CWB, ELAC and SEEFest celebrated the Southeast European Animation Day


Burbank, CA March 25th, 2017: Today East Los Angeles College, Cinema Without Borders and Southeast European Film Festival, LA, celebrated the Southeast European Animation Day, the third edition of the annual East Los Angeles College International Animation Day.

At 11:30 AM guests gathered in ELAC’s Music Recital Hall theater building for the reception of the event.  Polka Polish Cuisine had provided its delicious appetizers as one of the sponsors of the Animation Day. Students had a chance to get to know celebrities of the world of animation that had attended the event.

After the reception Mike Libonati (ELAC) and Bijan Tehrani (CWB) opened the ceremony and Vera Mijojlic, Founder and director of the SEEfest, the South East European Film Festival in Los Angeles, introduced the animation industry in Southeast Europe.

Before screening of the first film, FLUTTER, USA/Bulgaria, its director Vladimir Todorov said a few words about the film. Screening continued by showing twelve other films from Southeast European countries and after that panel members, Sarah Baisley, Tom McLean, Vladimir Todorov, and Nouredin Zarrinkelk, discussed the films and answered the audiences.

The last part of the program was the Life Achievement Award. Bijan Tehrani introduced Mr. Noureddin Zarrinkelk as the 2017 winner of the ELAC & Cinema Wiithout Borders’ Life Achievement Award for his services to the world of animation.

Organizers of the 2017 Animation Day would like to express their gratitude for the support of  Linda Kallan, Chair pf ELAC’s Art Department and invaluable help of Juan Chacon and student volunteers to bring this event to life.

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

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.

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.

Photos by Jose Ramirez (SeeFilmLA), Tshombe Sampson (SeeFilmLA) & Maya Hooshivar (CWB)


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Sam Tehrani

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