Who Is Who in ASIFA – USA by Deanna Morse

There are six ASIFA Chapters in the United States of America – three on the West coast, one in the Midwest and two on the East coast.


ASIFA/East, based in New York City, holds regular monthly meetings which feature a different animator or theme every month. Three of these screenings are regular special events: the Animation Festival, the Open Screening, and the Cel Auction.

Every April, a screening is devoted to the ASIFA/East Animation Festival, a competition for ASIFA/East members with awards for best soundtrack, direction, design, concept and animation. This festival is compiled into the ASIFA/East reel. This innovative sampling of commercial, student and independent animation travels to other ASIFA chapters and cities. In addition, for the past two years, special awards honored individuals who have supported independent animated film:
In 1996, Louise Beaudet, and in 1997, Adrienne Mancia were recognized for their lifetime efforts to promote animation.

Every June is the Open Screening. All members, including students, are able to show any of their work including current projects, shorts, or works in progress for feedback.

Every other year is the ASIFA/East Cel Auction. At this event, member-donated cels and production drawings are auctioned, and the represented films are screened.

ASIFA/East publishes a monthly newsletter, the Anymator, which spotlights members’ accomplishments and general industry news, lists jobs, grants and residencies, and includes dates and deadlines for film and video festivals worldwide. The ASIFA/East Web page includes samples of past issues, clips of members’ films that can be downloaded, and links to members’ web sites.

ASIFA/East is an all volunteer organization representing all different kinds of animation with 27 members currently on the executive board. Some of the founding members were: Shamus Culhane, Dick Rauh, Tissa David, and Howard Beckerman. Linda Simensky has been president since 1991. She recently moved to Atlanta to become the Vice President of Original Animation at the Cartoon Network.

Future plans for ASIFA/East include: expanding the visibility and screenings for the ASIFA/East reel (last year, the number of film entries doubled) building the web page, continuing the newsletter, and creating a mentoring program for students on the East Coast.
Contact information:
web: www.yrd.com/asifa

Linda Simensky
Vice President of Original Animation
1050 Techwood Drive NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone: 404-885-0821
fax: 404-885-2456

Membership Secretary:
David Levy
tel. 212-846-5441
mail contact:
c/o Michael Sporn Animation
632 Broadway, 4th Floor
New York, NY USA 10012

Newsletter Editor:
Mark Siegel


Tom Krawczewicz is the primary force behind ASIFA/Washington, based in Washington, DC. Founded in 1982 by Larry Luria, Bonnie Willette, Jim Strong, Hank Zangara, Jay Dunn and Tom Krawczewicz, this chapter’s activities have remained basically the same throughout the years. These include screenings of the ASIFA/East Festivals, SIGGRAPH showcases and collections of films from local members. They sponsor an annual local showcase of animated films and have hosted visiting guests including: June Foray, Bill Plympton, Barry Purves, Faith Hubley, Don Bluth, Bordo Dovnikovic and Michel Ocelot.

ASIFA/Washington’s newsletter is published approximately 10 times a year and contains local information, event information, ASIFA international news and any national or international news of interest.

For their 15th anniversary celebration this year, they showed films that also celebrated milestone anniversaries (such as 10, 25, 50, 60 years) which included: “The Old Mill”, “Crac”, “What’s Opera Doc”, “Lupo the Butcher”, among many others.

Future plans include a screening of the ASIFA/Northwest reel, a screening of the work of Corky Quackenbush (“Mad TV”), and one or two Warner Bros. retrospectives.

Contact information:
Tom Krawczewicz, President
9918 Woodburn Road
Silver Spring, MD, 20901 USA
fax 301-864-0248
phone 301-593-9178


The writer has been a member since 1979 and president since 1991.

ASIFA/Central began as an association of professional and independent animators in Chicago, and has grown to encompass a larger regional area. Members come from Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and as far away as Canada, Texas, Colorado and New Mexico.

