The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recently 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, Dec. 11 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles.
“Maya and the Three” (Netflix), created by California Institute of the Arts alum Jorge R. Gutierrez (Film/Video MFA 2000), 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 1994) served as a co-executive producer, head of story/storyboard artist, and also lent his voice to the character of Zapote.
“In the end ‘Maya and the Three’ won four Emmys so all in all I think our Warrior Princess fought very valiantly,” said Gutierrez. “Glory to the very international cast and astounding global crew who made all this happen and during COVID!”
The Peabody Award-winning “City of Ghosts” (Netflix), created by Elizabeth Ito (Film/Video BFA 2004), won for Outstanding Animated Series. Fellow CalArts alum Dayla Kennedy (Film/Video BFA 1997) 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 2005) 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 2009), Victoria Vincent (Film/Video BFA 2019) and Mable Ye (Film/Video BFA 2018).
“Thrill of a life to lead the amazing team of directors, producers, artists and animators we had on this thing,” said Rauch.
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 1992) 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.