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The World Animation and VFX Summit Returns This November

2022 may be remembered as the year that in-person events returned in a big way. After years of virtual or hybrid events, the industry has really embraced conventions, festivals and similar events once again. Returning to an in-person event this year is The World Animation and VFX Summit, the leading West Coast event for the animation and visual effects industries. The summit is held by Animation Magazine.

This year's summit will take place from November 6-10, on the grounds of the historic Garland Hotel in North Hollywood. It will kick off with an opening night gala at which this year's honorees will be presented with their awards.

This year's honorees are:

Kristine Belson. President of Sony Pictures Animation, who has led the studio through its brightest years (which have seen the release of Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse, Mitchells vs the Machines, Vivo and Hair Love).
Jorge R. Gutierrez.  Writer-director of Netflix’s Annie Award-winning limited series Maya and the Three, director of the feature The Book of Life, and co-creator of Nickelodeon’s Emmy-winning show El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera.
Ramsey Naito.  President of Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures, who has been a driving force behind movies such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and PAW Patrol: The Movie and hit shows such as Star Trek: Prodigy, Big Nate, Santiago of the Seas and Kamp Koral.
Peter Ramsey. Academy Award©-winning director of Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and DreamWorks’ Rise of the Guardians, producer of 2023’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and director of Netflix’s limited series Finding Ollie.
Henry Selick. Academy Award©-nominated director of stop-motion classics Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline and James and the Giant Peach and Netflix’s acclaimed new feature Wendell &Wild.
Mark Swift. Long-time DreamWorks Animation producer whose many credits include Penguins of Madagascar, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, The Croods: A New Age and this year’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.
Genndy Tartakvosky. Creator of beloved, and award-winning animated shows such as Samurai Jack, Sym-Bionic Titan, Star Wars: Clone Wars, Samurai Jack and Primal and director of Hotel Transylvania and its two sequels.
TeamTO. Pioneering indie French animation studio behind such favourites such as Angelo Rules, Mighty Mike, YellowBird, Rabbids Invasion, City of Ghosts and the upcoming show, Jade Armor.

The gala will be followed by the three-day summit, which will feature a line-up of must-see panels and key notes. These will include key notes from legendary Disney director John Musker (The Little Mermaid, Moana) creator of Spirit Rangers Karissa Valencia and executive producer/supervising director Mike Hollingsworth (Inside Job, BoJack Horseman), as well as a fireside chat with Sony Pictures Animation President Kristine Belson. There will also be a 20th anniversary party for Sony Pictures Animation.

There will also be making of panels for some of the biggest animated films of the year. Featured titles include The Bad Guys, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Lightyear, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Wendell & Wild, Luck, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, My Father’s Dragon, The Sea Beast, Strange World and Turning Red. There will also be a spotlight on some of the most acclaimed short films of the year.

