Southeast European Animation Day, and Life Achievement Award for legendary Noureddin Zarrinkelk


East Los Angeles College, Cinema Without Borders and Southeast European Film Festival, LA, are proud to present the Southeast European Animation Day, the third edition of the annual East Los Angeles College International Animation Festival.
The goal of the ELAC International Animation Festival is to give an in-depth and entertaining introduction to contemporary international animation. Screenings of short animated films from around the world, analyses and Q&A’s with a panel of well-known animation experts, and a tribute to an international animation artist working in the U.S. animation industry are all part of the festival program.

Southeast European Animation Day will be held on Saturday, March 25th at East Los Angeles College, located at 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754. Screenings will be held in the Music Recital Hall theater (Building S2)
Free parking will be available in Structure #3 (off of Avenida Cesar Chavez) or Structure #4 (corner of Floral and Collegiate Avenues)

11: 30 AM   Reception
12:30  PM   Opening Remarks by Mike Libonati, Head of Animation Department at ELAC, Bijan Tehrani, Editor in Chief of Cinema Without Borders and director of the festival and Vera Mijojlic, founder and president of Southeast European Film Festival, LA.
1:00 PM   Screening of Short Animated Films from Southeast European countries:
The Blood, Bulgaria, 2012, 6 minutes – Choban, Croatia, 2014, 18 minutes – The Day of the Bleeding Gums, Bulgaria, 2014, 5 minutes – Dinner for Few, Greece/US, 2014, 10 minutes – Elmando Romania/Italy, 2014, 4 minutes – Koyaa – Flower, Slovenia, 2013, 4 minutes – The Mediterranean, Turkey, 2014, 3 minutes – Mother Beast, Hungary/Spain, 2013, 7 minutes – Rabbitland Serbia, 2013, 7 minutes – The Vast Landscape, Croatia, 2014, 11 minutes – Vis Dubium, Serbia, 2014, 7 minutes – SUROGAT, 1961, Yugoslavia, 10 minutes, Oscar winner – FLUTTER, USA/Bulgaria, 2017, 10 minutes.
2: 05 PM   Panel discussion and Q & A. Mike Libonati, an animator and visual artist that runs ELAC’s animation department and panel moderator introduces the other panel members: Italian/American animator Cinzia Angelini, Animation Industry pioneer and expert Sarah Baisley, Editor in Chief of Animation Magazine Tom McLean, Vladimir Todorov, Bulgarian/American concept artist, illustrator and animator that has worked on projects such as An American Tail 2, Fivel Goes West, We’re Back, & Balto and Nouredin Zarrinkelk, Iranian/American animation director, writer, book illustrator and ex-President of ASIFA International.
2: 30 PM   An update to the Making of Mila: Creating a Quality Animated Film via the World Wide Web, A presentation by Cinzia Angelini.
3:00 PM Tribute to a Legend: Life achievement Award ceremony for legendary Noureedin Zarrinkelk.
This section starts with screening of “KELK E ZARRIN” (Golden Brush) which give a brief biography reviewing all Mr. Zarinkelk work –   Screening of animated film Bani Adam (Excellencies) – Then presenting the award and Q&A
3:30 PM:  Closing remarks Announcing Latin American Animation Day on 2018

To attend please RSVP at or call 310-422-4629 and leave your name and phone number

The Making of Mila
“Mila” is a socially relevant animated short film “Mila”, a collaboration of 350 artists from 35 countries volunteering on this project that share one goal.  We aim to create an emotionally charged and thought-provoking film about the collateral damage of War, specifically the children. Inspired by a World War II survivor, “Mila” is a volunteer-based CG animated short film that is not your standard cartoon.
“The Making of Mila: Creating a Quality Animated Film via the World Wide Web”: “The Making of Mila: Creating a Quality Animated Film via the World Wide Web” presentation will share with the filmmaking community what a group of 350 artists from more than 35 countries learned while working on the project. The Director will discuss her experience, challenges, tips and tricks on both the creative and production side of working on Mila and how a high quality animated film is developed and produced via the world wide web.   Other topics of discussion will be: The Director’s motivation for choosing such a controversial topic, war, using animation and the journey it’s taken to make it a reality, Artistic Development, Animation and the technical challenges of working with a remote pipeline with 350 artists from more than 35 countries.

