Vermont Animation Festival Announces Animator Dustin Grella as Keynote Speaker

Ninth Annual Festival Begins Friday, March 22

The Vermont Animation Festival welcomes animator and documentary filmmaker Dustin Grella as the Keynote Speaker for the March 22-23, 2024 festival hosted by Vermont State University Lyndon in partnership with Catamount Arts.

Grella’s films have screened at the Cannes Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival, he’s won the Walt Disney Award at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, and his film “Prayers for Peace” screened at almost two hundred festivals worldwide and won more than forty awards. His work has been commissioned by The New York Times, PBS, and MIT Media Lab, and he teaches workshops and performs magic lantern shows out of a decommissioned school bus that he converted into a Mobile Animation Lab.

“Although Dustin has received international recognition for his work, one of the most admirable elements of his creative practice is how much he values community collaboration,” said Kate Renner, Vermont Animation Festival director and VTSU Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Art. “Dustin’s presence on our campus will offer engaging animation experiences for our students and for all members of the larger community who want to participate.”

The Vermont Animation Festival, held on the Vermont State Lyndon campus, offers a full slate of activities for beginner and experienced animators, including workshops, a film screening, and an artist talk with Dustin Grella.

Animated films of all lengths may be submitted for viewing and judging as part of the festival. Submissions opened January 1, and close at 11:59 p.m. on March 10. Films from students and emerging animators are especially welcome. Complete festival information, including submission guidelines, is available at

The Vermont Animation Festival was created in 2015 by former Lyndon faculty member Robby Gilbert to showcase the unique voices of artists in New England working in animation and moving images. The festival provides a forum for regional artists, including Vermont State’s Animation and Illustration students, to showcase their work and workshops to engage the community.

To learn more about VTSU’s program at the Lyndon campus, see