Because of this wide geographical spread, ASIFA/Central has evolved from its’ original emphasis on meetings and screenings to a more virtual organization. The newsletter, “Frame by Frame”, provides the membership with information as well as a forum for interaction. Because the publication is quarterly, it features in-depth articles rather than timely announcements. Recent issues included, an overview of animation sites on the web, an interview with former ASIFA/Central member Jim Richardson (who recently moved to the Will Vinton studios), and an article on finding employment with the big animation studios.

A major annual event is the spring conference/retreat which brings together members for a weekend of screenings, presentations, anijams and conversation. At the fifth retreat in April of 1998, the ASIFA/East and ASIFA/Northwest reels will be screened, and guest animator (and former ASIFA/Central member) Kim White will talk about her production work on “A Bug’s Life” at PIXAR. The ASIFA/Central member’s reel will be premiered, which includes the anijam created at the 1997 retreat.

In addition, students attending the retreat will present storyboards in the Helen Victoria Haynes World Peace Storyboard competition. The winner receives production support for the creation of an animated film about World Peace. Phil Simoncelli was the first to win this award.

ASIFA/Central was the first chapter ASIFA to publish an ASIFA webpage. Webmaster Byron Grush has received several awards for this site, which he updates from New Mexico. The web site features articles from past newsletters, a members page and gallery, and general information about ASIFA.

Founding members of ASIFA/Central in 1975 included Wayne Boyer, Byron Grush, Millie Goldsholl, Robert Edmonds and Art Pierson. For over a decade and a half, Dave Daruszka served as president. During his tenure, ASIFA/Central co-sponsored many programs and brought in visiting animators including: Don Bluth, June Foray, Gordon Sheehan, and Shamus Culhane. For years, the chapter coordinated the judging of animation at the Chicago International Film Festival.

When this writer became became president in 1991, the center of ASIFA/Central moved to Michigan. As an all-volunteer organization, the board members each have an area of responsibility. These include: Jennifer Eldred (Vice President and Newsletter Editor), Byron Grush (Webmaster), Randy Rockafellow (Membership Directory), Marla Schweppe (Retreat Coordinator), Dave Daruszka (Marketing Coordinator), Mary Lou Haynes (Storyboard Competition Organizer), Jim
Schaub (Midwest Animator’s Reel Editor), and Melissa Bouwman and Eric Oehrl (Correspondents). Future plans include: expanding the annual retreat, building links to member information on the web page and through the newsletter, continuing to develop web presence, and coordinating distribution of the member’s sample reel.

Contact information:
Deanna Morse
School of Communications
268 LSH
Grand Valley State University
Allendale, MI 49401 USA

tel 616-895-3101
fax 616-895-2700
email: asifa@asifa.org
website: www.asifa.org/animate


ASIFA/Hollywood is the largest of the six USA chapters, with approximately 2000 local members. It was founded in the 60’s, and received non-profit status in the early 70’s. Founders included June Foray, Nick Bosustow, Jules Engel, Bob Kurtz, and Bill Littlejohn among many others. They have a staffed office, an Animation Center, where they hold small parties and special events. The Center also has a small reference library of animation books.

The chapter has several regular long-standing programs.

Each year the Annie Awards honor excellence in animation. In 1997, the 27th year of these awards, about twenty five trophies were awarded to recognize the year’s best feature film, video, television program, commercial and animated interactive production as well as individual achievement by artists, writers and voice talent.

The AniFest! is ASIFA/Hollywood’s annual convention of animation. Held every summer for the past 27 years, the event features entertainment, art, merchandise, collectibles, demonstrations and seminars on animation.

The Opportunities Expo originally began as a job fair at Anifest!, but has grown into a major exhibition. Held in conjunction with the World Animation Celebration, the exhibition floor has a mix of major and smaller studios, schools and animation equipment suppliers. Recruiters interview on site and offer outlines of their employment needs. In addition, Women in Animation co-sponsors an extensive series of panels, seminars and presentations by
industry representatives on a variety of topics relating to animation employment. Last year over 25,000 attended the Celebration.

Because early animation films were printed on flammable nitrate stock, they are quickly decomposing. The Animation Preservation Project selects “orphan” films and funds transfer from nitrate to modern 35mm safety film. Donors can “Adopt a Cartoon” helping to safeguard these films for the future.

