| CalArtians Invited to Join Motion Picture Academy Class of 2022

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has extended invitations to distinguished artists and executives from around the world to join its Class of 2022. Among the 397 members invited this year are Film School alumni and faculty /video from the California Institute of the Arts.

Since 1927, the Academy has annually rewarded those who “have distinguished themselves by their contributions to cinematographic cinema”. Membership in the Academy is by invitation of the Board of Trustees only and only those who choose to accept the Academy’s invitation will be added to the Class of 2022 and one of the 17 Member Branches.

The Animated Shorts and Feature Films branch included the following CalArtian guests:

Sean Buckelew (2014 MFA Film/Video)
Buckelew, a graduate of the Experimental Animation program, is known for his animated shorts “Drone” and “Hopkins & Delaney LLP.” In addition to film, he is a programmer and curator at the GLAS international animation festival and the recipient of a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship and an Art Directors Club Young Guns Award.

Brooke Keesling (2001 MFA Film/Video)
Keesling, who is also a faculty member of the character animation program, is known for her short films “Meatclown” and “Boobie Girl,” the latter of which received the Student Academy Award in 2001 and the Emmy’s National Student Production Award in 2002. 2020, Keesling was appointed Head of Animation Talent Development at Bento Box Entertainment.

Brian Pimental (BFA Film/Video 1986)
Pimental is a veteran screenwriter, screenwriter and director credited in many iconic animated films. He was notably responsible for the story of the Disney animated feature films “Tarzan” (1999) and “A Goofy Movie” (1995), both of which earned him Annie Award nominations. Pimental is currently Head of Story at Skydance Media.

Mike Rianda (Film/Video 2011)
Rianda is a director, screenwriter and voice actor whose critically acclaimed sci-fi comedy feature “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” won multiple Annie Awards and an Oscar nomination last awards season, among various other honors. Rianda and Mitchells co-director Jeff Rowe (2011 Film/Video) has been named guest of honor at CalArts’ 2022 Producers’ Show.

Conrad Vernon (Film/Video 1992)
Vernon is a director and screenwriter whose film career began as a screenwriter on several animated productions, including the four-minute short “Morto the Magician” by comedian Steve Martin. He made his directorial debut with DreamWorks Animation’s Oscar-nominated film “Shrek 2” (2004), for which he is credited as a writer and even lent his voice acting skills to the character of Gingerbread Man. Vernon and Greg Tiernan recently co-directed the animated retelling of “The Addams Family” (2019) and its 2021 sequel.

A CalArts alumnus was also invited to join the Directors branch:

Andrew Ahn (MFA Film/Video 2011)
Independent filmmaker Ahn made his directorial debut with his 2016 drama “Spa Night,” for which he received the coveted John Cassavetes Award at the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards. He is also known for his feature “Driveways and, most recently, for Searchlight Pictures’ summer romantic comedy “Fire Island,” hailed as a modern take on Jane Austen’s classic, “Pride and Prejudice.”

See the full list of invited designers and executives for the Class of 2022 in the Academy’s official announcement.

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