Finally We Had Our Awards Show!

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On Saturday December 4th the Los Angeles Animation Festival delivered a live and in-person Awards Ceremony for its 2021 competition with an additional program that invited the winners of last year’s festival.  Top prizes for 2021 went to Best of the Fest Claude Cloutier’s Bad Seeds, Best Director/Best Character-Based Short Joanna Quinn for Affairs of the Art and Best First Time Filmmaker/Best Student Comedy to Alex Tullo’s Barking Orders.  An LAAF Special Jury prize went to Stop Motion Winner Little Hilly from Taiwanese directors Huang Yun Hsien and Liao Pei Yu. An assortment of directors from around the state and the country and several from overseas attended the festivities at the Burbank branch of the Royal Order of the Moose.  

Attendees receiving their 2020 awards in-person included some of the director-animators of last year’s 1st place documentary short Vicky & Xingyu, a collaborative project of members of Sheila Sofian’s USC John Hench Division’s documentary animation class; May McDonough who won the Unproduced Screenplay Award for Eviscerated: A Zombie Musical; and FilmFest Distribution’s Award for Excellence in Design’s prize winner Greg Garay for his USC thesis film Izzy’s Demons.

This year’s indispensable group of judges included Jason Milov, executive producer at Open the Portal; Tom Warburton, executive producer of Disney Junior’s Muppet Babies; film composer Medhat Hanbali of animated series Mouvement fame; director/animator and producer at Al Roker Entertainment Jerry L. Brice; USC Professor/filmmaker Sheila M. Sofian; award-winning filmmaker and host of the Dope Sheet podcast Willy Hartland; Polina Grinberg; NY-based animator and artist Polina Grinberg – a graduate of SAIC and Calarts, teaching animation and film in both the US and abroad. She is currently working on a hand drawn animated short; Warner Bros. Animation producer Elizabeth Seidman; Beavis and Butthead Do America co-director and current Cal State Long Beach animation writing adjunct Yvette Kaplan; filmmaker and Cal State Long Beach faculty member Walter Santucci; director/showrunner Otis Brayboy; writer/producer Sara Mossman; supervising director/showrunner Ron Myrick; award-winning actor/director/producer Robyn von Arx; co-founder and acquisitions director for Jolin Crofts; Discover Hollywood writer and graphic designer Bill Weber; independent writer/producer of children’s entertainment Tracy Hall; director of the Experimental Animation Program at Cal Arts Maureen Furness; award-winning writer, creator of one-woman show Hypocrites and Strippers Kim Yaged; filmmaker/animatic editor David Fain; veteran animation producer and executive Larry Le Francis, USC Professor of the Practice of Cinematic Arts Lisa Mann; producer/director Phil Condit; UCSB Film & Media Studies academic advisor Joseph Palladino: producer/director of That’s So Funny Entertainment Antonia Roman; Red ToolBox founder/creator of chat show Everything’s Entertainment Cheryl Davis and widely published poet/writer David Harper.

Festival directors Miles Flanagan and John Andrews are crossing fingers for a full length in-person festival with screenings, panels, awards and parties next year at the Burbank Moose!