Tag Archives: bios

MinnAnimate 6 Bios

Youth/Student Filmmakers

Sam Ballis

Sam Ballis is based in the Twin Cities, and currently is about to start college at MCAD in the fall. Sam dedicates a lot of time to the world of filmmaking, and animation is one field that she is currently exploring.

Jim Belden

Jim Belden has been a student and volunteer at CTV since 2014. Working with TV and film is one of his many creative passions, as well as acting and writing.

Emily Downes

Emily is an artist, filmmaker, animator, and instructor working in still and moving images. She holds a BFA in Film from UW-Milwaukee, where she is currently pursuing an MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres. Drawn to the unusual and unpredictable, her work explores the flux of peculiarities in language, communication, gestures and habits. Working across various mediums, such as video, photography and animation, her work investigates how images are translated into various forms through context. Emily’s work aspires to instigate questions, engage curiosity and manifest new language around what is seen in these new forms.

Mary Kippley

I’m Mary Kippley, a creator from Hamline University. I specialize in building diverse characters and supernatural/mystical stories that examines questions and twist themes I feel are either mis- or underrepresented in the media today, such as love, friendship, loneliness, alienation and other topics having to do with relationships. I draw to express and create to explore, and more often than not, I’m exploring myself — my beliefs, my ideals, my identity. This exploration may take the form of songs, poems, or shorts, but usually come in comics and sketches.

Jennifer Rosario

My name is Jennifer Rosario. I attend Hamline University pursuing a degree in Digital Media Arts. This video is a product of Hamline’s Intro to Animation class taught by Professor John Akre.

Skyler Swender

MCAD senior animation major that is interested in the narrative structure of storytelling compared to its content.


Independent Animators

Trevor Adams

Trevor Adams is a recipient of the 2017 MSAB Artist Initiative grant and is affording him the opportunity to revisit and digitize personal archives for the unsuspecting public.

John Akre

John Akre is a Minneapolis animation educator, maker, and fan, and he organizes MinnAnimate. He creates stop motion animation on location with his Sloppy Films Animation Station, teaches animation at Hamline University and creates work with clients through Green Jeans Media, the home studio he runs with Beth Peloff.

Emory Allen

Foreign Fauna is an animation studio rooted in design and illustration.

Brian Barber

Brian Barber is an illustrator, animator designer and motion graphics artist, working in advertising, children’s books, corporate videoa and more.

Susan Shay Brugger

Susan has been a closet animator most of her life. When she isn’t chasing her young granddaughters, she works as a production manager for Theory Studios, a 3d animation, vfx and vr studio.

Joseph Dutra

Currently attending Minneapolis College of Art and Design and majoring in filmmaking while also learning techniques in animation. Favorite animated films of all time are Toy Story and Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Hopes to make both live-action and animated films throughout his career.

Emily Fritze

Emily is an independent animator and motion graphics artist based in Minneapolis. She has worked on a variety of projects that include music videos for Pert Near Sandstone, Trampled by Turtles, and Perry Project, among others; documentaries, feature films, commercial work, as well as illustration and graphic design. She has been shown and awarded in film festivals – Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival, Square Lake, MNTV, Philadelphia Film Festival, and SoCal.

Sue Grant

Little Old Lady Animator.

Cody Greene

Cody Greene is an independent writer/animator from St Paul Minnesota.

Eve Hernandez

Eve Hernandez is a Graphic Designer with a background in Fine Arts. Her work includes a mixture of both digital and traditional mediums. Currently residing in the cold tundra known as Minneapolis- her work involves bright colors and smooth sounds to offset the busy, snowy city.

Ed Heyl

Ed Heyl lives in northeast Minneapolis and attends massage therapy school when he’s not making art.

Julie JAO

Julie JAO is a visual artist who does both painting and live performance. Her work is about movement and energy. She is particularly interested in the spark of life that propels a being from a state of inertia to action and the impetus that creates this change of state.

Robert Jersak

Robert Jersak is a multimedia artist by night, communication studies educator by day. He’s eager to be a part of the growing animation scene in the Twin Cities.

Simeon Kondev

Independent animator, graduate of Rhode Island School of Design. Clients include Viceland, FOX, and Adult Swim.

Andy Lefton

Andy Lefton is a Minneapolis based senior 3D/VFX artist with over 12 years of experience.

Adam Loomis

Animator, filmmaker and artist living in Minneapolis, MN.

Ian Lueck

Ian Lueck, a Wisconsin native, has been an independent filmmaker and animator for almost two decades. His work has been featured at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center and the Trylon Microcinema in Minneapolis, as well as numerous video sharing sites on the web.

