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Mike Judge and Caroline Leaf. Mike Judge and Caroline Leaf.

GLAS Animation Festival has unveiled a slate of distinguished guests for its 5th edition. The fest, which has become a key event for indie animation filmmakers, is set to run March 19-22 in Berkeley, California.

Its well curated guest line-up mixes mainstream figures and independent filmmakers, representing a full spectrum from established names to up-and-coming artists. The most high-profile guest at the 2020 edition is almost certainly Mike Judge, creator of shows like Beavis and Butt-Head, King of the Hill, and Silicon Valley. Additionally, esteemed independent filmmaker and Winsor McCay Award honoree Caroline Leaf will appear to present a retrospective of her work followed by a Q&A session.

The full line-up of (currently-announced) guests can be seen below. GLAS will soon announce competition selections, curated programs, additional special guests, and the complete festival schedule. For more details, visit

The festival has also revealed its 2020 signal film, directed by French animator Lénaïg Le Moigne:

Here are the 2020 festival guests:

  • Mike Judge was born in 1962 in Ecuador, but raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and attended University of California at San Diego where he earned a degree in physics. He worked as an engineer and played bass professionally before MTV picked up his 1992 animated short, Frog Baseball. MTV decided to spin off Beavis and Butt-Head into a show of its own in the 1990’s, with Judge doing the voices of both characters as well as others. His next project was King of the Hill for Fox TV. Judge expanded into writing and directing his own live-action films, Office Space, Idiocracy, and Extract. In 2012, Mike resurrected Beavis and Butt-Head with twelve new shows for MTV. Judge is a co-creator, executive producer, writer and director for the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated HBO comedy series, Siliicon Valley, which debuted its final season in 2019.
  • Caroline Leaf is a Canadian-American filmmaker. After pioneering groundbreaking techniques through several films early in her career, Leaf found a home at the National Film Board of Canada, where she produced numerous films, including Two Sisters and the Academy Award-nominated The Street. Her films are intimate and focus on familiar spaces that we share as families and communities, with simply observed stories that are true to life. The tactile manipulation of material under the camera mirrors the themes in the work, creating fluid transitions between places and the evolving metamorphosis of her characters. The mundane passage of time is rendered with care and grace. We are pleased to present a retrospective of work from Caroline Leaf, followed by a Q&A with the director to follow.
  • A fine arts graduate, Gabriel Harel enrolled in La Poudrière animation school in 2007. His first animated short, Yùl and the Snake, won the Cartoon d’Or award in 2016. His second short The Night of the Plastic Bag was in Festival de Cannes for La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs and since won many prices. His films combine live action techniques with traditional animation.
  • Pia Borg is a Maltese/Australian filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Her films and installations challenge questions of form and cinematic registers, exploring the pull between the real and the mediated, between non-fiction and the constructed genres of science fiction and horror. Working with archival footage, cgi animation, and performed re-enactments, Borg’s films portray historical and cultural events, chronicling psychological phenomena like false memory syndrome, collective hysteria and the opal fever surrounding extractive industries.
  • Paul Wenninger is a freelance dancer, author of choreographic works, and filmmaker with a focus on pixilation and animation. Since 1999 he is the artistic director of Kabinett ad Co., a working platform for interdisciplinary projects with a focus on the body. Collaborations with various choreographers and companies. His works have been shown internationally and received several awards.
  • Sarina Nihei is a Japanese animation director and illustrator. She is a graduate of London’s Royal College of Art. Her graduation film from the RCA, Small People with Hats, won the grand prize at Ottawa International Animation Festival in 2015 and other prizes including Holland Animation Film Festival and British Animation Awards. Since the graduation, she has been working as a freelancer making several music videos and promotion videos. In 2017, she made a short film called Rabbit’s Blood, commissioned by the British TV program, Channel 4. The film won the grand prix at Turku Animated Film Festival in 2018. Specializing in hand-drawn animation, she makes surreal and absurd stories.
  • Carl Burton been working as an artist and animator in NYC for the past 11 years. His work includes short films, animated loops, and experimental games.
  • Bárbara Cerro is a director based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her live-action and animated series have screened in festivals worldwide. She is the director and founder of the Bit Bang Festival.
  • Sam Rolfes is a New York-based digital performer and director whose practice of improvisational, puppeted animation within vr game engines crafts diffusive psychosexual narratives with fragments of fanfiction surreality and an increasingly anticapitalist focus. With his brother and co-director Andy Rolfes, they have worked extensively across the avant garde music, fashion, and theatre communities developing music videos, live performances, interactive comedic livestreams, album covers, fashion collections, and games.
  • Simón Wilches-Castro is an award-winning animation director originally from Colombia and currently based in Los Angeles, where he works as a director at Titmouse Animation Studios. His films have screened in the most important animation festivals around the world and have earned him various recognitions, including two Adobe design achievement awards, two student academy award regional finalist nominations, two Annie Award nominations and six consecutive official selections in the Annecy International Animation Festival, among others. He recently directed the HBO Musical The Emperor’s Newest Clothes starring Alan Alda, Jeff Daniels and Alison Pill. He’s also a Fulbright Scholar.

  • Skillbard Studio is a friendly team of composers and sound designers based in London, which has experience in film, television, games, sound art, pop music, sonic branding, and all-out having a good time with sound.

Image collage at top: Cartoon Brew.

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