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SVA, Guillermo del Toro, Google and Women in Animation at Annecy 2017
June 22, 2017
Man and woman smiling.
Angie Wojak, director of Career Development at SVA, and director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth) at the 2017 Annecy International Animation Film Festival.

A team from SVA recently attended the 2017 Annecy International Animation Film Festival, one of the top showcases for animated films in the world, which took place June 8 – 17 in the French Alps. The group engaged with industry veterans, talent recruiters and SVA alumni throughout the week and took part in a number of panel discussions and special events. Below are some of the highlights from all of the festivities.

Angie Wojak, director of Career Development at SVA, had the pleasure of meeting director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth), as well as Emmy Award-winning animator Jorge Gutiérrez, creator and director of Book of Life and soon-to-be director of the next Legos movie. "Everyone we met, including Guillermo and Jorge, had great things to say about SVA and our talented students,” said Wojak. “It was thrilling to meet these talented creators and to be able to meet new recruiters from around the world who may be able to offer our students internships and jobs."

Group picture SVA NYC
The SVA booth at Mifa with Laura Nitz (Assistant to the Chair of BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects), John McIntosh (Chair of BFA Computer Art of Computer Animation and Visual Effects), India Lombardi-Bell (Administrative Assistant of MFA Computer Arts)and Hsiang Chin Moe (Director of Operations of MFA Computer Arts).

The College’s MFA Computer Arts, BFA Animation and BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects departments hosted a booth at the MIFA Campus (The International Animation Film Market Campus), which featured a full day of events dedicated to young talents. Carlos Saldanha (MFA 1993 Computer Art), Blue Sky director of Ice Age and Rio, spoke in a featured interview with Variety magazine about his experience as a student at SVA, where he honed his skills and was able to experiment. He also discussed his new feature, Ferdinand, and the challenges he faced while pitching the film, and encouraged the young animators in the audience to take their time as they develop and to follow their passion.

Six people sitting on a conference deck, with an illustrated backgoung of blue and green mountains. There are 4 men, 2 women, middle aged. There are water bottles and name tags in two tables in front of them.
Terrence Masson (Chair of SVA MFA Computer Arts), Ilija Brunck (Managing Partner of Woodblock and Polypoid), Boris Jacq (CG Supervisor of Illumination Mac Guff), Alison Mann (Vice President Talent of Illumination Entertainment), Javier Romero (VFX Supervisor of Ilion Animation Studios) and Hsiang Chin Moe.

Also on the MIFA Campus, MFA Computer Arts hosted a panel discussion with recruiters from around the world on the topic of "Getting Hired and Staying Hired in Animation/VFX Industries." The panelists included Ilija Brunck from Polynoid/Woodblock; Boris Jacq, CG Supervisor at Illumination Mac Guff; Alison Mann, VP Talent at Illumination Entertainment; MFA Computer Arts Chair Terrence Masson; and Javier Romero, VFX Supervisor at Ilion Animation Studios. SVA’s Hsiang Chin Moe, Director of Operations at MFA Computer Arts, moderated the panel.

eight people sitting in a living room in different chairs and sofas
Google Tilt Brush presentation and conversation about the Tilt Brush Toolkit with Chris Prynoski (third from right) of Titmouse.

Google Tiltbrush hosted a breakfast and panel discussion that featured director/producer and founder of Titmouse, Chris Prynoski (BFA 1994 Animation). Prynoski spoke about his recent animation work utilizing Google's newest technology and Glen Keane, legendary Disney animator, joined the conversation.

Wojak and Chin Moe attended the first-ever Women in Animation World Summit, a series of panel discussions and a luncheon that included seasoned animators, talent recruiters and executives, including several from Walt Disney Animation. “It was a rich discussion about the concrete steps that can be taken to help ensure that women animators make up a larger number of creatives and leaders in their fields,” said Wojak.

For more information about the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, click here.