These 5 Animation Heavyweights Will Judge Our Online Film Festival

142 Animation short films, directors from 37 countries and the world’s biggest cash prize ever for a dedicated animation film festival. Viewster Online Film Fest 5 is rapidly taking form and we’re starting to develop some pretty weird excitement tics from holding back this bulk of awesome animation work from you.

… But this’ll change soon. On March 12 we’ll unleash #VOFF5 on our website and apps and I wanted to to take this opportunity to introduce you to the animation gurus that we selected to join our Jury for #VOFF5.

Having voiced Naruto’s Sasuke Uchiha and The Prince of Persia, won multiple Emmy’s, animated and directed for Disney, produced for Lucas Film and worked on Alice in Wonderland, we’re confident that this united gang will ensure that the best animation films get the credit they deserve.

Without further ado:

Viewster Online Film Fest 5 Jury
#VOFF5 Jury: Christophe Vacher, Athena Yvette Portillo, Yuri Lowenthal, Samantha Youssef and Michael Schlingmann.


Yuri Lowenthal

A prolific voice actor, known predominantly as the voice of Sasuke Uchiha in Naruto, Ben Tennyson in Ben 10 as well as countless hundreds of computer games, including The Prince from The Prince of Persia.

“Having been involved with many film festivals over my career I’d say there’s not another festival like Viewster in the world, and I am embarrassed to only be finding it now. I’m frankly quite miffed that I was asked to be on the jury because it means I won’t be able to submit. But based on the previous entries to #VOFF I greatly look forward to what imaginative insanity the filmmakers have cooked up for this edition.”

Christophe Vacher

Two-time Emmy award winner, worked in the Art department on Transformers Prime, Despicable Me, Shark Tale, Art Director on 9, background artist on Enchanted, Fantasia / 2000, Tarzan, Hercules, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Beauty and the Beast.

“Young creators of today now have new incredible exposure options, literally… at their fingertips. New hubs of communication and distribution are forming, and the pioneers who take the risk of attempting the adventure today will be the ones leading the pack tomorrow. The #VOFF is one of these pioneers. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”


Samantha Youssef

Character animator and director. Has worked for Disney, Filmax and Ubisoft, owns her own production and training studio called Studio Technique in Montreal, and has won an award at Toronto International Film Festival for her animation film La Fuga Grande.

“Not all artists have the opportunity to travel to festivals and independent animated films are not able to be enjoyed from all parts of the globe. Often animated shorts are seen only among their own communities and networks. Viewster is taking a very progressive step in offering more opportunity to animators. It’s a great way to bring animators’ films together so that they can be enjoyed by a greater audience, and I’m looking forward to the creativity and imagination that will be brought to the screen at this festival!”


Michael Schlingmann

BAFTA nominated multi-award winning, prolific ‘alternative’ animator. Has worked on a diverse range of projects from Paranorman, Corpse Bride, Space Jam, Alice in Wonderland and various commercial projects.

“Traditional film festivals are funny beasts, as they are preaching to the choir. Go to a place like Annecy and you experience a thousand animators watching a thousand animated films by a thousand other animators. Online media, however, seems to have democratised the consumption of non-commercial films of all kinds by making them available to everyone and has most certainly made the submission process much less painful. Considering the quality of short films I have encountered over the past few years, I can’t wait to get my “teeth” (all right then, “eyes”) into these.”


Athena Yvette Portillo

Line producer at Lucas Film’s Clone Wars TV series and newly animated series – Star Wars Rebels.

“Although I have been involved in the Animation Industry for a decade, I’ve never had the opportunity to participate in viewing and judging such great talent that surrounds us. I’m very excited about being a part of the Viewster Online Film Festival and truly look forward to the experience.”


More from Casper Mejlholm

We’re mobilizing

Things’ve been sizzling behind the scenes in our little camp lately, and...
Read More