The Team Behind Cartoons Underground

Southeast Asia Largest Underground Animation Festival

Image Credit: Selfies, by Claudius Gentinetta

Vicky Chen Profile
Co-Founder and festival director

Vicky Chen

At just 20-years old, Vicky Chen began her entrepreneurial career as founder and CEO of Chromaki, a boutique fashion business based in Singapore. Since then she’s developed her marketing and account management capabilities in the advertising and public relations sectors, working in Laos, Singapore and the United Kingdom. She has worked with some of the most recognized luxury hospitality brands in the world, including Hilton Worldwide and Sofitel Luxury Hotels, as well as travel site Expedia and boutique brands such as Soap-Paradise.

Vicky has been heavily involved in the arts, and spent the past several years organising life drawing events, acting, producing and animating with NYU Tisch Asia and Nanyang Technological University. She is determined to grow Cartoons Underground into the mammoth it is destined to be!

patrick smith
Co-Founder and Advisor

Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith is known for his metaphorical, hand-drawn short films. His formative years were spent as a storyboard artist for Walt Disney, and director for MTV’s Daria and the Emmy-nominated Downtown.

In the last decade, Smith has animated over 10 independent award winning short films, screening at Tribeca Film Festival, Slamdance, SXSW, and Annecy. Smith is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the New York Foundation of the Arts.

Tan Wei Keong - Program Director
Program Director

Tan Wei Keong

Tan Wei Keong has been curating at Cartoons Underground Singapore as Program Director since 2014. He was awarded the Young Artist Award by the National Arts Council of Singapore in 2019.

His animations explore his identity through personal storytelling and fantasy worlds. His most recent film 'Kingdom' has competed at the Berlin International Film Festival 2019. His previous film ‘Between Us Two’ received the Best Singapore Short Film award at Singapore International Film Festival 2017 and Grand Jury Prize Documentary Short at Outfest Los Angeles 2018. His films have been selected at many film festivals, including those at Annecy, Zagreb, Taipei and Toronto.

IMG_20191225_120051 (1)
Project Manager

Esther Lussier

Esther is the General Manager and Executive Producer of Citron Violet. She is a project manager, video producer, and a 'let's get sh*t done' kind of person with a love for storytelling and collaborating with talented teams to bring a common creative vision to life. After working in theatrical distribution in Montreal, she moved overseas to work in production in Sydney, London and then Singapore setting up 2 creative studios working on over 200 creative projects for clients across Health, Lifestyle, Tech and Real Estate Sectors. Esther is passionate about using her experience and skills to have a positive impact and create change with her side project Vitamin Change supporting social purpose organisations.

Enrique Caballero

Enrique Caballero

Enrique Caballero is a CG Artist with over 20 years of experience in the CG industry, he has worked as a Character Technical Director on Happy Feet and Legend of the Guardians, and as a Character Modeler on Where the Wild Things Are. Currently he is CG Supervisor at One Animation working on  the Emmy Nominated Oddbods and The Insectibles.

saran naeem
Head of Communications

Sarah Naeem

Having joined the Cartoons Underground team in 2018, Sarah is the Head of Communications and oversees the communication strategy and community engagement for Cartoons Underground. With a breadth of educational experience spanning across Communication Studies, Business Management and Design, Sarah has called Singapore home since 2010 and currently also runs her own startup, newly launched bookstore/cafe/creative space in Chinatown called The Moon.

Head of Design

Jia Lee

Jia Lee is a triple threat – a designer, illustrator, and animator who dabbles in the whimsical. Cheerful and imaginative, her work strikes a quirky balance between digital and analogue methods.

Since 2016, Jia has been leading the design efforts for Cartoons Underground, including rebranding it with its current brand identity. In 2014, Jia graduated with honours from Rhode Island School of Design with a major in graphic design. Since then, she’s worked with various commercial clients, including Apple, National Gallery, Female Magazine, Ethos Books, Citibank, and UniSIM.

jerrold chong
Director of COmmunications

Jerrold Chong

Director/animator Jerrold Chong graduated in 2016 with a BFA in Animation at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). An avid lover of cinema, he is fascinated by the power of animated cinema as abstract visual metaphor and is driven by a desire to tell sincere stories that examines the depths of everyday life and the complexities of the human experience.

His films have screened at numerous international film festivals, including the Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival in Bristol, Animatricks Animation Festival in Helsinski, Short Shorts Film Festival in Tokyo, Singapore International Film Festival, Bucheon International Animation Festival in Korea. In 2015, his film 'Nascent' was awarded the Best Animation Award at Singapore Short Film Awards. He hopes to write and direct an animated feature film in the future.

athira suresh
Social Media Content Creator

Athira Suresh

Athira is a 3D Animation student from LASALLE College of the Arts who loves to engage herself with events and festivals that helps to promote the local art scene. She first volunteered for Cartoons Underground in 2017, became an Intern in 2018, and now she is here to stay! She also volunteers for SheSays, an award-winning organization for women in the digital, creative, marketing & communications industry.

Her love for the Arts and events led her to organize her own event “Beyond Animation” for students/fresh graduates in the Digital Arts field to understand the Singaporean Art Community more and to uncover the options and career paths upon graduation. She hopes to organize more of these events and spread her knowledge and love for Animation and the Arts!

1 Comment

  1. […] named Vicki Chen…Among other things, Vicki conceived, started and runs Cartoons Underground ( with her business partner Patrick Smith and their team. Vicki Travels back and forth between […]

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