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CalArtians Nominated for Children’s and Family Emmy Awards

Children's and Family Emmys logo on illustrated moon against purple night sky with blue clouds and stars
2nd Annual Children's and Family Emmy Awards | Courtesy of National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

Last month, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) announced the nominees for its second annual Children’s and Family Emmy Awards, with CalArtians named across its 50 categories.

Monica Marie Contreras (Theater MFA 02) is nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Multiple Camera Program as a director on Disney Channel’s Raven’s Home. The series is the second spinoff from beloved teen sitcom That’s So Raven (followed by Cory in the House), featuring the original star (Raven-Symoné) now living with her childhood best friend Chelsea (Anneliese van der Pol) and their children. 

Qadriyyah Shamsid-Deen (Film/Video MFA 10, Theater MFA 09) is among the producers nominated for Netflix’s Waffles + Mochi in the category Outstanding Preschool Series. The hybrid food and travel series stars a pair of puppets who learn about nutrition from a local grocer played by former first lady Michelle Obama, who also serves as an executive producer. Shamsid-Deen was nominated in the same category last year for Waffles + Mochi

In the category Outstanding Animated Special, Pete Browngardt (Film/Video 01) is nominated as executive producer and creative director of HBO Max’s Looney Tunes Cartoons for “Bugs Bunny’s Howl-O-Skreem Spooktacular.” Browngardt is a two-time nominee for the Emmy for Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program: once in 2010 for his original series Uncle Grandpa, and also in 2013 for Clarence.

The Wonderful Summer of Mickey Mouse, the Disney+ series executive produced by Paul Rudish (Film/Video BFA 91), is up for Outstanding Animated Special. The series was nominated in three categories (Outstanding Editing for a Daytime Animated Program, Outstanding Sound Mixing and Sound Editing for a Preschool Animated Program, and Outstanding Directing Team for a Daytime Animated Program) at the 2021 Daytime Emmy Awards.

CalArts alum Paul Rudish executive produces The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse. | Image courtesy of Disney+

In the Outstanding Writing for an Animated Children’s or Young Teen Program category, Patrick Harpin (Film/Video BFA 11) is nominated as a writer on Netflix’s My Dad the Bounty Hunter. The CG-animated action series follows the galaxy’s toughest bounty hunter, who has managed to keep his identity a secret from his family on Earth until his two children “accidentally hitch a ride into outer space and crash his latest mission.” Harpin also serves as the series’ executive producer.

Kirsten Lepore (Film/Video MFA 12) is among the executive producers of I Am Groot on Disney+, which is nominated in Outstanding Short Form Program. Also nominated is series supervising producer and fellow CalArtian Dana Vasquez-Eberhardt (Theater BFA 01). Read more about Lepore’s inspiration for the series on 24700.

In Outstanding Interactive Media, Eric Darnell (Film/Video MFA 90) is among the executive producers of the nominated VR game Galactic Catch by Baobab Studios. The studio, founded and run by Darnell, also boasts another nomination in the same category: its story-focused RPG Momoguro: Legends of Uno.

Dean Wellins (Film/Video 92) earned a nod in Directing for an Animated Program for his work on Disney+’s Baymax!, a spinoff of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures’s feature Big Hero 6 (2014) created by Don Hall (Film/Video BFA 95). In the same category, fellow CalArtian Hikari Toriumi (Film/Video BFA 18) is nominated as a director on Netflix’s ONI: Thunder God’s Tale.

In the category for Outstanding Writing for a Preschool or Children’s Live Action Program, Shannon Tindle (Film/Video 99) is nominated as the executive producer and writer of Netflix’s Lost Ollie. The live action/animation hybrid series follows Ollie (voiced by Jonathan Groff), a toy who treks across the countryside in search of Billy (Kesler Talbot), the creative young boy who lost him. 

Still from Lost Ollie by CalArtian Shannon Tindle. | Image from Netflix.

Henock Lebsekal (Film/Video 17) and Kendall Nelson (Film/Video 17) are among the nominees in the Outstanding Writing for a Preschool Animated Program category for Netflix’s StoryBots: Answer Time. The series, a spinoff of the award-winning Ask the StoryBots, follows Beep, Boop, Bing, Bang, and Bo as they embark on adventures.

In Outstanding Main Title, Sean Jimenez (Film/Video BFA 07) is nominated as production designer on Disney Channel’s Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. The animated series follows gifted 13-year-old Lunella, who assumes the superhero moniker Moon Girl after opening a portal and befriending a T-Rex.

Find the full list of nominees at NATAS’ official announcement.

The Children’s and Family Emmy Awards will take place over two ceremonies this weekend, on Saturday, Dec. 16 and Sunday, Dec. 17, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. Tune in to the ceremonies on NATAS’ TheEmmys apps and at

Picture of Taya Zoormandan

Taya Zoormandan

As digital content and social media producer, Taya enjoys lifting up the stories and accomplishments of CalArts' students, alums, and faculty. She fancies herself a visual artist but is really more of an overzealous collector of art supplies.

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CalArtians Nominated for Children’s and Family Emmy Awards