Wayne Nelsen

Wayne Nelsen has made 66 animated videos and film collages, using the stories, poems and music of other people.

Mike Owens

Animator, Director, Character Designer and Storyboard artists creating hand dawn entertainment for TV and Film. Co-Creator and Executive Producer of Danger & Eggs, an animated series on Amazon Prime.

Beth Peloff

Beth Peloff is a video maker and teacher who works in both documentary and animation. Her films have played at film festivals including the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, the Twin Cities Film Festival and the Sodak Animation Festival.

Maret Polzine

Maret Polzine is an experimental filmmaker from the Twin Cities. They have a BFA in animation, and their works have screened globally.

Lea Redding

Lea Redding is an animator working in Minneapolis, she graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in December 2015.

Colin Stanhill

Colin Stanhill is a self-taught animator working in Minneapolis. He draws all his films by hand on paper. According to Malcolm Turner, of the Melbourne International Animation Festival, he is “quite a lucid sort of fellow.”

Josh Stifter

Josh Stifter is the animation director and owner of Flush Studios. He’s created animation for Kevin Smith and had his cartoons featured on the El Rey Network.

Chamindika Wanduragala

Chamindika Wanduragala is a Sri Lankan American visual artist, DJ (DJ Chamun), puppeteer and maker of stop motion films. She’s also the Artistic Director of Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop, an arts organization that nurtures artists of color and Indigenous artists in contemporary puppet theater and sequential art.

1 Comment

Filed under Festival 2017, Profiles

MinnAnimate 5 Biographies

Trevor Adams

Trevor Adams re-writes cinema history by cutting the film emulsion off the film base with sharp objects, subjects it all to pen and paint and flashes it all before our eyes. He is a magician who reveals infinity with the tiniest movements. Which is another way to say that he works directly on film, animating dreamlike stories of the lives around him.

John Akre

John Akre is an animator and videomaker who lives in Minneapolis. He co-owns Green Jeans Media with Beth Peloff and has made three animated features and something like 100 animated shorts that have screened around the world. He likes to take stop motion animation to the streets with his Sloppy Films Animation Station. He teaches animation to young people at schools, after school programs and summer camps, and to slightly less young people at Hamline University.

Lukas Anderson

Lukas is from Saint Paul, Minnesota. He is currently studying animation.

Misha Ardichvili

Misha Ardichvili is a film-maker from Roseville, MN. He recently graduated high school and spends his time film-making at a local television station (CTV North Suburbs). He made Deadringer last summer as a part of his internship and finished animating in the fall.

Brian Barber

Brian Barber is an animator, illustrator and designer in Duluth, MN. He works on TV Ads, music videos, corporate videos and more. You can see his work at http://brianbarber.tv and at http://brianbarber.com

Susan Shay Brugger

Susan has been animating in Flash/Animate for a number of years, focusing on non-humans relating to other non-humans. When she’s not animating, she designs motion graphics and supervises CGI and 3d production at Theory Studios.

Adam Dargan

Adam Dargan is an experimental animator and filmmaker working to bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary art-making practices. He works primarily with analog film to explore texture and movement of the medium. Then uses his knowledge of 3D software to manipulate these analog images into 3D environments. The combination of analog and digital mediums allows him to create imagery that highlights new perspectives on the media we are typically exposed to.

Cody Greene

Cody Greene is an independent animator who deals in simple shapes and color to deliver short, but poignant stories.

Cable Hardin

Cable Hardin has been making films and animation for tv, film, and web for decades. He also teaches film and animation at South Dakota State University as well as organizing animation and film exhibition (SoDak Motion/SoDak Animation Festival, 2008-present). Cable has also specialized in makeup special effects for film and tv. Other titles in his filmography include White Out (2015), The Uncle Mike Show (2013), Look to the Sea (2010), Beard and Moustache Experiments (2008) and Ancestors (2006).

Ed Heyl

Ed Heyl is an animator, artist and fool who lives in Minneapolis.

Robert Jersak

Robert Jersak is a full-time faculty member at Century College and a part-time animator on his own time. He still doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s taking it all one frame at a time.

Eric Kreidler

Eric Kreidler is a Minneapolis-based motion designer and animator. He is co-owner with his wife Gretchen Blase Kreidler of eg design, a creative studio specializing in graphic design, motion design, illustration, and animation. Eric has directed children’s music videos for Sesame Street, Danny Weinkauf, and The Bazillions.

