Michael Bonitatis CEO/Founder
As the CEO and founder of the global animation studio, Animation Libation Studios, Michael Bonitatis is engaged in promoting newly emerging artists from around the world. Additionally, he has collaborated with industry veterans from Disney, Dream Works, Sony, and Nickelodeon to develop multiple projects. Serving as the Art Director for the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Michael has produced and directed animations and presentations for Fortune 500 companies. Slope of the Curve; an animated short film he produced and animation directed is featured on CNN money. Michael has been a professor of computer-based and traditional animation and animation production for over a decade at several local colleges including East and West Los Angeles College, The Art Institutes, Cal State Northridge, Cal State Fullerton and The Los Angeles Film School. He has also developed and implemented curriculum, led production teams, and served as a consultant in the animation education field. Michael holds a M.F.A. for Animation & Visual Effects from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. He is currently the festival Director for the revival of 'The World Animation Celebration' at Sony Pictures Animation and rapidly establishing it as the premiere animation festival in Southern California.
Mike Libonati Chief Creative Officer
Mike works in 2D and 3D development in Los Angeles for various clients in both for both film and television. He has worked on projects for Disney Features, Cartoon Network, Universal and Fox. He has also worked on renderings for architectural lighting design on projects such as the Coex Mall in Korea, Asia’s largest underground mall and Tesla Motor Company in Los Angeles. In addition to his professional work, Mike has been an animation and visual effects teacher for over 15 years. His students have had their work presented at Siggraph, CTN Animation Expo and various film festivals throughout the country. Mike has also been a consultant for the City of Los Angeles on animation curriculum and is passionate about teaching production techniques to students. He has a Master’s Degree from CalArts in Experimental Animation.
Carol Ashley Director of Outreach
Carol Ashley is an industry veteran with over 20 years in feature film visual effects and animation, including Composite Supervisor on “The Matrix” and Lighting Technical Director at DreamWorks Animation on “Shark Tale”, “Madagascar”, “Over the Hedge” and “Flushed Away”. She holds an MFA in Film & Video with an emphasis on cinematography and visual effects and a BFA in Experimental Animation from California Institute of the Arts. She has contributed to numerous feature films for Sony Imageworks, Cinetropolis FX, Cinesite, Hammerhead, Rhythm & Hues and Technicolor. Carol began her career at Will Vinson Studios as a Stop-Motion Animator on the California Raisin commercials, including designing and animating the Michael Jackson character for the award winning commercial, “Michael Raisin”. While earning her Master’s she was asked to start up the stop-motion animation program at CalArts and stayed on as visiting faculty for two years after graduating. Carol has also taught at the Art Institute of Atlanta and Hollywood campuses in 3D animation and Visual Effects. Carol is the former Department Chair for Media Arts at The Art institute of California - Hollywood before starting her tenure track position at Cal State Fullerton in Entertainment Art/Animation. She serves as the Director of Outreach at Animation Libation Studios, developing original content and bridging the gap between higher education and the animation industry.
Rob Allen Chief Technical Officer
Rob Allen has worked over 25 years in technology as a software engineer and consultant with both federal and state government agencies. He has designed and developed a diverse range of software systems, from avionics test and simulation systems for the US Air Force to pavement quality testing software for the California Department of Transportation. During that time he has also helped found two corporations, one for-profit and one 501(c)3 charitable organization. Most recently he has worked as a software engineer for Eyefinity, Inc., a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) practice management software vendor for the vision care industry, and is a certified agile ScrumMaster. In addition to his Bachelor of Computer Science from Northeastern University, he has also studied Media Arts and Animation at the Art Institute of California's Sacramento campus, and received an Executive MBA from California State University in Sacramento.