Live Talk
Why the World Needs Animation

Live Panel Discussion with Animation Professionals

Saturday, February 13, 2021
4pm ET
In English

Join New York Tech and Animation First for a spirited discussion on the role of animation in our society.

Panelists, hailing from diverse horizons and expertise, several of them with cross continental experiences, come together to address the central and unique place of animation. The talk will dive into all aspects of the field, from content and format to technologies and audiences.


  • Comfort Arthur, British-born, award-winning Ghanaian animator, illustrator, and visual artist. Her film Black Barbie (2016) will be featured at Animation First.
  • Henri Magalon, Producer of Calamity Jane (2020), Zombillenium (2017), and Long Way North (2015) among others.
  • Sophie Racine, Director of several shorts including Rivages which received the André-Martin Prize at the 2020 Annecy Festival. Rivages will be featured at Animation First.
  • Kristof Serrand, Veteran animator at DreamWorks Animation (The Prince of Egypt, Abominable) and currently Netflix’s Character Animation Manager for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.


  • Dimitri Granovsky, Animation film scholar and past moderator of the Work in Progress sessions at the Annecy Film Festival


This panel is co-presented by New York Tech’s Digital Art and Design Department and FIAF’s Animation First Festival.

Comfort Arthur

Comfort Arthur is a British born Ghanaian award-winning animator, illustrator and visual artist.

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    • She trained at the Royal College of Arts before moving to Ghana to set up The Comfy Studios. Her short film Black Barbie has been an international hit and has screened in more than 50 film festivals across the world and has won several awards. Comfort is currently working as a Festival Director for FUPiTOONS FESTiVAL, Africa’s first film festival dedicated to short form animation for kids. She is also working with researchers to explore how digital immersive technologies through animation can help African and Caribbean men who may be experiencing mental health issues access the appropriate treatment and assist in engaging in dialogues with clinicians.

Henri Magalon

Henri Magalon is a producer and the founder of Maybe Movies.

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    • Former Vice President New Media at Gaumont, Henri Magalon founded Maybe Movies in
      2003 with the desire to structure an independent and creative production company. Its objective: to develop and produce programs with innovative content and with an international reach, with up to date 8 feature films, 3 animated series and several documentaries. Since Benjamin Renner’s Ernest & Celestine, co-produced with Didier Brunner (César for best animation film 2013; nominated for the 2014 Oscars), Maybe Movies has specialized in animation and youth films. Rémi Chayé’s Long Way North won the Audience Award at the 2015 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Zombillénium, directed by Arthur de Pins and Alexis Ducord, was presented as an Official Selection at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and opened the 2017 Annecy International Animation Film Festival, before being nominated for the César prize for the best animation film of 2018. Maybe Movies latest film, Calamity Jane by Rémi Chayé, won the Crystal for Best Animated Picture in Annecy this year.

Sophie Racine

Sophie Racine is a French director.

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    • She seeks through her animated short films to recreate a sensitive experience that touches on the poetry of everyday life. The exploration of a place and the emotions it arouses are often the starting point of her work. During her studies she created three animated short films: Flight, Wandering, and The Mist Is Coming In, selected and awarded in several international festivals. In 2020 her first professional short film, Rivages (The Shoreline), received the André-Martin Prize at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival.

Kristof Serrand

Kristof Serrand is a French animator and Character Animation Manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Netflix.

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    • Trained at Paris’s Beaux-Arts and Gobelins animation school, Serrand grew his passion for animation out of his never-ending curiosity for the arts in all of their forms. His rich career began in the studios of France’s most celebrated filmmakers, including Paul Grimault (The King and the Mockingbird) and René Laloux (Fantastic Planet), before taking him to a long tenure at DreamWorks and now to Netflix, where he is currently Character Animation Manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Dimitri Granovsky

Dimitri Granovsky is an animation film scholar.

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    • The primary passion of Dimitri Granovsky for communication, art, cinema and technologies has over the years drawn him to animation. He was Deputy Director of the École Georges-Méliès in Paris. He also taught animation film history and film analysis, and was President of the RECA (the network of French Animation Schools). He was a moderator for the Work in Progress sessions at the Annecy International Animation Festival for many years and was a member of the Short films Jury at Annecy in 2019. Granovsky is also a publisher of books about Animation. He lived in the USA for 10 years and now resides in France.