Sony Pictures, CAPE Announce Program For AAPI Animation Creatives

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In collaboration with Sony Pictures, the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) announced the return of the CAPE Animation Directors Accelerator. The initiative aims to identify and equip the next generation of AAPI animation professionals with the skills to become directors in feature film and episodic animation.

CAPE is a non-profit organization built to create opportunities for Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Hollywood. Kevin Noel, senior vice president of creative for Sony Pictures Animation, will serve as program chair for the CAPE Animation Directors Accelerator.

The program was co-founded by Justin Huang, vice president of creative for Sony Pictures Animation, and Michelle Wong, producer of “K-Pop: Demon Hunters.”

“I am honored to be joining CAPE and their CADA program, following in the footsteps of my colleagues Justinian Huang and Michelle Wong, who did an incredible job providing the opportunity to help creatives from the AAPI community with unprecedented access to key creators in the animation industry in its inaugural year,” said Noel in a statement.

The CAPE Animation Directors Accelerator will select rising animation filmmakers to attend panels, workshops and masterclasses taught by executives, producers and creatives in the industry, in addition to receiving one-on-one executive mentorship. Past program mentors and speakers include directors Maggie Kang (“K-Pop: Demon Hunters”), Domee Shi (“Turning Red”) and Jude Weng (“Finding ‘Ohana”).

Ideal candidates for the program will have at least five years in the animation field and ambitions of being the creative lead for animation film or episodic projects. Prioritized levels of experience include head of story, episodic director, art director, CG director, technical director, VFX supervisor, editor and production designer. Submissions are open until Oct. 6.

As part of the CAPE Animation Directors Accelerator, CAPE will hold a panel about comic book adaptation at Lightbox Expo in Pasadena on Saturday, Oct. 28, featuring Randall Park, Karen Gaviola and Steve Maeda.

CAPE Animation Directors Accelerator is a part of other CAPE initiatives, including the CAPE New Writers Fellowship, CAPE Leaders Fellowship, Julia S. Gouw Short Film Challenge, CAPE Emerging Executive Committee and the soon-to-be-launched CAPE Database.

“Animation is a boundless medium that is celebrating a surge of new ideas from storytellers who dare to innovate and take risks, and I hope this program will continue to empower a new generation of talent to push the envelope and bring their unique perspectives to the craft,” Noel said.

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