Brainstorm Productions takes a shine to short stuff and celebrates 2023 commencement

Marlene Sharp
4 min readJul 21

The CLU Career Training Program in Torrance, California, proudly tips its metaphorical hat to the third graduating class of its animation career training program for neurodiverse adults. Alongside commencement, CLU announces film festival (and other) honors, plus a robust project slate for its affiliated animation studio Brainstorm Productions, now in its second year of full-time operation. An original, animated, half-hour special — consisting of all original short films — is on track for a streaming debut in time for World Autism Month (April) 2024.

The Graduates and Their Accomplishments

CLU class of 2023 includes Christian Pech, Bryan Ramirez, Leo Romero, Brandon Williams, and Bobby Toresdahl.

After graduation exercises, the emergent alums will be employees of CLU Transitions, DBA Brainstorm Productions, which supports brick-and-mortar facilities on Pacific Coast Highway in Torrance.

The Professional Animation Studio: Brainstorm Productions

In the last year, Brainstorm has completed a kid-lit inspired multimedia package — comprising two animated short films — for author and director Linda Malik. The resulting WILLOW’S TALE — the adventures of a little black cat with a big imagination — is on the international film festival circuit at present and screens in the 2023 Oscar- and BAFTA-qualifying Los Angeles Shorts International Film Festival on July 26. WILLOW’S TALE also is one of only ten official selections in the 2023 New York Cat Film Festival, which NEW YORK TIMES praises in an October 2022 spread.

WILLOW’S TALE is an official selection of the Oscar- and BAFTA-qualifying LA Shorts International Film Fest.
WILLOW’S TALE also is an official selection of the New York Cat Film Festival in October 2023.

Malik credits Brainstorm with superior animation skills and creativity.

“Our long and successful collaboration with Brainstorm Productions has resulted in two short animations and one book, with more exciting projects to come. On behalf of all little black cats, we are grateful,” smiles Malik.

Marlene Sharp

Marlene Sharp is a creative and business-savvy entertainment multi-hyphenate who originally hails from New Orleans but is now a (San Fernando) Valley girl.