NAFF / Neum Animated Film Festival

Women through animation history - Mindy Johnson 2021 Neum Animated Film Festival

On the first day of the 16th Festival of animated films, NAFF 2021. Mindy Johnson, member of the jury, gave a lecture. This versatile author from LA is known in the world of art as an excellent author, educator, pedagogue and musician. She was recently awarded the ASIFA award- Hollywood Animation Educators Forum for the year 2020 and the 2019 Academy Film Scholar Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Grant Foundation, for her continued research into the women of early animated cinema.

Her revolutionary discoveries still draw attention to the invisible narrative of female presence in the first century of the film industry. In her interesting lecture she brought the viewers through history of animated film in which, according to her, women are usually not noticed. “Going back through history of animation we can only see men who left strong impact in this field, but we do not notice the presence of many women who left significant mark in animation history. One of the pioneers of the early period of cinematography was Segundo de Chomon, who was encouraged by his wife, an actress, to engage in cinematography, and become one of the greatest.

The earliest industrialization of animation began in Bray Studio, New York- whose boss was John Randolph. But, only a few people know that the head of the studio, and the main boss for developing the business, was actually his wife.” the respectable American animator explains the importance of women in the development of film and the lack of significance given to them. In her interesting travel through history of cinematography she also remembered the animator Helena Smith Dayton, who first entered the world of sculpture art and then became a successful artist. Her movie,” Romeo and Juliet”, made with stop motion technique won great accolades and awards at the time. In her lecture Mindy gave great importance to another successful artist who made great attribution to the world of animation. Margaret Winkler who is credited for the distribution of many characters in animation history, as Koko the Clown and Felix the Cat. “During the same time Walt Disney began the launch of short animated film commercials which were shown before the main film.

The star of his short movies was Aletha Reynolds, and artist and creator of many commercials”, Mindy adds emphasizing that it was actually women who mostly worked for Walt Disney. In her lecture, Mindy mentioned many more successful authors who made big contributions to the world of animation. They believed that fans of animated film will know how to appreciate the role of women through movies and cinematography in the future. Our interlocutor, as another successful woman in the world of film, has won countless awards and accolades. Mindy teaches the history of cinema, aesthetics and intercultural film, including the history of women in animation which is based on her continuous revolutionary research, on Cal Arts- California Institute of Arts in Los Angeles and the Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.

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