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Will Vinton Receives 2013 Italian Animation Life Achievement Award

The Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles and Cinema Without Borders honor legendary claymation artist, director and producer Will Vinton at the second annual ItaliANimation event.


Last weekend, the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles and Cinema Without Borders presented the second ItaliANimation event, bestowing a Life Achievement Award upon legendary claymation artist, director and producer Will Vinton. The event, produced in collaboration with The Art Institute of California, Los Angeles and with support from ELMA, was held at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles.

Vinton, known around the world as the pioneer of “Claymation,” has created some of the most innovative dimensional animation in history. Vinton and his production teams have also created some of the best known animated characters in the world, including The California Raisins and the popular GC-animated Red and Yellow M&Ms. He produced and directed the acclaimed Claymation feature film The Adventures of Mark Twain, and he produced Emmy winning television series The PJs for The WB, and Gary and Mike for UPN. Will also founded Will Vinton Studios to explore 3D animation and grew the company at its peak into one of the world's most respected and creative companies for all types of Claymation and 3D animation.

As a Director and Producer of 3D animation, Will Vinton has won virtually every film and television award given a filmmaker. In addition to his Oscar for the short film Closed Mondays, he has received four additional Academy Award Nominations (The great cognitoThe creationRip Van Winkle, and Return to Oz) – and eight Prime-time Emmys and for Outstanding Animated Programs (The PJsGary and MikeThe California Raisin Shows, Will Vinton’s Claymation EasterThe Claymation Comedy of HorrorsMeet the Raisins, Will  Vintons’s  Claymation Christmas Celebration, The online Adventures of Ozzie the Elf). Will has also received numerous Clios for advertising and prestigious international awards including the Cannes Golden Lion. 

Click through, below, to watch Vinton’s acceptance speech:


The evening included screenings of animated shorts by Art Institute of California, Los Angeles students, and an Italian animation showcase presented by ACME Filmworks' Ron Diamond, as well as a tribute to Italian/American character designer Marco Regina. Presenters included Mike Rogers of the Art Institute of California, Los Angeles; entertainment industry veteran and former Klasky Csupo CEO Terry Thoren; and DreamWorks Animation story artist Cinzia Angelini.

Previous Life Achievement Award recipients include Phil Roman (2012) and Phil Mendez (2011).

Source: Cinema Without Borders

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.