Please join vice presidents of creative Katie Baron & Justinian Huang, and creative executives Alyssa Engelberg & Jeremiah Loeb from the SPA Creative group as they discuss how an idea becomes a movie and what they look for in a pitch! This event is open to guests of Rise Up Animation, Exceptional Minds, and employees from Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Panelists’ Bios:
| Katie Baron, Vice President of Creative |
As Vice President of Creative at Sony Pictures Animation, Katie Baron has supported a multitude of animated feature films, including the studio’s Academy Award® winner “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Academy Award® nominee “The Mitchells vs. The Machines.” In addition to her work in film, Baron is also overseeing a slate of creative adult and family animated television shows, working closely with filmmakers on several projects set up at HBO Max and Netflix, among other platforms. She seeks out and acquires new material to be developed from the conceptual stage, through story development and production, working with directors, writers, and artists at all stages.

Prior to joining Sony Pictures Animation, Baron worked in current series at Disney TV Animation on projects such as “Mickey Mouse,” “Pickle and Peanut,” and various Marvel series for the Disney Channel and Disney XD.

Before venturing into animation, Baron began her career in live-action working as an assistant and then moving up to a Creative Executive role at Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps Entertainment, where she worked on titles such as “Real Steel,” “Date Night”, and “The Spectacular Now.”

| Justinian Huang, Vice President of Creative |
As vice president of creative at Sony Pictures Animation, Justinian Huang is responsible for overseeing creative development and production of a number of animated features and series at the studio, including “K-Pop: Demon Hunters,” directed by Maggie Kang & Chris Appelhans.

Prior to joining Sony Animation, Huang was head of development at Pearl Studio in Shanghai, where he led the team that oversaw the historic co-productions “Kung Fu Panda 3” and “Abominable” in partnership with DreamWorks Animation, as well as the studio’s most recent film, the Netflix original “Over the Moon,” which was recently nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Huang was also the executive in charge of the upcoming Netflix original “The Monkey King,” which will be Stephen Chow’s first global animated film. In his last year at Pearl, he launched their China domestic animation division, with a slate of projects helmed entirely by Asian directors.

Previously, Huang was a development executive at Lynda Obst Productions, where he assisted with development for “Interstellar” and “The Invention of Lying.”

Born in Los Angeles to AAPI immigrants, Huang had an old-school upbringing in the film industry, landing his first job on the Paramount lot as a runner when he was in college. He studied English literature at Pomona College and screenwriting at University of Oxford in conjunction with BAFTA. Huang resides in LA with Swagger, a rescue dog he adopted during his years living in China.

| Alyssa Engelberg, Creative Executive |
As a creative executive at Sony Pictures Animation, Alyssa Engelberg has worked on a variety of animated projects from concept to screen, including “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” and “Vivo.”

Prior to joining Sony Pictures Animation, Engelberg worked as a litigation attorney for several years. She eventually decided to leave the field of law behind and follow her passion by pursuing a career in animation. Her favorite part of the job is getting to work side-by-side with amazing artists as she helps them develop their ideas into feature films and series.

| Jeremiah Loeb, Creative Executive |
Jeremiah Loeb is a creative executive on the development team at Sony Pictures Animation. Prior to joining the team at Sony, Loeb worked at several entertainment companies including MTV, Country Music Television and It’s A Laugh Productions. A graduate of Syracuse University, Loeb has a passion for animation that began at an early age and has continued to grow as he contributes his talents to developing new animated features at SPA.