Animation Judges

Bill Plympton

Two-time Oscar nominee for animated shorts, and the acknowledged "King of Indie Animation". Bill is also a former cartoonist for the New York Times, National Lampoon, Playboy and Screw. He has the distinction of being the only person to hand-draw an entire animated feature film (in fact NINE so far!). In addition to being an honoree, Bill is the presenter for this year's inaugural "Plympton Award for Indie Animation" which will go to an entrant of the Burbank International Film Festival, annually.

Al Jean

Award-winning producer/writer of The Simpsons since 1989 on over 450 episodes, has been showrunner for thirteen seasons. Al won eight Emmy Awards, the Peabody Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe. Currently he serves as executive producer and showrunner, was writer and producer on The Simpsons Movie, co-created The Critic and Teen Angel, and won three CableACE Awards as producer of It's Garry Shandling's Show.

Mark Kirkland

Three time Emmy Award winning director, Mark Kirkland, has directed more episodes than anyone of TVs longest running animated program, The Simpsons. Mark studied Experimental Animation at CalArts prior to his career in the animation at Hanna-Barberra, before directing for FOX. He has been awarded two Environmental Media Awards for his work on The Simpsons.

Jerry Beck

Animation historian, former industry executive and cartoon producer. Jerry's fifteen books include The Animated Movie Guide, Looney Tunes: The Ultimate Visual Guide and The 50 Greatest Cartoons. He is a former studio exec with Nickelodeon and Disney, and is currently a consulting producer to Warner Bros., Universal and Disney for their classic animation DVD compilations. BIFF congratulates Jerry on his recent installation as Vice President of ASIFA, Hollywood, the organization that hosts The Annie Awards.

Dominic Polcino

An animation director of over 30 episodes of hit shows including The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Mission Hill and Family Guy. For Family Guy he was nominated for a prime-time Emmy alongside the show's creator Seth McFarland. Dominic is creator of Lovesick Fool, his own pilot TV series and film fest award winner.

Raul Aguirre Jr.

A sixteen-year veteran of Nickelodeon, FOX and Disney, where he was a protégé of Glen Keane on Treasure Planet. Raul is an instructor at Gnomon School of Visual Effects, an active freelancer, and host of the Man vs. Art podcast which interviews industry professionals and provides information, inspiration, and entertainment for artists.

Grasiela Rodriguez

Grasiela Rodriguez is a graphic artist, animator, comic book creator at Not Your Friend Comics, and a board member for the Nuvien Foundation that raises scholarship funds for students of the arts. Grasiela holds degrees in Animation and Digital Media and E-commerce Development, and coordinates and participates in several regional animation exhibitions annually.

Jim Lujan

Is a prolific indie animator of well over 40 shorts and an alumni of Spike and Mike's Sick 'N' Twisted Film Festival with Mama, I'm a Thug. Jim does art, voices and music for all of his films as well as freelance work for film and television, and promotes regional animated film festivals in Los Angeles.

Ken Mora (BIFF Animation Day Programmer)

Writer/director/producer of the animated spoof of Dirty Harry film Magnum Farce, the multiple-award-winning short based on the feature-film script now in production at Bella Fe Films. Ken is executive producer of the documentary Adventures In Plymptoons, whose subject is twice Oscar-nominated indie animator Bill Plympton.