Rise Up Animation was created by working studio professionals Frank Abney, Trent Correy, Monica Lago-Kaytis & Bobby Pontillas as a movement to provide support to all People of Color with the goal of helping diverse talent Rise Up in the Animation Industry.
Frank E. Abney III is a California native African-American who grew up with a passion for storytelling, drawing and movies. After graduating from The Art Institute of California – San Francisco, he began working as an animator on game, film and TV projects like Tomb Raider, Disney’s Oscar-winning Frozen and Big Hero 6 and DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 3 and The Boss Baby. He then joined the team at Pixar, where he has collaborated on Coco, Incredibles 2, Toy Story 4, and its upcoming film, Soul. Abney recently executive produced Sony Picture Animation’s Academy Award-winning short “Hair Love” with Issa Rae, and is currently directing an animated feature film at Netflix.
Trent Correy is a Canadian-born shorts director and animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios with over a decade of experience working in the animation industry. Along with animating on films such as Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootopia and Moana, Trent also directed the animated short film Drop, which recently made its debut on Disney Plus. In 2018 Trent co-created the Oscar-nominated short, One Small Step with Bobby Pontillas & Taiko Animation Studios. Recently, Trent was the character animation supervisor for Olaf, Bruni and Gale on Frozen 2, and is the writer and co-director of the original animated short, Once Upon a Snowman, now on Disney Plus.
Monica Lago-Kaytis is a Latin-American producer born in Hollywood, CA. She joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1994 for the film Pocahontas and continued to work in a wide variety of production roles on traditional, CG and stereoscopic animated films including Hercules, Meet The Robinsons and The Princess and The Frog. She served as Associate Producer on Wreck-It Ralph and Zootopia then made her live-action debut with Netflix’s The Christmas Chronicles. Her talent for casting put Kurt Russell at the top of the list for his now iconic performance as Santa Claus.
Bobby Pontillas is a Filipino-American artist who has worked in the animation and games industries as an animator, character designer, art director, and director for such studios as Disney, Taiko, Blue Sky, ArenaNet and more. He is an Academy Award nominated director for the animated short film, One Small Step. Bobby is currently developing animated projects for the Disney Channel and Disney Plus.