ASIFA Hollywood currently offers a popular series of Life Drawing workshops, with a live model and instruction. They also sponsor many fun special events, such as a cartoon Sing-A-Long to celebrate the New Year, Evening with Celebrity Events, Parties, Tours and Open Houses, Scholarships, and a job opportunities hotline. They had an evening of remembrance to reminisce, swap yarns and honor the memory of 25 animation professionals who died last year.

In the future, they plan to build a broader animation archive, organized for advanced usage, and are putting together an “Animation Alert Email Flash”. Also, they plan new and exciting additions to the regular events.

Publications include their newsletter “The In-Betweener”, a monthly “Calendar of Animation” and a well-illustrated web page (see address below).

The Officers of the Board are:
Antran Manoogian, President;
Tom Sito, Vice President;
Girard Miller, Treasurer;
Bill Turner, Secretary.
The other members of the board are Paul Husband, Bob Miller, Brian Miller, Rita Street and Stephen Worth.

725 South Victory Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91502 USA

Tel 818-842-8330
fax 818-842-5645

ASIFA/San Francisco

ASIFA San Francisco was founded in the early 1970’s and presently has about 300 members. They have regular monthly programs and a several annual events. They sponsor two open screenings each year: one for students and independents, and one for commercial work. They also have an annual program on employment in the industry “How to Get a Job”, and a showing of the ASIFA/East reel.

Although I have never lived on the West Coast, I have been a member of ASIFA/San Francisco for many years. Karl Cohen publishes a really great newsletter. As it arrives each month, I read it cover-to-cover. It’s a “Headline News” for animation, full of specific and unique information. There is always something of national or international interest, reviews of new books, videos and merchandise, festival reviews, gossip, opinions about the state of the art, and tidbits about animation in San Francisco.

For instance, the March issue of the newsletter included Oscar information, including an interview with Jan Pinkava, creator of the Oscar winning “Geri’s Game”, grants information, ASIFA information, local news items, a review of “Uncensored Animation” , and news items including information on a limited edition cel of “Gertie the Dinosaur”, and a notice that Steamboat Willie might fall out of copyright protection in five years, reviews of Animation Magazine and three design books from Sheridan College, a listing of a dozen festivals, employment information and a description of their two monthly programs.

Karl Cohen writes the newsletter and serves as President.

Some of the other key members of ASIFA/SF are: Seth Olitzky, membership; Shirley Smith, treasurer, Barbara Bennerman-Olizky, proofreader, Marty McNamara and Prescott Wright, event programming.

ASIFA San Francisco
P. O. Box 14516
San Francisco, CA. 94114 USA


ASIFA/Northwest is the newest of the USA chapters. Founded in 1990 by Marilyn Zornado, Joanna Priestley, Webster Colcord, Amy Collen, Barry Bruce, Rose Bond, and Ken Baer, it currently has about 75 members.

The chapter gets together every 2 months for screenings, social activities or for a special presentation. There are a lot of animators working in Portland generally in non-traditional techniques so the group has a more working animator focus. Most of the chapter members are working animators.

They are a low overhead operation. No equipment is owned by the organization but connections happen as a result of networking’ at the events. People have hooked up and shared equipment. Portland members generally meet at Vinton Studios, TekniFilm Lab or in someone’s studio for a party. Seattle members meet at 911, a community media center.

They publish a quarterly newsletter, “NW Animator” which is an important communication device as the chapter covers a wide geographic area.

The chapter has produced three reels spotlighting new work from ASIFA/Northwest members. Their current reel, organized by Webster Colcord, is currently touring the other ASIFA USA sites.

For the future, they are looking to bring a renowned visiting animator to town, keep the newsletter coming out and engage new members in building the community of Northwest Animators.

Marilyn Zornado is the current president. Rose Bond edits and designs the newsletters. Amy Collen is the membership coordinator.

c/o Direct Animation
P.O. Box 25756
Portland, OR 97298 USA