Jen Hurler (Creative Production Assistant).
- “Creating Magic at Disney Animation” Panel Discussion with Walt Disney Animation Studios will feature a conversation about how movies are made through collaboration, iteration, and innovation - from story through production. Speakers Juan Pablo Reyes (Co-Producer, Wish), Albert Ramirez (Production Manager, Wish), and Jasmine Reed (Production Supervisor, Wish), will share insights and examples from several animated films, as well as the teaser trailer for Disney Animation’s next feature film, Wish. Moderated by Natalia Adame Mendoza (Production Coordinator, Wish)
- “Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur: Latinx Leadership and Influences” Join the creative team behind Disney Channel’s Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur as they discuss how they developed the Latinx characters and storylines within the series. Moderated by Pilar Flynn (Co-Executive Producer), panelists include Flynn alongside her colleagues Rafael Chaidez (Line Producer), Jose Lopez (Lead Character Designer), Luciano Herrera (Background Designer), and Sandra Powers (Lead Editor).
June 2nd, Virtual Chats “Cafecitos”
In addition to LXiA’s in-person panel discussions, this year LALIFF and LXiA will continue to host live-streamed and or pre-recorded virtual Cafecitos. You’re invited to join our panelists as we spotlight engaging and insightful conversations between industry professionals from studios, including Disney Television Animation.
“Cafecito” Discussions will be virtually presented on LALIFF’s YouTube Channel throughout the festival dates. They will include the following studios and speakers:
- Cafecito One on One with guest speaker Natasha Kline (Creator and Executive Producer on Disney Television Animation’s upcoming series Primos), who will share her own animation journey, going from story artist to showrunner. Moderated by Angela M. Sánchez (Staff Writer)
- Fireside Cafecito with guest speaker Tito Ortiz (Creative Executive), who will share his journey in animation as a creative executive leader within the industry. Moderated by Zulema Uriarte (Director, Inclusion & Diversity Strategy, Netflix), learn about what it takes to set yourself up for a successful career in animation.
June 2nd 1PM - 4PM Virtual Portfolio Reviews
Open to participating LXiA Members, LatinX in Animation will return with industry programming offering Virtual Portfolio Reviews with even more participating animation studios than before! Virtual Portfolio reviews will be performed by animation studio recruiters from the following studios:
- Cartoon Network Studios
- Disney Television Animation
- DreamWorks Animation
- Netflix Animation
- Nickelodeon Animation Studio
- Sony Pictures Animation
- Walt Disney Animation Studios
- Warner Bros. Animation
June 2nd LALIFF & LXiA Networking Happy Hour 4PM- 6PM
Sponsored by Nickelodeon Animation Studio, LALIFF & LXiA present an industry networking event open to selected filmmakers in attendance. The Networking Happy Hour is open to LALIFF filmmakers, festival passholders, and LXiA members through RSVP. The Happy Hour Mixer is an opportunity for the animation community and industry to socialize, and make connections with industry professionals who share the same passion for animation as you!
June 2nd Spark Animation Grant Shorts + Animated Shorts Program
On Friday, June 2nd LALIFF and LXiA will proudly present the highly anticipated Animated Shorts Program to be screened in-person at the Chinese Theater. With LALIFF’s mission to showcase Latinx talent, the program will feature the unique works of talented filmmakers across Brazil, Canada, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, France, Argentina, Spain, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, and the US. This Animation Shorts Program is particularly special as it will also serve as a special screening of the first LXiA Spark Animation Grant Shorts! The LXiA Spark Grant sponsored by Netflix aims to uplift the presence of Latinx animation filmmakers, drawing attention to their unique ideas and perspectives.
The Animated Shorts Program jury consists of Natasha Kline (Creator and Executive Producer, Primos, Disney Television Animation), Octavio Rodriguez (Director, DreamWorks Animation), and Karissa Valencia (Creator/ Showrunner, Netflix ). The selected all-around best animated short will be awarded the top prize of Best Animated Short Film, with a $2K award sponsored by Ad Astra Media, a Wacom Cintiq presented by Wacom, and a one-year license to animation software from Toon Boom Animation. LXiA will also be celebrating our guests along with our filmmakers as we will be raffling a Wacom One to two lucky audience members who attend the Animated Shorts Program in-person!
LALIFF Animated Short Films Program 2023
- Ashkasha – Lara Maltz (Spain/Argentina)
- Back to Normal – Cecilia De Jesus (U.S)
- Blanket of Words – Carlos Zerpa & Jacobo Albán & Beltrán Pérez (Columbia/ Venezuela/ France)
- Brujas – Adrian Sandoval (U.S)
- Go Ahead – Mónica Santillana (Guatemala)
- La Calesita – Augusto Schillaci (Argentina/Canada)
- La Curandera Cumbiambera – Ivan Flores (U.S)
- Lucky Brave’s Sunshine – CHOGRIN (Joseph Game) & ICHI (Andres Aguilar) (Ecuador)
- Song of the Lake– Carlos Sallas & Ariana Navarrete & Samuel Mendez (Mexico)
- The Borderline – Christian Arredondo Narváez (Mexico)
- The Walls – Bryam Jiménez (Puerto Rico)
- The World’s After – Bryam Jiménez (France)
- To Fall – Florentina Gonzalez (Puerto Rico)
- Urie – Anthony Gallego (U.S)
June 2nd Animated Feature Film Screening
To end the evening of June 2nd, LALIFF will screen the U.S. premiere of the animated feature film The Other Shape originating from Colombia and Brazil and directed by Diego Felipe Guzman. The in-person screening will then conclude with a Q&A with the filmmakers.
June 3rd Animated Episodic Screening Premiere
The afternoon of Saturday, June 3rd, LALIFF feature the screenings of the Episodics program which will also include the animated series Astropackers directed by Luisa Velasquez, Silvia Prietov, and Felipe Rodriguez. Originating from Colombia.
June 3rd Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse YCP Screening
To conclude the animation programming at LALIFF Sony Pictures Animation will be presenting an exclusive screening of the highly anticipated sequel Spider-Man: Across the Spider Verse for Youth Cinema Project In the film, Miles Morales returns for the next chapter of the Oscar-winning Spider-Verse trilogy. After reuniting with Gwen Stacy, Brooklyn’s full-time, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is catapulted across the Multiverse, where he encounters the Spider Society, a team of Spider-People charged with protecting the Multiverse’s very existence. But when the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles finds himself pitted against the other Spiders and must set out on his own to save those he loves most. Anyone can wear the mask – it’s how you wear it that makes you a hero.
Join LALIFF & LXiA animation programming by watching and celebrating an exhilarating program of animation that should inspire animation enthusiasts and industry professionals alike. LALIFF will run from Wednesday, May 31st, to Sunday, June 4th. Animation Programming will be held from June 1st - 3rd. Festival events and screenings will take place at the TCL Chinese Theatres and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. For the LALIFF full programming slate and schedule please visit www.laliff.org. Tickets are now available to purchase through the festival’s site here.
For more information on LatinX in Animation, please visit www.latinxinanimation.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.