February 7, 2023

The People of XA

L-R: Everett Lewis, Lisa Mann, Kathy Smith, and Sheila Sofian

The vision for the Expanded Animation Research + Practice program evolved from the work and ideas of four veteran School of Cinematic Arts faculty: Everett Lewis, Lisa Mann, Kathy Smith, and Sheila Sofian. They each approach their cinematic work from a unique perspective. Lewis is an independent filmmaker whose work helped define the genre, and frequently explores themes related to gay and lesbian experiences; Mann is a multidisciplinary artist who primarily teaches stop-motion/physical animation; Smith works with painting, animation, installation, and sound; and Sofian makes films that are a hybrid of documentary and animation works. They came together around their interest in exploring the same question: What’s Next in Animation? It’s a perspective they encourage their students to embrace as they work together to define the program.

Lewis and Sofian are the co-directors of Expanded Animation. They lead a faculty of imaginatively talented animators including Musa Booker, John Brennan, Greg Garay, and Sam Gurry, as well as cinematographer and visual effects specialist Maks Naporowski, artist Norland Téllez, and others.

Learn more about the People of XA. And check out projects being made in the program.