Jill Culton

Jill Culton is an American filmmaker and a 30-year veteran of animated feature films. After graduating from California Institute of the Arts in 1992, Culton made a career as an animator in both 2D and CG formats, a character designer, visual development artist, story board artist, head of story development, screenwriter, director, and executive producer. Culton is considered to be among the first pioneers who helped to champion the medium of CG feature animation. Spending over a decade at Pixar Animation Studios, Culton served as an animator and story artist on all of their early classics - Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2 and has an ‘original story by’ credit on Monster’s Inc. where she was the head of story development. Culton is responsible for designing JESSIE the cowgirl doll in the Toy Story franchise. Culton’s directorial debut was at Sony Pictures Animation where she directed their first animated feature, Open Season, and went on to Executive Produce the sequel, Open Season 2. She also was key to the development of Hotel Transylvania. Culton wrote and directed the animated feature, Abominable (2019), a co-production with Dreamworks Animation and Pearl Studios. This film won many awards and earned Culton Animation Magazine’s ‘Game Changer Award’ for becoming the first female in animation history to both WRITE and DIRECT an original animated feature. Culton is currently writing for Apple/Walden and Exec Producing at multiple studios.

Participant Schedule

Friday 10/14


Directors Panel

Friday 10/14 3:20PM - 4:20PM Room 107

Tony Bancroft, Brenda Chapman, Jill Culton, Chris Williams, Chris Sanders

Directors Brenda Chapman (“Brave”), Jill Culton (“Abominable”), Chris Williams (“The Sea Beast”), Chris Sanders (“Lilo and Stitch”) join our Directors panel to share some insight into the incredibly demanding undertaking of directing a film or TV show. Q&A to follow. Moderated by director Tony Bancroft.