CalArtians Win at Inaugural Children’s & Family Emmy Awards

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This weekend, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) honored the best in family-friendly television at the inaugural Children’s & Family Emmy Awards. CalArtians picked up several awards at the two-part ceremony, held on Saturday, Dec. 10 (Creative Arts) and Sunday, December 11 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles.

Maya and the Three (Netflix), created by CalArts alum Jorge R. Gutierrez (Film/Video MFA 00), won four Emmy Awards: Outstanding Writing for an Animated Program, Outstanding Sound Mixing and Sound Editing for an Animated Program, Outstanding Promotional Announcement, and an individual achievement award for visual development artist Alex Konstad.

Among his many roles, Gutierrez served as one of the executive producers, writers, and director of the program while also performing as the character King Teca. Fellow CalArtian Jeff Ranjo (Film/Video BFA 94) served as a co-executive producer, head of story/storyboard artist, and also lent his voice to the character of Zapote.

The Peabody Award-winning City of Ghosts (Netflix), created by Elizabeth Ito (Film/Video BFA 04), won for Outstanding Animated Series. Fellow CalArts alum Dayla Kennedy (Film/Video BFA 97) worked as the series’ line producer. City of Ghosts earned statuettes for Outstanding Directing for an Animated Program, with Ito and Pendleton Ward (Film/Video BFA 05) among the show’s directors.

Another Netflix project We the People, from Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions, won for Outstanding Short-Form Program. Peter Ramsey and Tim Rauch (Film/Video faculty) led the directing team, which also included Gutierrez, Daron Nefcy (Film/Video BFA 09), Victoria Vincent (Film/Video BFA 19), and Mable Ye (Film/Video BFA 18).

NATAS announced a few Emmys ahead of the weekend ceremonies, including the Children’s Emmys Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Children’s Animation for Character Design, which was awarded to Craig McCracken (Film/Video 92) for Kid Cosmic (Netflix).

The New York-based NATAS and the LA-based Television Academy expanded the Children’s & Family Emmy Awards into a standalone franchise this year, allowing their award competitions to reflect consumers’ evolving viewing habits, including the growth of family fare, and reduce category overlap.

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PUBLISHED BY Christine N. Ziemba

Christine is the director of Content at CalArts, responsible for the Institute's editorial in both print and online platforms. In addition, she oversees CalArts' social media accounts. In her spare time, she writes about the Santa Clarita food scene at

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