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Ellen Besen

A former faculty member of Sheridan College’s School of Animation (1987-2002) and infamous workaholic, Ellen Besen studied animation at Sheridan and has been working in the field for over 35 years. 

Highlights of her career include directing award-winning films for the National Film Board of Canada, broadcast work on the topic of animation for CBC Radio, and film curating for such organizations as the Art Gallery of Ontario. Her films have been shown in multiple international festivals and at such institutions as MOMA, and her film analysis workshops are featured regularly at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. 

She has written popular series for Animation World Network on such topics as animation and analogy, is currently creative director of The Kalamazoo Animation Festival International, and continues to teach the principles of animation filmmaking on an intensive one-on-one basis.

She is the author of Animation Unleashed a book of applied theory which encapsulates over 20 years of dissecting how animation communicates.

Articles by Ellen Besen

Animation and the Art of Action-Based Storytelling

You're considering a move into writing for animation. After all, you've always liked animation; you have a feel for fantasy - talking animals, stuff that flies - and maybe you already have a background in live-action writing which should give you a head start, right?

Well, yes and no. The fact is, animation is more than just talking animals, and much of wh... (read more)