In a packed theater and a very successful award ceremony—arranged by Cinema Without Borders and the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, in collaboration with Art Institute Of California-Los Angeles—Will Vinton, a master of Claymation and an Academy Award winner, received his Life Achievement Award.
The night began with a reception at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, where guests enjoyed the delicious Italian food prepared by Obika Restaurant, along with Italian wine and coffee. The world of animation was well represented, with guests Phil Roman, Phil Mendez, Terry Thoren, Will Vinton, and Sarah Baisley, along with Italian/American animators such as Cinzia Angelini and Marco Regina.
The Italian Cultural Institute’s staff and the student volunteers from the Art Institute of California-Los Angeles demonstrated excellence in organizing the reception and offering first-rate service to the guests of the event.
Alberto Di Maro, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, opened the screenings and award ceremony by addressing the audience. Bijan Tehrani, Editor In Chief of Cinema Without Borders, followed with a colorful introduction.
The screenings began with Professor Mike Rogers introducing animated shorts from students of the Art Institute. One of the students’ films, Kick the Can, involved the cooperation of Maribel Orozco, a young student, and Fabrizio Mancinelli, an Italian/American composer.
The evening continued with words from Massimo Sarti, the IIC Deputy Director, and animated short-films from Italy, selected by Maurizio Di Rienzo, Italian film-critic.
Cinzia Angelini, Italian/American animation filmmaker and winner of CWB/ICC’s Italian/American Animator of 2012, gave an introduction to Marco Regina, the winner of the 2013 honor. After the screening of samples of Marco Regina’s work at Dreamworks, he received his award from Alberto Di Mauro and dedicated it to his wife and his future child.
The highlight of the night was the Life Achievement Award ceremony.
Terry Thoren, founder of Animation Magazine, CEO of Klasky Csupo, Inc, and a 35-year entertainment-industry veteran, talked about his longtime friend, Will Vinton, and his work as a master of Claymation. Audiences rose to their feet when Bijan Tehrani announced Will Vinton as the winner of 2013 Cinema Without Borders and Italian Cultural Institute Life Achievement Award. Phil Roman—a legendary figure in realm of animation and the 2012 Life Achievement Award winner—was on hand to present the award to Will Vinton. The festivities didn’t stop there, as Phil Mendez—2010’s Life Achievement honoree, presented a painting of his (completed for the occasion) to Will Vinton.
After the acceptance speech by Mr. Vinton, guests and filmmakers got together to enjoy coffee, dessert, and a chance to snap some photos with the greats of animation.
It is important to mention that the beautiful Life Achievement Award was designed by Shawn Linn, a student of animation at the Art Institute and Professor Peter Gend helped to make it into a 3D statue.
Please watch complete award acceptance sprrch of Mr. Will Vinton on CWB Facebook. A video from the entire ceremony will be posted on our site soon.