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World Animation & VFX Summit Announces Hosts and Presenters

Gala event on November 2 to honor ‘Simpsons’ director David Silverman, TV animation icon Phil Roman, DreamWorks Animation producer Bonnie Arnold, and voice talent of the year Jim Cummings.

Animation Magazine has announced its line-up of presenters for the award ceremony at the World Animation & VFX Summit Opening Night Party on November 2, 6:00-10:00 p.m. at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, CA.

  • Emmy and Annie Award-winning actress Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson) will present the Director of the Year Award to David Silverman (The Simpsons, The Longest Day Care).
  • TV host, comedian and voice actor Craig Ferguson will present the Feature Producer of the Year Award to DreamWorks Animation's Bonnie Arnold (How to Train Your Dragon 2).
  • Emmy-winning producer Bill Schultz (The Simpsons, Wild Grinders) will present the Lifetime Achievement Award to TV animation icon Phil Roman.
  • Actor Roger Rose (Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Happy Feet) will present the Voice Talent of the Year Award to actor Jim Cummings (Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Darkwing Duck, The Tasmanian Devil).

The awards ceremony will be co-hosted by Roger Rose and actress Vanessa Marshall (Star Wars Rebels, Young Justice, Fish Hooks).

Other honorees include:

  • RGH (Rubicon Group Holding): Breakout Studio of the Year Award.
  • Ellen Goldsmith-Vein (Gotham Group's Founder): Talent Agent and Manager Award.

The 3rd Annual World Animation & VFX Summit takes place November 3-6 at the California Yacht Club, in Marina del Rey, CA. The event will feature panels, discussion and networking with a global array of high-level animation and visual effects professionals, who are creating new business models in animation, VFX, distribution and financing.

This year’s distinguished keynote speakers and panelists include:

  • Rob Minkoff Acclaimed producer and director (The Lion King, Stuart Little, Mr. Peabody and Sherman)
  • David Silverman, Director (The Simpsons, The Longest Day Care)
  • Don Hahn, Producer (Maleficent, The Lion King)
  • Julia Pistor, Executive Producer (Max Steel, Rugrats movies)
  • Tony Bancroft, Director (Mulan, Bunyan & Babe)
  • Jody Simon, Partner and Chair of Production Company Practice, Fox Rothschild LLP
  • Julie Kane-Ritsch, Head of Animation and Family Entertainment, The Gotham Group
  • Nancy Newhouse Porter, Partner and Co-founder, Newhouse Porter Hubbard
  • Dean DeBlois, Director (DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon 2)
  • Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi, Directors (LAIKA’s The Boxtrolls)
  • Jorge Gutierrez, Writer and Director (Reel FX’s The Book of Life)
  • Paul Young, Co-founder of Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon (The Secret of KellsSong of the Sea)
  • David Jesteadt, Director of Distribution, GKIDS
  • Melissa Boag, VP of Kids and Family Entertainment, Shout! Factory
  • Simon Crowe, Founder and President, SC Films
  • Chris McKay, Animation Co-Director & Editor (The LEGO Movie, Robot Chicken)
  • Chris Miller, Co-director (The LEGO Movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs)
  • Dan Lin, Producer (The LEGO Movie, Ninjago)
  • Pablo Plaisted, Cinematographer (The LEGO Movie, Happy Feet 2)
  • Glen Keane, Director (Duet) Supervising Animator (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid)
  • Karen Dufilho, Executive Producer, Google ATAP
  • Max Keane, Production Designer; (Duet)
  • Rachid El Guerrab, Technical Project Lead, Google ATAP
  • David Steinberg, SVP of Animation Production, Nickelodeon Studios
  • Mary Bredin, Exec VP, Guru Studio
  • Pascal Blais, Founder, Pascal Blais Studio
  • Rob Davies, Partner and VP of Development, Atomic Cartoons
  • Shabnam Rezaei, Co-Founder, Big Bad Boo Studios
  • Anja Sosic, Producer, Human Ark (Poland)
  • Chuck Powers, Chief Creative Officer, Kartun Studios (Malaysia)
  • Dirk Hampel, Founder, B-Waters Studio (Germany)
  • Trevor Lai, Founder/CEO/Creative Director, UP Studios (China)
  • Paul Babb, President and CEO of Maxon US
  • Andy Blazdell, President, CelAction
  • Brandon Parvini, Creative Director, Ghost Town Media
  • Daniel Gregoire, Founder/CEO/Previs Director, Halon
  • Harold Moss, Founder and Creative Director, Flickerlab
  • Ron Frankel, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Proof Inc.
  • Claudia Katz, Co-founder and Exec VP, Rough Draft Studios
  • Halle Stanford, Exec VP of Children’s Ent., The Jim Henson Company
  • Kara Vallow, Producer (Family Guy)
  • Aaron Parry, EVP and COO, Stereo D
  • Cort Lane, VP of Animation Development and Partnerships, Marvel TV
  • David Voss, Senior VP, Mattel Playground Productions
  • Troy Underwood, Director, Current Series, Disney TV Animation
  • Daren Ulmer, President and Chief Creative, Mousetrappe
  • Frank Drucker, Head of Broadcast Production, All Things Media
  • Richard Taylor, Media Director of Themed Entertainment, RGH

“We are thrilled to have such a fantastic group of animation and visual effects visionaries and artists contribute to our Summit this year,” says Jean Thoren, Animation Magazine’s publisher and founder of the event. “It’s heartening to see big studios such as DreamWorks and Illumination and indie animation companies such as Atomic Cartoons and RGH Studios all support this grassroots efforts to foster our industry and increase international collaborations between the U.S. and animation producers in countries such as Mexico, Malaysia and Canada.”

"We are very pleased to be presenting awards this year to some of the key pioneers in our industry,” adds Thoren. “Phil Roman, was a leader and mentor for many Hispanic animators in our field. In the case of Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, she was one of many women working at the top talent agencies, but by starting her own firm, The Gotham Group, she became a real game changer. Bonnie Arnold has always been a top-level producer, but her success in animated movies has been truly unparalleled.

Similarly, RGH’s founder Randa Ayoubi beat the odds to not only succeed in a male-dominated industry, but in a country that did not appreciate her vision early on.”

The 2014 Summit will showcase panels on the making of some of the year’s top animated features such as The LEGO Movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Secret of the Sea, The Book of Life and Big Hero 6. It will also bring to focus some of the innovations in new media, the changes in the TV animation landscape and interactive 3D technologies.

Source: World Animation & VFX Summit

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.