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ASIFA-Hollywood Chooses New Leadership

Frank Gladstone and Jerry Beck

Big news: ASIFA-Hollywood, the largest ASIFA chapter in the world, has chosen a new president and vice-president. Veteran artist and studio exec Frank Gladstone (above, left photo) will be taking over as president from Antran Manoogian who served in that role for over 20 years. The new vice-president is the world’s greatest Herman and Katnip expert (not to mention an editor of the site you’re reading right now) Jerry Beck. Congratulations to both Frank and Jerry!

The organization put out a press release today offering some clues about their new direction:

ASIFA-Hollywood has announced the selection of its new President, Frank Gladstone, at its February board meeting. Gladstone replaces Antran Manoogian who held the position for over 20 years.

Longtime ASIFA Hollywood vp [and TAG President Emeritus] Tom Sito chose not to run for re-election; taking his place is Jerry Beck. Also joining Gladstone as a new board officer is Jeff Wike as treasurer; Bill Turner returns as secretary.

“First and foremost, we owe Antran Manoogian an enormous amount of respect and admiration for his many years of selfless devotion to ASIFA-Hollywood,” says Gladstone. “Antran has seen the organization through a period of unparalleled growth and success, going from a small club to an organization of over 4000 members. During his stewardship, Antran established, among many achievements, a digital archive, and built the Annie Award into the most important honor in animation.”

Gladstone continued, “Though I’ve been part of ASIFA and the animation community for a long time, I am looking forward to being the ‘new face’ of the organization and to making some significant changes to the status quo. For starters, this includes updating our membership qualifications, establishing a representative voice for every animation studio and creative technique, building an advisory board of animation luminaries and revising the voting structure of the annual Annie Awards.”

In the next few weeks ASIFA-Hollywood will be holding meetings with executives from all the major studios to get their input on how we can improve our infrastructure. ASIFA-Hollywood will take this time to ask its members, both individual and corporate, to come together and advise them on how best to chart the course for decades to come. In addition they will invite many of its members to join the executive board.

Frank Gladstone has been a professional animator, producer, director, writer and teacher, first managing his own studio, and then working in management positions for Disney, Warner Bros. and DreamWorks, among others. He is currently the CEO of the animation consulting firm, Gladstone Film, teaches worldwide and is the ‘artist-in-residence’ for the ACME Network.

  • PeteR

    ASIFA is lucky to get Jerry!!

    But we ASIFA members should have been able to vote for the President… such an important role.

  • Dr.Truth

    Congrats, Jerry!!

  • Brandon

    Awesome, Jerry! What will be your first act as President? How about getting our troops out of– wait.

  • Eric Graf

    Congrats Jerry, Frank and Jeff.

    I look forward to this new era with both hopefulness and apprehension. As an animation fan with regrettably no connection to the industry, it has been exciting and illuminative to participate in the organizations’ events and projects, although life stuff has forced me to curtail that participation in the last few years.

    ASIFA-Hollywood once had numerous screenings, seminars, reunions, and other special events, at which anyone with an interest in animation was welcome. As a new arrival in Southern California, whose life had been lived far, far from the industry, this was exciting stuff. After a few visits to the AFI screening room for programs of classic “lost” cartoons, there was no question that I had to join. The Annie Awards were not a factor. I didn’t even find out what they were until well after I signed up!

    After year or two, I volunteered at the Animation Archive, digitizing cartoons from the Archive’s vast analog tape library, loaning materials from my own collection for scanning, and participating in other projects such as the “Evening With Bill Melendez and Floyd Norman” interview DVD.

    Now I sense non-industry members like myself being gradually shunted aside. Our Annie vote has been taken away, and most recent ASIFA-sponsored programs seem geared strictly toward the present or future animation professional. I think I detect in the above press release an implication that we may find ourselves literally ineligible for membership soon. Why? Just to make sure Dreamworks doesn’t sweep the Annies again next year?

    It would be very discouraging to me to see this *animation* society morph into an exclusive *animators* society, or worse, an animation *studios* society, in which its programs, goals and even membership qualifications become secondary to the Annies’ continued viability. The organization exists to support the art of animation, not just its animation awards. The Annie Awards tail should not wag the ASIFA-Hollywood dog.

    There are a lot of us out here who were not blessed with the talent or the opportunity to actually be animators, but we still support the art form. Or at least we would like to. I hope my fears prove to be groundless, and that ASIFA-Hollywood will continue to offer us the opportunity to participate in its future.

