Christine Panushka

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Off Campus

Online, Zoom

Visiting Artists | CalArts Animation: The Early Years

This lecture series is open to CalArts students, faculty, staff, and alumni only. If you are interested in attending and would like a list of the films available for viewing before the class meetings please email Michael Scroggins via to request access to the videos (some are password protected).

Christine Panushka is an internationally known award winning artist, filmmaker/animator, and educator. Her films are regularly screened at REDCAT in Los Angeles and at film festivals in Asia, Europe, South America, and North America. She has won numerous awards, including the Grand Prize at the Aspen Filmfest and a Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

Her work explores internal states of being and the female psyche using stillness and small gestures to describe emotional and spiritual states. Critics have described her work as “completely original and capable of affecting both cerebral and sensual complexities.”

Named an Absolut Visionary in 1996, Panushka conceptualized, directed, and curated Absolut Panushka, the second issue in a series of content based websites sponsored by Absolut Vodka. Absolut Panushka is a groundbreaking website, which supports and promotes experimental animation. The site features a festival section, highlighting the work of 32 world-class animators, including Panushka. Also included are a history section written by Dr. William Moritz and an animation tool, with which anyone in the world can produce a piece of animation and have it posted on the site. Absolut Panushka has been honored with an “Award of Excellence” from Communication Arts Magazine, First Prize for Animation on the Internet by both the World Animation Celebration in Los Angeles and the Holland International Animation Film Festival in Utrecht, Holland.

Panushka served as chair of the animation jury for the 16th International Hiroshima Animation Festival. She has also served on many juries including the The Annie Awards and The Ann Arbor International Film Festival. She has curated animation programs, and served on the selection committees for Glas Animation Festival, the Hiroshima International Animation Festival and the Ottawa International Animation Festival. She has worked as a freelance animator on music videos, and Saturday morning television series.

Before joining the faculty at USC, Panushka was the associate director of the Experimental Animation Program at the California Institute of the Arts, where she taught for 14 years. She served as associate dean of the School of Film/Video for three years. She also founded the animation program for the California State Summer School for the Arts, a summer program for talented high school students sponsored by the state of California and the animation program for the CalArts Community Arts Partnership at Inner City Arts and the Encino Media Center. These animation programs are unique in that they offer students an in-depth experience of animation in all its forms.

She received her BFA from the University of Utah, where she was honored as a distinguished alum, and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts.

Currently, Panushka is a professor in the John Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts, School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California and is producing, directing, and animating a non-narrative feature animated film due for completion in 2019. [UPDATE: That animated feature, Blood of the Family Tree, was scheduled to premiere at REDCAT on April 6, 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic was streamed live via REDCAT on Oct. 19, 2020 ].