In Person: Local Artist Robert Liu-Trujillo

This year’s BAICFF poster was designed by Oakland native Robert Liu-Trujillo, and it brings to life this year’s theme, The Power of Kids, and is a visual celebration of the festival’s international diversity.

Betty Soskin by Robert Liu-TrujilloLiu-Trujillo’s  gorgeous illustrations will be on display during the festival in Chabot’s Astronomy Hall, and he will be on hand for part of the weekend to answer any questions you have about his work, so be sure to take the time to visit this special exhibit while at the festival.

He’s a co-founder of Trust Your Struggle, a bi-coastal collective, based in California and New York, of visual artists, educators, and cultural workers dedicated to social justice, environmental sustainability, and community activism through art. He also contributes to the Bull Horn Blog, a publication by writers and illustrators dedicated to incorporating activism and social action into children’s literature. Liu-Trujillo exemplifies many of the qualities that make the Bay Area art scene so unique and wonderful, and he’s very connected to the region’s specific history and politics.

Marlon Riggs by Robert Liu-Trujillo

Liu-Trujillo has illustrated numerous children’s books, but he is also the author-illustrator for his own original work, Furqan’s First Flat Top, a delightful, beautifully-illustrated story about a young boy’s anxiety at getting his first cool hairstyle. He funded the publication of this book through a successful Kickstarter campaign, and it’s been embraced by devoted and enthusiastic readers.

The watercolor illustrations featured in this article are from a new series he created about Black history. Shown here are lovingly-rendered images of National Park Ranger Betty Soskin (who at 98 years old is the oldest working Park Ranger in the US, and who serves at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California), and filmmaker Marlon Riggs (also a poet, gay right activist, and educator, who lived in Oakland).

See his website for more of his excellent art and an overview of his ongoing projects. Liu-Trujillo’s impressive accomplishments are just the beginning of a long and promising career!

Our Rewarding Workshops Cultivate Creativity!

Our beloved workshops are back again this year, with some special additions — and a few have already sold out!

Berkeley City College Animation Workshop
Make animated shorts with
students from Berkeley City College

Berkeley City College again offers their fun, fantastic animation workshops, which give kids a compact and hands-on animation experience. There are several kids of animation available:

Clay Puppet Animation will demonstrate how to bring clay figures to life through animation.

Family Fun Stop-Motion will show you how to animate toys and objects to create your own stories.

Pixilation & Foley uses kids as life-sized animation models, and also shows you how to make your own sound effects to spice up the on-screen action.

At the end of each festival day, these workshop films are projected in one of our theaters as part of the regular festival program!

This year we’re also honored to have the Walt Disney Family Museum present two special events.

The first is a workshop on Character Design, a tutorial on how to bring your character creations to life.

Walt Disney Family Museum Artist's Career
Artist’s Career: one-on-one advice

The second, The Artist’s Career, is a one-on-one consultation with an industry professional, who will offer participants their expert advice on the best pathways for students considering a career in visual art or animation.

All of these events are designed to encourage or enlighten young people with an interest in filmmaking, storytelling, and creative endeavors so that they have stronger tools for tackling the challenges of making their projects. Gaining understanding and insight into the creative process is essential for everybody no matter their interests or goals.

Sign up now for the few spots we have left!

Director Valerie LaPointe Presents Pixar’s “Lamp Life”

Valerie LaPointe is a director, writer, and animator with some impressive credits. She shares original story credit on Toy Story 4, and was an artist for Inside Out and Brave. So we’re very excited to have her at the festival to participate in one of our long-running series of animation industry presentations, How Do They Do That?

"Lamp Life" still image
Bo Peep in Lamp Life

Valerie has directed several shorts, but her first directorial credit while at Pixar is the new film Lamp Life, starring Toy Story character Bo Peep (voiced by Annie Potts).

Valerie LaPointe
Director Valerie LaPointe

The short specifically covers the adventures of Bo Peep between the second and third Toy Story films, and paves the way for her growth into the woman of action she becomes in the fourth film. There’s plenty of drama, as we also meet Gabby Gabby (voiced by Christina Hendricks), Bo’s antagonist in Toy Story 4.

Valerie will show a special screening of this new animated short, and follows it up with a presentation with details about the short film’s creation, so this event is a must-see for Pixar fans and those interested in the process of making animation.

Be sure to catch this event on Sunday, February 23rd at 2:30pm, only at BAICFF 2020!

Songwriter Kat White Brings Whimsy & Harmony

Kat White, an indie folk-pop performer based in Oakland, Ca., is a special guest of this year’s BAICFF.

She teaches guitar and ukulele lessons in the Bay Area, and often makes up songs with her students. These songs were the inspiration for Kat’s debut children’s album, In the Eye of the Owl, a collection of fun, beautiful, and sincere songs about animals, which she’ll be performing live at the festival. She’s already at work on a second album.

Singer Kat White
Singer-songwriter Kat White

Kat’s work is excellent, and you definitely don’t want to miss her show. If you listen to samples of her music on her website, you’ll be instantly seduced by her catchy, joyful tunes.

She’ll be playing twice, once in the Planetarium Theater on Saturday Feb. 22nd at noon, and later that day in the Chabot rotunda.

You can buy tracks directly from her site, purchase them on iTunes, or listen to them on Spotify.