Tribute to a Legend: Life achievement Award ceremony for legendary Noureedin Zarrinkelk
Dr. Noureddin Zarrinkelk Iranian/American animation director, writer and illustrator was born on April 10, 1937 in Iran. He finished high school in 1954 and studied Persian Miniature, at the same time, between 1949-1954. Dr. Zarrinkelk received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1962; but he switched to animation art and studied Animation at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium, from 1969-1972. Dr. Zarrinkelk also studied Puppet Animation at the “Jiri Trunka” studios in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1975.
Dr. Zarrinkelk founded the first school of Animation, which later merged with the prestigious faculty of fine art of Farabi University. He continued being a professor of animation and graphic arts well into his retirement age.
Since 1971, Zarrinkelk has been Jury member of various international animation festivals and illustration exhibitions.
He was elected as president of ASIFA (Association International du Film d’Animation) by his peers in 2003.
Dr. Zarrinkelk has animated and directed 16 short animated films.
He has written and lustrated over 26 children books plus short story books
Zarrinkelk is known as the “Father of Animation of Iran”.
He has won numerous awards for his films and books.
Permanent member of ASIFA “Association International du Film d’Animation”.
Hans Christian Andersen Life Achievement for children books
Jewell of the Century, Annecy International Film Festival, France 2000, for “The Mad, Mad, Mad World”
Collection Tokyo Museum of Illustration, Japan 2000, for “Mullah Nasruddin”
Jury’s special award Tehran International Biennial, Iran 1999, for “Mullah Nasruddin”
Jury’s special award Tehran International Film Festival, Iran 1989, for “Supper Powers”
Special Mention, Bologna Book Exhibition, Italy 1987, for “A-B-Zoo”
Diploma Of Honor, Hans Christian Andersen Jury For Lifetime Achievement 1984
Diploma of Honor, Giffoni International Film Festival, Italy for “Prince Hamzeh” 1978
Diploma Of Honor, Paris International Short Film Festival for “the Mad, Mad, Mad World” 1977
First Prize for Subject, Oberhausen International Film Festival 1977, for “the Mad, Mad, Mad World” 1977
Plate of Honor, “Cairo International Film Festival” Egypt for “the Mad, Mad, Mad World” 1977
Silver Prize, Espino International Film Festival, Portugal, for “the Mad, Mad, Mad World” 1977
Diploma of Honor, Chicago International Film Festival 1976
First Prize for Subject, Saloniki Film Festival, Greece, for “the Mad, Mad, Mad World” 1977
Diploma of Honor, San Francisco International Film Festival, for “Association of Ideas” 1975
Best Book of the year, “IBBY Iran”, for “When I was a kid” 1975
Prix Clothide Coupie, Belgium National Film Festival 1973, for “Duty, First”
Prize for Schools, Annecy International Film Festival, France, 1969, for “Duty, First”
Golden Apple, Biennial of Illustration Bratislava, Slovakia 1971, for “The Crows”
Best Book of the year, “UNESCO International”, Tokyo, Japan 1970, for “The Crows”
Best Book of the year, “UNESCO Iran”, for “The Crows” 1970
Plate of Honor, IBBY Iran, for “Myth of the Sphinx” 1969

Panel Members:
Cinzia Angelini
Cinzia Angelini is a freelance story artist, writer and director with more than twenty years of experience in the animation industry. She worked as animator and story artists in feature productions for Dreamworks, Sony Imageworks, Disney Feature Animation, Warner Brothers and Illumination Entertainement. Recently Cinzia has been tapped to write and direct an animated film based on the story of Malala Yousafzai. Film Roman is producing. The short is based on the life of Malala, a Pakistani activist for young women’s right to education everywhere. Cinzia is also directing her own independent short, “Mila”, in collaboration with 350 artists from 35 countries around the world. Cinzia lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two children and their dog, Pepper.

Sarah Baisley
Sarah Baisley served as editor in chief of AWN, 2003 to 2007. In charge of all content creation for popular monthly professional online magazine, three weekly newsletters and daily online news service serving the animation and visual effects industries worldwide (155 countries). Previously editor in chief of Animation Magazine for five years, she is a specialist in animation publicity and journalism and is freelancing now in the wine industry as a journalist and marketing specialist. She headed publicity at Hanna-Barbara, Ruby-Spears, Southern Star and Film Roman studios during the previous 17 years of her career. She is founding member of Women in Animation. She also is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and participates on panels concerning topics about the animation and visual effects industries. Currently she is a retailer and journalist about wine and spirits.