Marcie LaCerte

Marcie LaCerte is an animation student in Minneapolis. She’s interested in experimental media art and spends most of her free time watching videos on the Internet. She also likes psychology, podcasts, sleeping, and eating.

Olubukola Laditan

Olubukola Laditan has been in the entertainment industry for over 7 years. He is an independent animator who lives in Minneapolis Minnesota.

Noah Lawrence-Holder

Noah Lawrence-Holder is an illustrator and animator from Madison, Wisconsin. He began attending the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2013. He has a penchant for cheese and small dogs.

Adam Loomis

Adam Loomis is a Minneapolis resident and self-taught animator.

Ian Lueck

Ian Lueck, a Wisconsin native, has been an independent filmmaker and animator for almost two decades. His work has been featured at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center and the Trylon Microcinema in Minneapolis, as well as numerous video sharing sites on the web.

Wayne Nelsen

Wayne Nelsen has currently made 47 animated videos.

Beth Peloff

Beth Peloff is a video maker and teacher who works in both documentary and animation. Her films have played at film festivals both locally and nationally, including the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival and the Sodak Animation Festival.

Margaret Polzine

Polzine is an experimental animator with a BFA from MCAD. She currently continues to make experimental animations, and looks forward to a teaching position at Perpich in the fall.

Jack Quincey

I’ve been creating stop-motion animated films since I was a little boy and I’d like to think I have a bit of a knack for it. I’m hoping it will get me through the rest of my life.

Lea Redding

I am a local animator from Minneapolis, I graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree. I love working in character animation, it’s definitely my favorite kind of animation. I find people in general fascinating, how different everyone is. I’m a very observant person and people watching is one of my favorite pastimes.

Tom Schroeder

Tom’s been making animated films since 1990.

Josh Stifter

Josh Stifter has animated for longer than he can probably remember. He’s created animation for Kevin Smith, CNN, Sparkhouse, and runs his media company Flush Studios out of his basement. He also is a dad on occasion.

Anna Taberko

Anna Taberko is a Minnesota based animator. Her focus is the abstractness created in the natural environment, whether through color or form.

Leo Winstead

Leo Winstead is an illustrator and filmmaker based out of the Twin Cities. Leo has been involved with various film projects over the last 20 years, starting with short stopmotion vignettes shot on super-8 which then lead to 16mm film and video production during college. He produced the storyboards for the film The Quiet Storm (2000) about domestic violence, while an undergraduate at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. Other projects have included This Is My Body (2008), where he worked as storyboard artist, animator, and 2nd unit director and more recently Akello & the Lion (2010), an animated film dealing with the effects of the conflict in Uganda involving the LRA.

Mara Zoltners

I am a multi-media artist, born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. I received a Bachelors of Science in Art from University of WI-Stout, and an MFA from University of MN. I have a PhD from University of Leeds. I have exhibited my work nationally and internationally, and have participated in film and video screenings at the Walker Art Center and Weisman Art Museum on Minneapolis, MN, and the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, Bradford, England. I have participated in numerous artist residencies, including at Art in General, NY. I am a recipient of the McKnight Foundation visual arts Fellowship and the Bush Foundation Fellowship in art. My work is concerned with notions of place, identity and the ubiquitous everyday, and how disparate information can come together to create new meaning.

Leave a comment

Filed under Festival 2016, Profiles

MinnAnimate IV Contributor bios


Here are the people who made some of the films in MinnAnimate IV.

Trevor Adams has been working with 16mm film since 1992, and was recently evicted from his loft so that downtown could make way for more condos.

John Akre is an animator, videomaker and teaching artist who lives in Minneapolis and founded MinnAnimate. http://www.johnakre.com

Kirk Anderson is a political cartoonist, animator, and designer in the Twin Cities.

Brian Barber is a designer, illustrator, animator and motion graphics artist in Duluth MN. His work can be seen in TV commercials, corporate videos, music videos, and strange little projects scattered all around the world.

Greg Bro is an award-winning filmmaker from Minneapolis, MN who writes, voices, and animates comedic short films for his website TheBroShow.com. Bro’s work has screened at various film festival across the country and he is currently working on a project he created for DreamWorks TV. When not tooning, Bro enjoys eating sandwiches and shaving exclamation points into his beard.

After nearly a lifetime of playing with flip books, Susan Brugger discovered computer animation a few years ago and hasn’t looked back. She works primarily in 2d mixed media character animation. She also contributes as a motion graphics artist on the Ray ‘n’ Clovis Show animations created and produced by Theory Animation.

