Latin American Animation Day at ELAC on March 24th


East Los Angeles College, and Cinema and Without Borders are proud to present the Latin American Animation Day, the fourth 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.

Latin American Animation Day will be held on Saturday, March 24th at East Los Angeles College, located at 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754. Screenings will be held in the Building S1 Screening Room 112. Free parking will be available in Structure 4. On corner of W Floral Drive and Collegian Avenue.

12:30 PM Reception, appetizers provided by Carnival Restaurant and sodas.
01:30 PM Opening Remarks by Linda Kallan, Chair of Art Department at ELAC, Bijan Tehrani and Editor in Chief of Cinema Without Borders and director of the Festival
01:45 PM Screening of Short Animated Films from Latin American countries: Mexico: Muros no fronteras and Poliangular – Brazil: Plantae, Sinias Do Sim and Camino Gigante – Chile: The Bear Story (Academy Awards Winner),and Gift
02: 45 PM Panel discussion and Q & A. Panel members are Sarah Baisley, Enzo Baldi , Mike Libonati , Leonardo Matsuda, Tom McLean, Ennio Torresan and Jean Thoren
03: 15 PM Leo Matsuda presents making of the Inner Workings
3:35 PM Tribute to a Legend: The Late Bill Melendez by Tom Sito
4:15 PM: Closing remarks Announcing Scandinavian Animation Day on 2019
To attend please RSVP at

Making of the Inner Workings
In special presentation part of the program, Leo Matsuda the Brazilian origin,animation director and story artist, presents his short-animated film, The Inner Workings.

Leo Matsuda worked as a story artist on WDAS most recent feature film, “Zootopia,” as well as 2014’s Oscar®-winning film “Big Hero 6.” Matsuda was nominated for an Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement, Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production for his work on 2012’s Oscar®-nominated “Wreck-It Ralph.”
Prior to joining WDAS, Matsuda worked in the character layout department on “The Simpson’s Movie” at 20th Century Fox. He was a junior story artist for “Rio” at BlueSky Studios, and was a story intern at Pixar Animation Studios.

Leo recently directed the Short Film Inner Workings that debuted in front of Walt Disney’s Animated Feature Film, Moana and now is working on exciting new projects.
Tribute to a Legend: The Late Bill Melendez

Latin American Animation Day, Tribute to a pioneer of animation is dedicated to the memory of the legendary Bill Melendez.
Bill Melendez, (José Cuauhtémoc Melendez), Mexican-born American animator (born Nov. 15, 1916, Hermosillo, Mex.—died Sept. 2, 2008, Santa Monica, Calif.), animated and/or produced dozens of television programs and four feature films about the characters in the cartoon strip Peanuts, starting in 1965 with the seasonal classic A Charlie Brown Christmas; he was the only animator Peanuts artist Charles Schulz trusted with his creation and carried on after Schulz’s death in 2000. Melendez’s professional career began in 1938 at Walt Disney Studios, where he drew Mickey Mouse specials and contributed to Fantasia (1940) and Pinocchio (1940). In 1941 he joined Leon Schlesinger Productions (later acquired by Warner Brothers) and worked on various cartoons, among them those featuring Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. He started his own studio, Bill Melendez Productions, with his producer partner Lee Mendelson, in 1964. Melendez’s work on Peanuts specials won three Emmy Awards. He also received three Emmys for other cartoon shows, and his work was nominated on 22 other occasions. In addition, he provided the expressive sounds that constituted the voice of the character Snoopy.

Speaker: Tom Sito
Tom Sito is an animator, historian and professor of animation at the University of Southern California. His credits include Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1991), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), The Little Mermaid (1989), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994), Dreamwork’s Shrek (2001), Warner Bros’ Osmosis Jones, Fox Garfield the Movie (2004). He lectures on animation around the world, and is the author of several books. In 2014 he was featured in the PBS American Experience documentary Walt Disney.


Panel Members:
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.

