Ticket sales commenced this week on Brown Paper Tickets for the LA Animation Festival which unspools November 30-December 2 at its new home the Mayflower Club in North Hollywood. Entries through Film Freeway close at midnight Friday, November 9 for this year’s newly-revived LAAF. The festival is the only local animated film competition and will screen entries from animators around Los Angeles, around California, around the country and around the world.
The fun starts with an Opening Night Preview Party featuring a concert performance by SpongeBob 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 features many of the weekend’s guests, including Honorees director/animator Chris Prynoski and VR pioneer Evette Vargas. A third of the proceeds of the opening night’s preview 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 LA screening of 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 Dog production designer Paul Harrod who will present a special screening and making of the Wes Anderson feature, sponsored by LA stop motion makers Stoopid Buddy Stoodios and Screen Novelties . A full schedule and rundown of the panel guests is available on the festival website.
The work of this year’s honoree Chris Prynoski, co-owner with his wife Shannon of innovative animation powerhouse Titmouse, will be featured in a special program Saturday Evening, comprising a TV chat-show style Q&A and screenings of his many works. Chris will be awarded LAAF 2018 Honoree prize during the evening. “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,” states Festival co-director John Andrews.
Capping off the weekend is Sunday’s Competition Awards Ceremony which honors first, second and third place winners in several judging categories and includes several special awards including one for VR pioneer that goes to New York Times’ “Artist to Watch” Evette Vargas, an award-winning writer, director and producer of multi-platform and Virtual Reality 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,” says Evette. Also on Sunday night CalArts Character Animation star Gabrielle Capili makes a very special live appearance with her pet dinosaur!
Competition judges include above mentioned Jerry Beck and Eric Calderon plus past director of Ottawa International Animation Festival and panel moderator Tom Knott, Nexus Productions co-founder Chris O’Reilly, Titmouse partner/art director Antonio Canobbio, director Yvette Kaplan, known for Beavis & Butt-Head series and feature and 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 Overall 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.