Adam Dargan was raised in Duluth, MN and currently resides in Minneapolis. He enjoys exploring the combination of physical and digital animation. Adam is currently in his final year at MCAD studying a degree in animation.

Lisa Erickson has a history of working and collaborating with other artists from painting and mural work to sumi-e style illustration and stop-motion animation.

Sue Grant is a retired little old lady who can’t seem to get enough animation in her life.

Cable Hardin has been making films and animation for tv, film, and web for decades. He also teaches film and animation at South Dakota State University. Cable has also specialized in makeup special effects for film and tv. Other titles in his filmography include The Uncle Mike Show (2013), Look to the Sea (2010), Beard and Moustache Experiments (2008) and Ancestors (2006).

Edward Heyl was born at a very young age to a group of free-range Minnesotans. He received his BFA from the U of M in 2010 and has dedicated his life to making surreal nonsensery. He currently lives in Northeast Minneapolis with his three cats and human wife.

Robert Jersak is a community college Communication instructor, an audio documentarian and a part-time artist wannabe. These are his first animated films.

David Koesters used to be a JAG officer in the army. He has two cats.

Andy Lefton is a veteran CG animator and VFX artist with over 12 years in the industry. Based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Andy has worn many hats, from artist to producer to creative director. Visit his portfolio at http://www.andylefton.com

Isaac Leonhardi is a high school student who enjoys creating stories and digital art forms.

Keith Mullin is a graduate of Metropolitan State University with a degree in screenwriting. He has been making short films for the last 7 years. This is his first animation.

Wayne Nelsen lives in Minneapolis and teaches ELL.

Beth Peloff is an animator and documentary filmmaker and editor. Her animations have played in film festivals locally and nationally.

Tom Schroeder has been making generally hand-drawn animated films since 1990.

Leo Winstead is an illustrator and filmmaker based out of the Twin Cities. Leo has been involved with various film projects over the last 20 years. Live-action projects have included work on “The Quiet Storm” (2000) and “This Is My Body” (2008). Recent animated films include “Akello & the Lion” (2010) and “Aurora” (2013).

Leave a comment

Filed under Festival 2015, Profiles

MinnAnimate II Bios

Here are bios of the animators featured in MinnAnimate II, September 12, 2013:


Trevor Adams

As an outsider artist, Trevor Adams is oblivious to most animation techniques analogue and digitial, and painfully aware of how hip his record- and comics collection is.  Despite barely graduating high school, he attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for a year and managed to pay off his debts in 3 months after dropping out freshman year.  He was born the same year Nixon resigned and cites his birthplace the same as Bruce Conner and Moondog.

John Akre

John Akre is an animator, community video maker, and media teacher who lives in Northeast Minneapolis and organized the MinnAnimate Festival.

Greg Bro

Greg Bro is a Minneapolis writer/animator who makes silly cartoons and eats nachos for dinner.

Adina Cohen

Adina Cohen grew up in Santa Rosa, California where at a young age she became interested in Stop Motion animation. After making a couple of festival awarding films in high school, she went to study Stop Motion the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in Minnesota. During her studies she was able to produce 2 semi finalist Adobe Design Achievement Awarded films. As a recent graduate she has recently moved to the LA area to work in Stop Motion professionally as well as continue to make independent short films. Her other interests include spoken word, screenwriting, figure drawing, and making video blogs on YouTube.

Dane Cree and Claire Strautmanis

Keylime is a collaborative animation duo. Using the combined efforts of two local experimental animators. The duo includes Dane Cree, who is a recent 2013 graduate from MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design) and Claire Strautmanis, who is currently working toward the completion of her degree at MCAD as well. Both animators prefer to use hand drawn or stop motion techniques to develop their flow of images. 18˚N 65˚W is the first animated work that the duo has brought into fruition and was originally created for their Gallery 148 exhibit at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. There are plans to continue with the Keylime collaboration in the future once a new subject captures their interest.

Emily Fritze


Emily Fritze is a freelance animator and illustrator. She graduated from Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2012 and continues to live in Minneapolis.


Cable Hardin

Cable Hardin creates commercial and independent content for film, TV, festival and web venues in addition to teaching animation and production at South Dakota State University. Cable also specializes in special makeup effects for film and  television. Since developing the animation coursework in the Visual Arts department at South Dakota State University, Cable has also been promoting animation as an art form in Brookings, SD and the region with the establishment of the SDSU Animation Mini- Fest in 2007 and developing it into the SoDak Animation Festival in 2009, both of which showcase animation of all kinds to the public and also offer hands-on workshop to elementary school-age children.

