The arts have an organic way of connecting people of diverse backgrounds with one another, says Long Beach Indie founder Dr. Daniel Walker.
Dr. Walker sees valuable relationships blossom each year with his own eyes at the Long Beach Indie International Film, Media and Music festival—now a bridge for aspiring creative pros (especially those of color) into the mainstream entertainment and tech industries, and also a vibrant, multiculti, cross-generational community.
The five-day confab finds people like award-winning television producer P. Frank Williams (Unsung, American Gangster) and Simpsons animator Mark Kirkland sharing gems of experience with aspiring professionals, seasoned veterans pursuing new avenues with their crafts and film enthusiasts reveling in an array of offerings.
Young people have chances to get information about college admissions, financial aid advice, and so forth, but also priceless first-hand insight into arts and entertainment careers. “If a kid is interested in animation,” Walker said in an interview with the Long Beach Press-Telegram, “what better person to learn it from than a three-time Emmy winner for The Simpsons?”
“Mentors are very important in our world,” said Kirkland, who spoke with LBI attendees about this past season how episodes of The Simpsons go from sketch ideas to finished programs.”Going from being a student to a professional can be a very tricky phase of life.”
Kirkland also added live action to his resume over the years. LBI featured his black-and-white film, The Moving Picture Co. 1914, in 2015.