Mike Libonati
Mike has been an animation and visual effects instructor for over 15 years. His students have had their work presented at Siggraph, CTN Animation Expo and various film festivals throughout the country. In addition to teaching, Mike works in 2D and 3D development in Los Angeles for various clients for both film and television including projects for Disney, Universal and Fox.  Mike has also worked on renderings for architectural lighting design on projects such as the Coex Mall in Korea, Asia’s largest underground mall, and Tesla Motor Company in Los Angeles. Mike has a Master’s Degree from CalArts in Experimental Animation. He currently teaches animation at ELAC.

Tom McLean
Editor in Chief Animation Magazine. Tom McLean joined Animation Magazine as its editor in January 2014, and previously served as its online news editor and as a freelance contributor as far back as 2006. McLean has more than two decades of experience as a professional journalist and his writing on animation, film, television and comic books has appeared in Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, VFX World, AwardsLine and Publisher’s Weekly, among others. McLean also wrote the book Mutant Cinema: The X-Men Trilogy from Comics to Screen (2008, Sequart) and appeared on-screen as an expert on the X-Men franchise in the 2013 Sequart documentary Comics in Focus: Chris Claremont’s X-Men. He previously worked on staff at Below the Line, Variety, the Daily Breeze, The Idaho Statesman and the Arizona Daily Sun. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arizona in 1991. A native of Edmonton, Canada, McLean lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters.

Vladimir Todorov
Vladimir Todorov is a concept artist, illustrator and animator.  He studied Fine Art and Animation in his native country, Bulgaria, and began his career as an animator at Amblimation Studio in London, UK, where he worked on An American Tail 2, Fivel Goes West, We’re Back, and Balto.
In 1995, Vladimir joined Uli Meyer Studio as a Lead Animator, working on Space Jam, Lost in Space and various TV commercials.
In 1997 Vladimir moved to Warner Brothers, to work on their animated feature The Quest for Camelot.
In 1998 Vladimir joined Sony Pictures Imageworks in LA as an animator, storyboard and concept Artist, working on Stuart Little, Stuart Little 2, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, as well as the Academy Award winning animated short, The Chubb Chubbs.
In 2002 began work as a character design supervisor for Robert Zemeckis’ The Polar Express.

Vladimir left Sony in 2005 to become a freelance artist. He has worked as a character designer on Beowulf., Christmas Carol, Mars Needs Moms, Jack the Giant Slayer, Alice in Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking Glass and many other feature films.
Vladimir has also written and illustrated three children books, The Moon Rock, Oliver’s Tantrums and Archipelago NY.

And Noureedin Zarrinkelk

Southeast European Animation introduction by Vera Mijojlic
Vera Mijojlic is the founder and director of SEEfest, the South East European Film Festival in Los Angeles. Over the past dozen years, she has positioned the festival as the premier cinematic showcase of eighteen Southeast European countries. Vera also works as a creative adviser to independent filmmakers, and has a distinguished record in humanitarian work. She began as a cultural reporter and film critic in Sarajevo, and holds a degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade.

East Los Angeles College
East Los Angeles College (ELAC) is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). ELAC is one of nine colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) The College was established in 1945 and is situated in a secure, comfortable environment in the suburban community of Monterey Park, conveniently located 8 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Our multicultural student body of over 30,000 students complements the communities that ELAC serves. ELAC grants Associate in Arts/Science (A.A./A.S.) degrees as well as Certificate Programs.

Cinema Without Borders
Cinema Without Borders ( is an international cinema webzine dedicated to covering and discovering the news, reviews, trends and new artistic milestones in independent film and filmmaking worldwide. . Cinema Without Borders Foundation is a non-profit organization supporting independent and international cinema and filmmakers.


The 12th South East European Film Festival Los Angeles (SEEfest) runs April 22 – May 4, 2017 at the Writers Guild Theater and Laemmle theaters in Beverly Hills, the Goethe-Institut in Miracle Mile area, and West Hollywood Library campus. It is a competition festival presenting cinematic and cultural diversity of 18+ countries of South East Europe to American audiences. SEEfest creates cultural connections through films, artistic and social events.
Each year the festival takes the audience on a journey to the cinematic and cultural crossroads of the countries along the Danube and across the Balkans, touching on the Euro-Asia divide on the eastern shores of the Black Sea and the Caucasus. SEEfest is showcasing independent cinema and providing a platform in the U.S.  for the discovery of new talent from South East Europe.


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Sam Tehrani

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