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Oscar-Nominated Filmmaker Don Hahn

Media Contact:  
carmen.chandler@csun.edu • (818) 677-2130

(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., Apr. 10th, 2012) ―Oscar-nominated filmmaker Don Hahn, producer of such animated films as “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King” and executive producer of Tim Burton’s upcoming animated film “Frankenweekie,” will share his insights on the world of movie making during the final lecture in California State University, Northridge’s Commerce of Creativity Distinguished Speakers Series on Thursday, April 26.

Don Hahn

Hahn, who as honored with a Cal State Northridge Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011, will speak from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall at the University Student Union located east of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge.

Hahn studied music and art at Cal State Northridge and in 1976 began his career working for Disney legend Wolfgang Reitherman as an assistant director on “The Fox and the Hound.” Hahn moved up through the ranks at Disney, eventually becoming producer of “Beauty and the Beast,” the first animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences.

His next production, “The Lion King,” broke box-office records to become the top-grossing animated film in Disney history and a blockbuster musical that still plays in cities around the globe. Hahn is executive producer of Disneynature films, including the much-anticipated “Chimpanzee,” scheduled for release on Earth Day, April 20.

Hahn’s current project, scheduled to be released this October, is “Frankenweenie,” a feature-length, stop-motion animated film directed by Tim Burton.

In August of this year, Hahn’s latest documentary, “High Ground,” heads to screens for an exclusive release in New York and Los Angeles. The film chronicles a team of returning veterans who climb the Himalayas to heal the wounds of war. It has already won audience awards in film festivals across the country. Hahn also has authored two books, “Brain Storm: Unleashing Your Creative Self” and “Alchemy of Animation: Making an Animated Film in the Modern Age.” Both books will be on sale at the lecture and a book signing will follow his presentation.

Hahn’s talk, “Why We Create,” culminates the inaugural season of the Commerce of Creativity Distinguished Speaker Series. The university’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication created the series in the fall of 2011 to connect the campus and the San Fernando Valley business community with compelling and provocative storytellers who have made significant contributions to global business achievement.

“Cal State Northridge is committed to educating students who go on to successful careers in creative industries,” said Robert Bucker, dean of the Mike Curb College. “We are investing in their future leadership by exploring and celebrating the creative problem solving occurring right here in the Valley.”

Award-winning architect Kara Hill, who designed the university’s state-of-the-art Valley Performing Arts Center, kicked off the Commerce of Creativity series with a lecture in November 2011. She was followed by industrial designer and strategic marketing expert Tom White, a Cal State Northridge alumnus, who spoke last month about developing iconic brands.

The lecture series is free and open to the public. However, reservations are recommended. 

For more information about the Commerce of Creativity lecture series, call Jennifer Reifsneider at (818) 677-7038.

Cal State Northridge’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication is inspired by the shared belief that art is communication, that communication is art and that art and communication are essential pillars for building and maintaining community. Many of its programs, including those in art, music, theater, cinema and television arts and journalism, have an international reputation for graduating skilled professionals who go on and make names for themselves in their respected fields.