WIA Vancouver Presents: Widening our Lens; Advancing Women in Key Creative Roles
Thu, Nov 11th
8:00PM - 9:00PM
Animation Career EXCELerator's (ACE) mission is to de-mystify the process of creating original animated content and provide an opportunity for women and those who identify as women to hold the key creative and decision-making roles needed to make that content. ACE does this by providing targeted and focused mentoring, support, and training to mid- level career professionals as they develop and create their own intellectual property, and earn a key credit to help advance their careers.
Join the executive producers and Team ACE 2 as they discuss the program’s impact to their career, ACE 3’s plans to expand across Canada with Netflix Canada, and the many ways artists and studios in Toronto can participate.
Ana Gusson, Director, ACE Program
Born and raised in Brazil, Ana Gusson is a director and 2d animator. She has a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and was a production designer and assistant art director in film and advertising in South Brazil. Looking for new opportunities, she came to Canada to attend the classical animation program at Vancouver Film School, where she found, not only a new storytelling tool, but also a long, lost creative voice. At VFS, Ana successfully directed two short films - Serio and Mushrooming. Serio participated in over a dozen festivals around the world, including Fantoche in Switzerland. Since then, she has worked as an animator in productions like My Little Pony: The Movie, the second season of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Netflix’s Archibald’s Next Big Thing. Ana is currently part of the senior animation team at Atomic Cartoons in Vancouver, BC. Aside from her work as an animator, Ana dedicates time to creating her own animation projects and collaborates with other artists in projects that envision long-term social impact.
Cindey Chiang, Art Director, ACE Program
Cindey Chiang is a Taiwanese Canadian artist with a bachelor of fine arts in character animation from CalArts. Her journey in the animation industry so far has allowed her to contribute to a variety of projects- from animating on the Beatles Covers ad for Apple to working on both of The Angry Birds movies as a visual development artist. She was most recently a senior designer at Skybound Entertainment on Robert Kirkman’s Invincible animated series for Amazon and is currently a designer and art director (1 episode) of the upcoming Netflix Brown and Friends series at Kickstart Entertainment. Apart from drawing, Cindey enjoys arts and crafts, drinking coffee, and eating ice cream. She also likes animals and all things cute!
Eva Pekárová, Composer, ACE Program
Eva Pekárová is a Vancouver based music composer, filmmaker, and artist. She originates from Piešťany, Slovakia and her art is often informed by her heritage. As a young immigrant, writing music became her universal language. In grade 11 she won the Youth Composers Showcase and flew to New York to perform her original piano piece at the Lincoln Centre of Performing Arts. Eva holds a bachelors of fine art from Emily Carr University with a concentration on film and media. This gives her the unique insight of being a composer with practical and academic film experience. When she is not scoring or working on her own artistic endeavors Eva works as a book cover illustrator, fabricator for stop-motion films, as well as working and training dogs.
Erica Miles, Animation Director, ACE Program
Erica Miles has been drawn to the world of animation from a young age, and after seeing The Lion King on the big screen at the age of 6, knew she wanted to become an animator and help to bring stories to life. She has worked on a number of productions both in 2D and 3D across a wide range of animation styles. Most recently she animated on the award-winning Hilda for Netflix and 101 Dalmatian Street for Disney, and is currently a lead animator on Trolls: TrollsTopia for Dreamworks Television at Atomic Cartoons.
Erica was selected as the animation director of the 2020/2021 ACE Program through WIA, and the short film Pivot that they created through the program is premiering at Spark this year.
Robyn Campbell, Writer, ACE Program
Robyn Campbell is a Canadian writer residing in Vancouver, British Columbia. As a bisexual, female, millennial, Robyn creates characters and stories that are inclusive, diverse and encourage youth to be themselves, even when it’s difficult. Her first feature film script, The Best, was selected for Oaxaca International FilmFest, the commercials she has written have accumulated millions of views, and her short-animated film, Pivot, was produced with a female-lead team for Women in Animation's ACE program. All of these works contain strong female leads and themes of acceptance of one's self, body, and orientation.
Robyn has bachelor's degrees in sociology and biology from the University of Saskatchewan, which she completed before moving to Vancouver to attend Vancouver Film School. Inspired by the limitless storytelling opportunities animation provides, she has three years of experience at Mainframe Studios, shepherding diverse and unique animated projects into creation, including reviewing, editing, and helping to write original IP.
Rose-Ann Tisserand, Founder and Co-Executive Producer, ACE Program
Rose-Ann Tisserand is co-founder of Flying Kraken Creative Studios, a boutique, Canadian-based studio that creates original animation content and specializes in award-winning animation design services. She has worked as a production executive for 22 years. She was supervising producer at Bardel Entertainment, a consulting producer with the NFB and is currently executive producer & co-creator of a series in development with Silvergate Media. She also sits on the Spark Animation Leadership Board and the Executive Advisory Board of Women in Animation Vancouver. Rose-Ann is founder and co-executive producer of WIA Vancouver’s Animation Career EXCELerator program.
Tracey Mack, Co-Executive Producer, ACE Program
Tracey is honoured to executive produce the ACE program with Women in Animation. She is an award-winning producer with 20 years of experience, producing over 120 hours of television in both live action & animated film, television and digital media. She is currently COO & head of production for Imagine Create Media, and was formerly the head of business affairs, associate vice president of production of Bardel Entertainment. Through her own company, Urban Safari Entertainment, she has just finished development on the animated feature, A Christmas Crisis, with Hollywood Suite, which she also wrote, and has produced The Adventures of Little Jake & Many Skies for APTN, the award-winning Kids’ Cookhouse, and the web series PARKED.
Tini Wider, Producer, ACE Program
After graduation from film school in Vienna, Austria, Tini worked as a location and production manager on various projects. Starting off with short films, then gaining more experience with TV movies and commercials, she then moved to Canada where she discovered the world of animation. She worked in the production department on CG and 2D, 2D Harmony with CG integration, TV shows and a 2D Harmony feature film. Currently she is working as an animation line producer at Atomic Cartoons.