CADA participants CADA participants

The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) has launched a new initiative to help up-and-coming Asian and Pacific Islander artists progress in the animation industry. The idea is to help those who aspire to leadership roles to develop their skills as artists and leaders.

Six participants have been selected for the first CAPE Animation Directors Accelerator (CADA), which will be held virtually. They will each be paired with an experienced mentor, and will attend panels, workshops, and masterclasses given by top artists, producers, and executives.

The six, who hail from the U.S., Canada, and India, are:

  • Alex Kwan (episodic director, Nickelodeon) — mentored by Arthur Fong and Wira Winata (Wish Dragon)
  • Isha Mangalmurti (freelance storyboard artist and 2d animation director) — mentored by Alyce Tzue (Steps)
  • Kenny Park (head of story, Netflix Animation) — mentored by Yoriaki Mochizuki (The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part)
  • Mingjue “Helen” Chen (visual development artist and production designer, Sony Pictures Animation) — mentored by Galen Chu (Ice Age 2: Collision Course)
  • Vi-Dieu Nguyen (head of story, Netflix Animation) — mentored by Henry Yu (Surf’s Up 2: Wavemania)
  • Yunhao Zhang (storyboard and 3d artist, Disney Television Animation) — mentored by Maggie Kang (K-Pop: Demon Hunters)

Speakers this year include Domee Shi (director-writer, Bao and the upcoming Turning Red), Jaydeep Hasrajani (creator, Boons and Curses), Osnat Shurer (producer, Moana, Raya and the Last Dragon), Kurt Albrecht (producer, The Mitchells vs. The Machines), Daniel Chong (creator and executive producer, We Bare Bears), Matt Braly (creator and executive producer, Amphibia), Jude Weng (director, Finding ‘Ohana), Jason McConnell (director of animation development, Nickelodeon), Tim Yoon (producer, Maya and the Three), John Aoshima (co-director, Ultraman), and Janet Wu (director of original animation and family features, Netflix).

CAPE is a non-profit that advocates for Asian and Pacific Islander representation in Hollywood. It has launched other accelerators focusing on new writers and creative executives. CADA is run in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment and chaired by Justinian Huang (vp, creative, Sony Pictures Animation) and Michelle Wong (producer, Vivo).

“Before we launched CADA,” said Huang in a statement, “we had no idea how many candidates would apply because there’s never been an initiative like this before. We were amazed to receive so many applicants, which proved the overdue need for this program.”

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