Featured speakers 

  • Saraswathi Balgam, Founder, Dancing Atoms
  • Zoe Bamsey, Head of Animation Development, BBC Kids & Family
  • Simon Barrionuevo, Founder, Pudoctopus
  • Ben Bayouth, Exec Producer, The Paloni Show! Halloween Special
  • Peter Baynton, Director; The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
  • Kristine Belson, President, Sony Pictures Animation
  • Kim Berglund, VP of Development, Disney Junior
  • Carlos Biern, Director of Content & Distribution, Kids & Family, Deaplaneta Ent.
  • Tricia Biggio, CEO, Invisible Universe
  • Matt Bilfield, Artist and Director, Blockchain Creative Labs
  • Davis Brimer, Founder and CEO, Gamisodes
  • Mark Caballero, Founder, Screen Novelties
  • Sadaf Cohen Muncy, SVP, HappyNest Entertainment
  • Joel Crawford, Director, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, The Croods: A New Age
  • Mo Davoudian, Exec Creative Director/CEO, Brainzoo
  • John Derevlany,  Writer/Producer, Squish, LEGO Chima, Akedo
  • Karen Dufilho, Exec Producer, Epic Games
  • Frank Falcone, President, Creative Director, Guru Studio
  • Dean Fleischer Camp, Director, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
  • Debbie Flores, Associate, Fox Rothschild
  • Amanda Forbis, Director, The Flying Sailor, When the Day Breaks
  • Jake Friedman, Author, The Disney Revolt, The Art of Blue Sky Studios
  • JoĆ£o Gonzalez, Director, Ice Merchants
  • Mark Gustafson, Director, Guillermo del Toros Pinocchio
  • Don Hall, Director, Strange World
  • Chris Hamilton, President/Creative Director, Oddbot Studio
  • Guillaume Helloin, Founder, TeamTO
  • Richard Hickey, CCO, Moonbug Entertainment
  • Bob Higgins, President, Trustbridge Global Media
  • Mike Hollingsworth, Exec Producer/Supervising Director (BoJack Horseman, Inside Job)
  • Peggy Holmes, Director, Luck
  • Ron Holsey, Exec Producer, Interrupting Chicken
  • Shane Houghton, Co-Creator, Big City Greens
  • Elizabeth Ito, Director/Exec Producer, City of Ghosts, Yuki 7
  • Jasmine Johnson, Senior Director Production, Moonbug Entertainment
  • Sander Joon, Director, Sierra
  • William Joyce, Writer-Director, Mr. Spam Gets a New Hat, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  • Andrew Kavanaugh, CEO/Founder, Kavaleer Productions
  • Brooke Keesling, Head of Animation Talent Development, Bento Box Ent.
  • Heather Kenyon, Executive Producer/Partner, Citizen Skull Productions
  • Scott Kreamer, Executive Producer, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous
  • Joel Kuwahara, Co-Founder, Principal, Bento Box Entertainment
  • Cort Lane, Exec Producer, My Little Pony: Make Your Mark
  • Curtis Lelash, Producer/Creative Executive
  • Uri Lotan, Director, Black Slide
  • Loris Lunsford, Exec Producer, Interrupting Chicken
  • Angus MacLane, Director, Lightyear, Finding Dory
  • Karen K.  Miller, President, Cyber Group Studios USA
  • Fletcher Moules, Director, Entergalactic
  • John Musker, Director, Moana, The Princess and the Frog, Aladdin
  • Alissa Nutting, Creator/Exec Producer, Teenage Euthanasia
  • Patrick Osborne, Director, Love, Death + Robots, Happier Than Ever
  • Latifa Ouoau, Exec VP of Movies, Global Franchises, Nickelodeon/Paramount
  • Pierre Perifel, Director, The Bad Guys
  • Dan Povenmire, Creator, Hamster & Gretel,Phineas & Ferb
  • Pamela Ribon, Writer/director,  My Year of Dicks
  • Sam Riegal,  Executive Producer, The Legend of Vox Machina
  • Henry Selick, Director,Wendell & Wild, Coraline
  • Domee Shi, Director, Turning Red, Bao
  • Matt Shichtman, Director, The Gotham Group
  • Craig Silverstein, Creator/Exec Producer, Pantheon, Turn: Washington’s Spies
  • Claudia Spinelli, Senior VP, Nickelodeon
  • Jane Startz, Exec Producer, Duck & Goose
  • Wendy Tilby, Director, The Flying Sailor, When the Day Breaks
  • Nora Twomey, Director, My Father’s Dragon, The Breadwinner
  • Karissa Valencia, Creator, Spirit Rangers
  • Annette Van Duren, Founder, The Van Duren Agency
  • Dave Wasson, Exec Producer, The Cuphead Show!
  • Daniel Weidenfeld, Senior VP, Animation, FOX Entertainment  
  • Chris Williams, Director, The Sea Beast, Moana
  • Kris Wimberly, Co-Founder/Head of Creative, Studio Smokescreen

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the summit's website here.