Event kicks off Aug. 7 at Egyptian

HOLLYWOOD — The 8th World Animation Celebration will kick off Aug. 7 with the public premiere of Warner Bros. animated feature “Osmosis Jones,” starring Bill Murray.

Another highlight of the fest will be the induction of Walt Disney, Chuck Jones and several other major industry figures as the first members of the Animation Hall of Fame.

The six-day event will take place at the Egyptian Theater, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and the Knitting Factory, all on Hollywood Boulevard. The market doors open each day at 9 a.m. and the screenings begin each evening at 5:45 p.m.

“We are the biggest animation festival held in North America. Only Annecy, which takes place in France and has been in operation much longer, is larger in scope. We have received 800 film entries from 65 countries,” said organizer Jean Thoren.

The event will bring together the leading figures in the animation business, including producers, filmmakers, writers, agents, artists, directors and executives. The celebration will feature screenings, seminars, workshops, panels and business conferences.

Keynote speakers have been chosen to deliver an address based on the theme of the session for each day of the festival.

Andy Heyward, chairman and CEO of DIC Entertainment, J.J. Sedelmaier, president of J.J. Sedelmaier Prods., Steve Odekerk, founder of O Entertainment, and June Foray, the voice of Rocky the Squirrel, are among those committed to deliver keynote speeches.

Among the companies participating in this year’s celebration are Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks, Fox, Pixar, Film Roman, Klasky Csupo, MTV, Warner Bros. and Sony.

First Hall of Famers

Over the past several months, Animation Magazine has been sending nominating ballots for the first Animation Hall of Fame to industry professionals. The balloting ended on July 2.

Currently a committee is being formed to tabulate the votes and select the first inductees. The induction ceremonies along with a reception will take place during the week of the festival.

A new addition to the festival will be a day devoted to international production companies and facilities. Companies from India, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Japan and China have been invited to make presentations.

The 8th World Animation Celebration is co-sponsored by Animation Magazine and Variety.

More than 15,000 attendees are expected for the six-day event.

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