2019 Los Angeles Speakers

Hollywood Meets Anime.

  • Providing Project Anime: Los Angeles 2019 programming for "Where Hollywood Meets Anime" and "Best Practices for Anime Events."

    Hear from these inspiring speakers as they discuss how Anime has begun to influence the Entertainment trends and the global impact of Japanese pop culture in businesses and events.

Vincent Imaoka

  • Head of Toy Acquisitions, Hasbro

    Vincent Imaoka is the head of Toy Acquisitions at Hasbro, Inc. He works on all their story brands, which include first-party properties like Transformers, My Little Pony, and Power Rangers, to partner brands like Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney Princess. Before joining Hasbro, Vincent worked in Japan in multiple industries, ranging from the financial industry at the company Fisco, to the anime industry at the company DLE. From merchandising to storytelling, Vincent knows it all.

Michael Masukawa

  • Manager of Strategy and Business Development of two-time Emmy® Award-winning Secret Location – an Entertainment One company.

    Michael helps lead Secret Location's growth strategy to support the studio's continued progress towards delivering premium immersive experiences to wide audiences. Identifying new opportunities and prospective partners, he negotiates distribution deals for the studio's immersive entertainment content and VR distribution software, Vusr. In addition to his role in business development, Michael leads co-production and IP licensing project development. He served as co-founder for Secret Location's cinematic VR narrative adaptation of Philip K. Dick's short story, The Great C.

    Michael kicked off his career in the entertainment industry at International Creative Management (ICM) Partners, one of the world's largest talent and literary agencies. He then spent the next several years in television development at companies including Bad Robot, ABC Studios, Piller/Segan and Sonal Entertainment, where he was supporting executive on the MTV fantasy series The Shannara Chronicles, Tom Hardy's series Taboo for FX/BBC and the AMC western series The Son.

Marlene Sharp

  • Director, Production at LEVEL-5 abby, home of YO-KAI WATCH

    Marlene Sharp is a creative and business-savvy entertainment multi-hyphenate who originally hails from New Orleans but is now a Valley girl. Marlene is Director, Production at LEVEL-5 abby, home of YO-KAI WATCH and other top video game-based franchises. Formerly, as Producer, TV Series, at Sega of America, Marlene worked on much more than the Teen Choice Award-nominated cartoon “Sonic Boom.” For example, her Hedgehog duties took her to the heights of nerd-dom as an official San Diego Comic-Con 2017 panelist!
    As a freelance journalist, Marlene concentrates on popular entertainment for Geekified.net and DOGTV.com. As a short film auteur, she has snagged prizes at the Canine Film Festival and the San Luis Obispo Film Festival. And as a human being, basically, she loves dogs. Please visit her website for more fun: www.pinkpoodleproductions.com

Deborah Gilels

  • Publicist for Lupin the 3rd Part 4 on Adult Swim, Megalobox on Crunchyroll, and Hayao Miyazaki's Lupin the 3rd: The Castle Cagliostro.

    Deborah Gilels experience in the entertainment industry has run the gamut from film/television production and development to mergers and acquisitions in the international film market and public relations for film companies, writers, actors, authors, and directors. 
    For the past 15 years, Gilels has run a successful media consulting PR company, assisting writers, filmmakers, and actors launch their careers in the entertainment industry, as well as promote independent feature films, anime film, and TV, as well as documentaries, by way of public relations, marketing, distribution, and project development.
    Among the films she has launched are: Keiko the Untold Story of the Star of Free Willy, Cevin Soling's award-winning documentary The War on Kids on Pivot, the Chazz Palminteri- Andie MacDowell family drama Mighty Fine for Lionsgate, the US premiere of the documentary Fallout and James Haven’s short film Court of Conscience starring his father Jon Voight and the late Anton Yelchin. She did publicity for anime series Lupin 3 rd Part 4 on Adult Swim in May 2017, Lupin the 3 rd Part 5, Megalobox on Crunchyroll. She also was the lead publicist on Fathom Events release of Hayao Miyazaki’s Lupin the 3 rd: The Castle of Cagliostro, where she set up and produced the filmed interview with John Lasseter used to promote the film’s release.

Kaz Sasajima

  • Sr. Director, Media Unit, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas

    Launched Media Business Unit as the first international media dept. based in Los Angeles, among Sumitomo's international offices outside of Japan, to ensure growth room of media field, mainly focusing "Digital."
    Acquired minority share of The Chernin Group, founded and led by former COO of News Corp. Peter Chernin, which covers both traditional major movie productions for FOX and acquisitions of leading digital asstes, like the largest MCN, Fullscreen, the largest Anime Streaming Operator, Crunchyroll and a major sports blog, Barstool Sports. With those assets, contributions with Sumitomo's media assets has been creating.
    Launched Mobile Anime Game Publishing business with Crunchyroll, and acquired 1st title from the Gree and 2nd title from Ambition, which has generated $10mil level as gross revenue from 1st year.

Check back for more details soon!