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 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 a project manager, video producer, and a 'let's get sh*t done' kind of person. Born in Canada, raised in HK, she worked in production in Sydney, London and then Singapore, founding and managing production companies, Citron Violet  + Vitamin Change. She has a love for storytelling and collaborating with talented teams to bring a common creative vision to life. With a soft spot for animation production, she joined the Cartoons Underground team in 2019 to manage the social channels and provide project management support for the production of the festival.

Enrique Caballero
Advisor

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

Sarah joined the Cartoons Underground team in 2018, after being introduced to festival founder Vicky by a mutual friend. A lover of all things creative and independent, it was a natural fit from day one. With a penchant for for connecting the dots and big ideas, she oversees the communication strategy and community engagement for Cartoons Underground. Originally hailing from Pakistan, she has called Singapore home since 2010 and owns The Moon, an independent bookstore and cafe based in Chinatown.

jia-lee_bio_profile-pict
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. She’s worked with various commercial and independent clients, including Apple, National Gallery Singapore, Ethos Books, Nutella. In 2020, she created the key art and branding for the 2020 Singapore International Film Festival, and the key illustration and branding for Busan-nominated feature film Tiong Bahru Social Club.

Since 2016, Jia has been leading the design strategy for Cartoons Underground, including rebranding it with its current brand identity. She is a founding partner of the Cannes-nominated independent animation studio, Finding Pictures.

jerrold chong
Director of COmmunications

Jerrold Chong

Jerrold Chong is an animation filmmaker/director whose films have screened at numerous international film festivals, including Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, Busan International Film Festival, Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF). His recent animated short film, Piece of Meat, premiered at the 2019 Cannes Director’s Fortnight and was selected at the 2019 Annecy International Animation Festival, on top of various other international film festivals. His films “Automatonomy” and “What Has To Be” have also won the Best Animation Award at the National Youth Film Awards Open Category consecutively for the last 2 years. He is the co-founder of local animation studio Finding Pictures.

athira suresh
Social Media Content Creator

Athira Suresh

Athira graduated with a Bachelor of Honors in Animation from LASALLE College of the Arts in 2019, specializing in 3D Animation. With experiences such as directing her final year student film (which made it to Lift-Off Sessions as a finalist), and hosting local artsy events, Athira has expressed her knack for design and love for volunteering! Apart from CU, she 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!

athira suresh
Social Media Content Creator

Athira Suresh

Athira graduated with a Bachelor of Honors in Animation from LASALLE College of the Arts in 2019, specializing in 3D Animation. With experiences such as directing her final year student film (which made it to Lift-Off Sessions as a finalist), and hosting local artsy events, Athira has expressed her knack for design and love for volunteering! Apart from CU, she 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 (cartoonsunderground.com/about/who-are-we/) with her business partner Patrick Smith and their team. Vicki Travels back and forth between […]

Leave a Comment