    • Paul N

      Well said Eric. You’re not the only one who has noticed the shift that you eloquently describe.

      ASIFA is an *animation* society, and needs to embrace all aspects of the art form, from film and TV to games, web, etc. Other chapters do it all the time; it seems the Hollywood branch is moving in the opposite direction.

    • Well said. I also was a little put-off by that announcement. The Annies should embrace all that is animated in ways that The Oscars never will. You will never overshadow the prestige that Oscar’s Best Animated: short/feature/or film will. So, don’t even try. I like that the Annies are becoming more and more recognized and even glamorous. And, animation is worthy of it’s own award show. We should be proud of the many ways animation outperforms other forms. But, the bastard art form should not kowtow and try to nuzzle next to Oscar. I feel like Antran Manoogian has done his best all these years to get to this point, and I fear that rather than building on that foundation, it could go the wrong direction. Congrats to the new leadership, and good luck.

    • Rick

      It seems more likely (one would hope) that they would set up multiple types of memberships.

      Such as having a standard membership that includes anyone interested in joining who would then have access to a variety of ASIFA events, and a professional membership that would also have voting rights and include corporate industry events.

      That way they can continue to grow as an organization and still appease Disney.

  • eeteed

    good luck and best wishes, jerry!

  • Oscar Goldman

    Two big wins for Dis/Pixar in two days! Awesome!

  • Mike Clark

    The right man for the right time! Congrats, Jerry!

  • Jason

    Jerry should teach a weightlifting health class too. That dude is jacked.

  • Hooray! Couldn’t hope for a better couple of guys for the jobs!

  • Mazal Tov Frank and Jerry! I’m very happy for both of you!

  • And, as expected, the guy who runs Animation Nation is already frothing at the mouth.

    Good luck, Frank and Jerry!

    • The Gee

      Congrats and best to the new President and Veep.

      (and as for the other site, Mr. S!, my stress levels went down once I stopped bothering to read that site. Just sayin’….at one point it was informative and sometimes entertaining. Now it just is.)

      • I hadn’t peeked at “the other site” (is that like “the other white meat”?) for a few years but when I saw the news about Frank and Jerry, my first thought was, “Wow, I wonder how What’shisname will react to this?” Sure enough, he’s apparently interpreted this new development as a conspiracy and now clamoring for an investigation of ASIFA to learn how its officers are chosen. Hilarious!

      • Although he’s essentially talking to himself, What’shisname is now getting all worked up over ASIFA’s election process, demanding to know the secret behind Frank and Jerry winding up as the organization’s new officers. He’s especially got a beef with Jerry over some sort of “conflict of interest” issue. Watch out, guys; next, he’ll be demanding to see your membership cards in the Illuminati…

  • david

    i stopped going to the asifa archive because certain people there liked to push a heavy spumco/JK influence. Maybe Jerry and Frank can make that awesome resource a little more open-minded in the future. Then again it seems like a lot of animation-related groups fail because they lack objectivity and have a self serving agenda. so who knows.

    nice work guys. I hope this doesn’t take away from Jerry’s continued successes in getting classics released on dvd.

    • Jorge Garrido

      Seconded. Also, what Eric said about Asifa ignoring non-professionals holds true for me, although not being from Hollywood it’s possible I’m wrong about that. I wish ASIFA-Canada was bigger.

      See Ya,

      Jorge W. Garrido

    • looney lover

      Word on the street is they are going to close the animation archive.
      We as an animation community need this archive. It is our library of congress. Most people working in animation only look 20 years back to animated films. Animation archive focused on the rich history of cartooning and animation. We can all thank steve worth for the lifetime of knowledge he and his supporters have given the animation archive.

      • david

        I shrug my shoulders if they close it, because it has been a place clouded with pretense. It’s funny how the r&s boards were on display and there were stacks and stacks of other animation drawings in the back room sitting around collecting dust. It was whatever Steve wanted to show off. Whatever tickled his visual tastebuds.

        You’d never see any anime, you’d never see anything that didn’t fall in line with what HE considered “culturally/historically relevant” to the animation community.

        I really appreciate what Steve does. I was super excited about the concept and the access to goldmine but i feel like it is his personal soapbox… Not representative of Asifa, an organization that seemed to be more accepting of all types of animation.