Peter Kirschmann

Peter Kirschmann is a youth worker, media maker, and student studying technology and education, based in Cambridge, MA. He likes encouraging folks to tell their own stories through media, because who else will? He helps to organize MNKINO, a bimonthly film screening in Minneapolis which encourages folks to experiment with and create short videos.

Lora Madjar

Lora Madjar is a Bulgarian native and first generation New American. After graduating from Math High School specializing in graphic design and computer programing with French emphasis in 1998, she emigrated to the United States to pursue her bachelors (Boise State University, Boise, ID) and masters (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN) degrees in Fine Arts Studio in painting and drawing. Although she considers herself a painter, since 2004 she has combined the art of puppetry and short film to tell her stories. The themes and objects from her paintings serve as a starting point in the short stop-motion animations. “Snow” (2006), her first major short, was featured in “Women With Vision 2007: Filmmakers / Video makers” at the Walker Art Center. Since 2009 she has been working on “Finding (A)way” and with the help of the Artist Initiative grant FY 2012 from the Minnesota State Arts Board, she has been able to complete part one of her short film. She lives and works in Minneapolis, MN as a teaching artist and a mother of two little boys.

Mahieu and Levi Spaid

Mahieu Studios Productions uses animation to bring our hand drawn characters to life right here in Minneapolis, MN. Everything began with the creation of one curious kitten, Little Lucy, and her daily adventures. Since her arrival at the studio, a number of friends visit to share their stories with us. Mahieu Spaid, the resident artist and author, does her best to draw out their lives while Levi Spaid gives them movement in animations programs. Life Under the Dome is one of their first productions but only one of many projects. Our team couldn’t resist the challenge of trying to share all the studio characters in a way that was fun and more interesting than a flat sheet of paper. Audiences and art fans get a better sense of what personalities the drawings represent, or they get an inside look at what goes on inside the minds of an artist and animator.

Beth Peloff

Beth Peloff likes to make cartoons (still and moving), documentaries, music, cookies, and soup.

Lisa Rydin Erickson and Karen Kopacz

Lisa Rydin Erickson is an artist in Saint Paul. Primarily a 2D artist she draws daily on her ipad while on commute to work downtown. She also illustrates and paints both fine art and backdrops. Recently she painted large tent size paintings for the Flint Hills international Children’s Festival. Karen Kopacz is a designer, musician and artist. Creating music for more than 20 years, her vocals and guitar have appeared on a variety of obscure and avant-gard albums.

Dave and Mary Sandberg

Dave & Mary have worked commercially & independently in California and Minnesota. Dave currently teaches character animation and storyboard at MCAD.

Tom Schroeder

Tom has been making hand-drawn animated films since 1990.  His films have been broadcast on Independent Lens, the Sundance Channel, Canal + France, SBS in Australia and CBC in Canada and have screened at the American Cinematique in Los Angeles and Anthology Film Archives in New York.  The films have also played widely on the international festival circuit, including at Annecy, Rotterdam, Sundance, Ottawa, South by Southwest and Edinburgh, and have won over thirty festival awards.  Tom received Minnesota State Arts Board Grants in 1991, 1999 and 2006, Jerome Film and Video Grants in 2000 and 2004, McKnight Fellowships in 2006 and 2011 and Bush Fellowships in 1997 and 2008.  He has directed commercials for Kashi, Samsung and Hertz Car Rental and is currently represented as a director by Global Mechanic, Vancouver, Canada.

Oanh Vu

Oanh Vu is a youth worker at the Science Museum of MN and an artist with a Bachelors of Arts in Studio Art from the College of St. Benedict. When not working Oanh can be found making videos and organizing MNKINO a bi-montly video screening.


Scott Wenner


Scott Wenner has been animating since Christmas of 1986 when he received an “Etch A Sketch Animator” from Santa Claus. Exiting the dot com bubble in the late 90’s, Wenner moved from Interactive 2D Animation to Broadcast Design before landing as a Flame artist in 2003. Compositing and Effects work on music videos for Prince, Liz Phair, Low, and others followed. Now Creative Director at motion504, Wenner has directed live action and animation for clients such as Syfy, Target, and Starz, and has provided Visual Effects Supervision on spots for Nexxus, St. Ives, & The History Channel.


Wolfgang Wick


Wolfgang Wick is a Minneapolis teenager who has made over a dozen films utilizing Claymation/stopmotion techniques.


1 Comment

Filed under Festival 2013, Profiles