COC to host International Animation Festival

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News release  

College of the Canyons is scheduled May 5-6 to host the inaugural International Animation Festival to showcase the work of student animators at the high school and college level. With no submission fee, the two-day festival will provide an opportunity for first-time animators from around the world to exhibit their work. 

“We are truly excited to host this new event and are thrilled to see so much interest in the weeks and months leading up to it,” Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine, dean of International Affairs & Global Engagement at the college, said in a prepared statement. “We received over 250 submissions from more than 50 countries and are overjoyed to be giving this platform to young animators all over the world to make their voices heard, engage in cross-cultural dialogue, and earn recognition for their achievements.” 

Hosted by Cheng-Levine and Jeffrey Baker, chair of the Media and Entertainment Arts Department at the college, IAF is also designed to form connections between international peers, encourage dialogue on challenging topics that are timely and global by nature, and generate interest among faculty, students and staff in the future of animation. 

“This festival is about showing the power of animation to illuminate the world and change minds, as well as how it can lead to a great career in an industry that has captured the wonder and imagination of millions for decades,” Baker said in the release.  

A special focus of the festival is climate change, as artists submitted works tackling the implications of changing weather patterns and challenges related to sustainability, water issues, and more. 

“I am so proud to see aspiring animators address serious issues affecting our world and futures and doing so through a medium of artistic expression requiring significant skill, creativity and talent,” Jennifer Smolos Steele, dean of the college’s School of Visual and Performing Arts, said in the release. “This may be the first time that the festival is being hosted on our campus, but I am confident, given the turnout and interest already generated, that we will see many future iterations to come.” 

Held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the event will include awards, keynote speeches, film presentations and industry panels. The festival will be held on the third floor of Mentry Hall at the college’s Valencia campus. 

For more information about the festival and to reserve a spot, go to

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