MONTEREY PARK, CA—East Los Angeles College, Cinema Without Borders, and the National Film Board of Canada came together to celebrate the National Film Board of Canada Animation Day. With many in attendance, both in the audience and on the panel, the atmosphere around the theatre became one of bonding and excitement. Networking in the lobby, beside ELAC’s Vincent Price Museum, attendees had the opportunity to speak with industry professionals and were treated to hors dourves catered by the Polka Restaurant.
As the Animation Day began, opening remarks were made by East Lost Angeles College Head of Animation, Mike Libonati, followed by Cinema Without Border’s Editor in Chief, Bijan Tehrani—both spoke eagerly for the events to come and warmly welcomed the guests. Moving next to an introduction of the National Film Board of Canada’s animation work, six different animation films were screened; all were Academy Award winners in their own year. This included: work by Norman McLaren (‘Neighbours’), John Weldon & Eunice Macaulay (‘Special Delivery’), Co Hoedeman (‘The Sand Castle’), Eugene Fedorenko (‘Every Child’), Chris Landreth (‘Ryan’), Torill Kove (‘The Danish Poet’).
Next came a wonderful panel discussion, followed by a Q & A, and moderated Mike Libonati the head of ELAC’s animation department. On the panel is a powerful force of working animators, Cinzia Angelini, Tom McLean, Sarah Baisley, Lee Crowe, and Bill Recinos. After the panel, it was time to honor Phil Roman, a legend in the Animation industry. Accepting the award with humble appreciation, Phil gave a inspiring acceptance speech and shared his advice for the young animators in attendance.
Following that, animator Cinzia Angelini returned to the stage to share her work on ‘Mila,’ an animated film made in collaboration with 250 artists, in 25 countries, all working together via the Internet. The size of the project alone, and the talent it takes to produce the beautiful high quality animation is astounding; but then to learn from Angelini about the possibilities of collaborating in this format opened a door in the mind of all to the future animation production to come. Rounding out the celebration, Bijan Tehrani thanked the audience for attending and announced the 2017 Latin American Animation Day and a 2018 South East European Animation day.