        Either way, Luckily we have the internet and other collectors like Kevin Langley or Michael sporn, Thad K, Shane Glines tons of blogs who are generous with their stuff.

        I really wish Jerry could step in, I wish they would stop caring about the Annies and start caring about more important things. oh well.

      • Just a quick note to squash the “rumor” of the Animation Archive closing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

  • Shawn Jackson

    Congrats Jerry! Do ’em right!

  • Stephen DeStefano

    Congratulations, Jerry! Good news indeed.

  • Congratulations, Jerry. They couldn’t have chosen a more knowledgeable or enthusiastic VP. I am considering joining even though I’m already a member in San Francisco.

  • Congratulations, Jerry! Though I’m sure there must be higher praise than “world’s greatest Herman and Katnip expert.”

  • Ed

    Franks a great guy. Congrats Frank!

  • Congratulations, Jerry and Frank! I’l be very excited to see how you tackle these important new roles.

  • Congratulations, Jerry!!!

  • Steve Gattuso

    Congrats to Frank, Jerry, and Jeff. But I fear I must agree strongly with the words of Eric Graf. The organization has become more about Hollywood than about ASIFA, and this change in focus is the force that finally drove me to leave after many years. I wish them well, but I fear that fans of animation like myself no longer have a place there.

  • Congratulations Jerry!

  • Josef

    Congratulations to both Frank and Jerry!

  • Nathaniel

    Other local ASIFA chapters tend to be more like film societies. ASIFA Hollywood is more about the industry because that’s where most of the industry happens to be.

    • Paul N

      But that’s exactly the point; “the industry” isn’t just film and TV anymore. There are lots of animators working in games, web, mobile, etc (including many who HAVE worked in TV/film). Additionally, there are many companies in the L.A. area who employ these animators.

      The chapter can do whatever it likes with respect to membership, of course. But ignoring emerging trends in how animators employ their skills and earn a living runs the risk of dooming a very important organization to being left behind.

  • Congratulations! That’s wonderful news!

  • Congratumalations Jerry ;)

  • Good news. Congratulations to Jerry and Frank.

  • Michel Van

    Congratulations to both

  • Kartoonz kritik

    Stick it to the man!

    Does this make Jerry “the man”, now?

  • cbat628

    Right on. Best of luck Mr. Beck!

  • Greg Ehrbar

    Congrats to Jerry and Frank. Jerry’s a much beloved figure among animation buffs, especially on this site, but Frank may be a new name to some. I’ve known Frank since the late ’70s, when he was running his Persistence of Vision company in Miami, and years later when he was a guiding force at Walt Disney Animation Florida, not only training artists but also always spearheading projects to celebrate animation of all kinds. His enthusiasm has never flagged and he never seems to age.

    Maybe he really is a cartoon. Hmmm. Sure is peppy.

  • red pill junkie

    Congrats, Jerry!

  • Steve G

    Mazel tov to you both. I’m looking forward to an even better ASIFA with you two on board

  • Congratulations to you both. :D

  • Bugsmer

    Congratulations, Jerry! You’ve earned it.

  • First off, congratulations to everyone. I’ve known Jerry for a long long time, and I’ve met Frank several times at the Annie Awards ceremonies. I predict good things coming out of all this. Having said that…

    I do have a few trepidations about some of the hints we’re being given. I’ll admit I haven’t re-joined ASIFA for a couple years now, simply because I CAN’T with my current finances. Now, I’m worried about whether or not I’ll be ALLOWED to join ASIFA again, once I get the money together. I’m nobody in the animation industry… just a blogger and a fan.

  • Atom

    Keep those pics of Jerry coming! More Jerry pics!

  • Congratulations Jerry.

  • david

    Asifa membership is cheap . It’s our duty as an animation community to support it. Like a church. A church of toons

  • Alfons Moliné


  • Ethan

    Congratulations Jerry, well deserved.

    “establishing a representative voice for every animation studio”

    That is a very very scary statement… hopefully I’m overreacting and this is not what it looks like. I’ve already lost my voting eligibility to 90% of the Annies categories because of decisions eerily similar: giving business men a hand in an association which is supposed to be about both the artists and the passionate members willing to contribute to the art form whichever way they can. I am eagerly awaiting more information, and maybe this time Asifa-Hollywood won’t leave the members completely in the dark.

    I’ll always be a member even if it’s only to support the animation archive, but please, I’m begging you, leave the business men out of it.