Enzo Baldi
Enzo Baldi was born in the Arauco province of Chile and studied Architecture at the Catholic University in Valparaiso for two years before leaving the school. Enzo moved to the U.S. in 1967 at the age of 26. He attended Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, California. where, he was introduced to animation by another Chilean animation artist. Enzo was hired to work on layouts for different shows, mainly Saturday morning cartoons, and this sparked his transition to animation. He soon took a job as Art Director for a company doing a bilingual show for PBS. It was after this job that he could go to Art Center as a full-time student.

After his stint at Art Center, Enzo began working in animation full-time. Because of his architectural background, he decided to design and paint backgrounds. Having found his calling, Enzo worked primarily in action-adventure animation programming for the better part of 30 years.

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
Tom McLean is news editor of Animation World Network and a freelance writer specializing in film, television, animation, visual effects and comics. He previously worked as editor in chief of Animation Magazine and 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 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.

Ennio Torresan
Ennio Torresan is originally from Brazil and has been living in Los Angeles for the past twenty years. He graduated with a fine arts degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro. While still in Brazil, Ennio started experimenting with animation which got his to create his animated short “El Macho,” winning prizes in many of the international film festivals and launching an unexpected international career. That landed Ennio a directing gig for Ralf Bakshi’s HBO production “Spicy City”, then writing and directing storyboards for the television series “Spongebob” at Nickelodeon and directing on “Teachers Pet” at Disney which awarded him an EMMY in 2003. Ennio then started developing and doing storyboards on various animated feature films at DreamWorks; Madagascar one, two and three, kung Fu Panda one and two, Megamind, Turbo and most recently Boss Baby amongst others.
Ennio is currently Heading the Story department for the next DreamWorks CG feature film “Everest”. Ennio also shares a Co-Direction credit on a 2D animated feature called “Till Sbornia Do Us Part”. Awarded in many international film festivals including art direction and special jury prize at the International Gramado Film Festival in 2013. It is considered by many as the best Brazilian animated feature to date.
In August of 2014, Ennio was a special guest at the international Animamundi animation film festival showcasing a 20-year retrospective of his carrier in animation. He has also contributed to “Scrambled Ink” a story book published by Dark Horse with a comic book character based on himself “Guy From Ipanema”.

Jean Thoren
Jean Thoren is the owner and publisher of the Los Angeles-based Animation Magazine and all of its related endeavors. For over 30 years, Animation Magazine has been the first and only international monthly publication dedicated solely to the art, technology and business of animation along with publishing in depth articles relating to the computer generated visual effects that dominate most live action productions these days. Jean has served on numerous animation industry panels, boards and festival juries over the past decade a few of these being, The Annecy Animation Festival in Annecy, France, Ficci Frames in India, Hong Kong’s, Filmart along with a keynote speech at China’s Hangzhou Culture & Creativity Industry Forum, and the 4th China International Cartoon & Animation Festival.
Jean just wrapped up the 5th season of The World Animation Feature & vfx Summit in Marina del Rey , California along with a new reinvented World Animation Celebration, designed to celebrate and incubate short films.
The seventh member of the panel is Leo Matsuda, the Brazilian/American animation director and story artist.

Media Sponsors: Animation Magazine and Animation World Network (AWN)
Supporting Organizations: Southeast European Film Festival LA, Polish Film Festival LA, Hungarian Film Festival LA and Scandinavian Film Festival LA.
Reception Sponsor: Carnival Restaurant is the sponsor of the Latin American Animation Day reception. Carnival Restaurant offering Mediterranean Cuisine is located at 4356 Woodman Ave, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423.
Special thanks to Jaime Cañas, the Chilean animation artist and Léa Zagury, Director of the Anima Mundo Festival in Brazil, and José Iñesta Director of Pixelati Animation Festival in Mexico for helping us with putting Latin American Animation Day together.

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.


About Author

Bijan Tehrani

Bijan Tehrani a film director, film critic and writer, works as editor in chief of Cinema Without Borders while teaching Language of Film and Film History at workshops nationwide. Bijan has won several awards in international film festivals and book fairs for his short films and children's books.

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