Gender Equality in Animation

We had two buildings when I started working at Walt Disney Feature Animation in 1999. There was the Northside building up near the Burbank Airport and the Southside building across the street from the lot off the 134 Freeway. It’s commonly referred to as the “Hat Building” because of the giant iconic wizard’s hat from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice on the west end. The original Disney Animation building still stands in the middle of the Disney lot, but now it’s mainly production offices. It has a long center section with four wings sticking out of each side. They were built in a way so that they move independently of each other in case of an earthquake. There were plenty of windows with motorized blinds so that artists who were primarily drawing on paper could maximize the amount of natural light they would get in their offices over the day. It was a building that was ahead of its time.

And yet, it couldn’t have been more of its time. From the outside, it looks like a 3-story building. However, there is a fourth floor that only goes along a portion of the center section of the building. When I worked at Disney, there was a barber shop there where you could get a cheap haircut. But for the first 40 years or so of the building’s existence, that space was a bar for the animators to go and have drinks after work. This was told to me by an animator I worked with who had been there in those days and had even partaken of a drink or two in that bar. Only animators were allowed to drink in the bar; in those days, only men were animators, so only men were allowed to drink there. By the time the late-70’s/early 80’s rolled around, and women were starting to enter the ranks of animators, several women wanted to be allowed into the office bar to have drinks. The man who ran the bar for decades closed it down instead.

The animation industry is not unique in how it has discriminated against women throughout its history. Like almost any other industry, men, particularly white men, had a decades-long head start. That allowed men to become entrenched in all positions in the industry, and that entrenchment is not easily relinquished. When I was studying animation at USC, we had a copy of a letter a woman received when she applied for an animation position back in the first half of the 20th Century. The letter said in black and white that Disney Animation did not hire women as animators, but she was free to apply for a position in ink and paint, which was almost entirely women but was completely uncreative. It was literally a color-by-numbers position.

But both of those anecdotes are from years and decades ago. How is the animation industry doing these days in terms of gender equality? The big studios like Disney, DreamWorks, Netflix, Illumination, and others have opened their doors to women, but how widely open are those doors, and how many women are being invited to the party? A sampling of the women I reached out to told me that the industry has come a long way since they entered years ago, but there is still more work to be done.

Anecdotally speaking, I have worked at several animation studios around LA, including Disney, DreamWorks, Sony, and Netflix. In fact, while I was at DreamWorks, the majority of producers actively working at the studio were women. However, most people working in creative positions, especially animators, storyboard artists, and directors, were still men.

Jinko Gotoh was the producer on animated features like Lego Movie 2 and Klaus. She has multiple decades of experience in the industry, and she actively works through the organization Women in Animation to improve gender equality at all levels of the animation industry. I asked her if she recognized this phenomenon, and not only did she recognize it, but she also had the numbers to back it up.

“In 2015, Women in Animation pledged to gender justice (underrepresented genders: women, non-binary, and transgender), 50/50 by 2025,” she told me. “At the time, local 839 represented approximately 20%. Today underrepresented genders represent only 30% of the industry creatives, while 70% of animation school graduates are of underrepresented genders.”

It can only be described as discouraging that the ratio has only increased by 10% for underrepresented genders in the past seven years, and it makes the goal of a 50/50 ratio just three years from now feel like a long shot at best. The silver lining of those statistics is the high proportion of underrepresented genders that are graduating from animation schools.

Angela Lepito is also an active member of Women in Animation, and her career spans back to the mid-90’s when she started as a PA at Walt Disney Feature Animation on Hercules. She, too, has noticed that women have traditionally fared much better in production roles than in artistic roles in animation.

“Yes, you do see many women in production roles,” she told me. “I am one of those production people myself! It can be hard to visually see the issue when there are so many women in the workplace. We want and need women to be represented in our top creative roles. We have seen some progress with female directors. We are looking for that same opportunity for department head roles.”

Brenda Chapman is one of those directors and could be called a pioneer for women in animation. She earned an opportunity as an artist at Disney on The Little Mermaid, and a few years later, she was co-director on Prince of Egypt. Most notably, she also wrote and directed Pixar’s Brave. She pointed out that women’s success on the production side has helped to open doors for some on the creative side.

“As time went on, these women on the production side more than proved their worth and did great things for this industry,” she said, “and they continue to do so. I believe that is a big part of why we are beginning to see more women coming into the creative side.”

The numbers that Gotoh pointed to, however, clearly show an industry that, while trending in the right direction, needs to do more and do it faster.

“What we really need is for directors and producers to be willing to give young women opportunities based on their creative talent and not just on their work experience’,” Chapman continued. “Otherwise, men will continue to dominate. How can they gain experience if we never hire them? I’ve witnessed young white men given jobs they’ve not done before based on their portfolios, but I have rarely seen that happen for young women or people of color. We need to be willing to recognize an individual’s creative ability and whatever their unique spark is, then give them the support they need to apply it to the job. With the passion they’ll have in being given that opportunity, they will hopefully rise to the occasion.”

Chapman used her own experience as an example. “That was the opportunity afforded me by Ron Clements and John Musker at Disney on Mermaid. And I am still deeply grateful.”

Personally, I wonder if this is a corporate problem just as much as anything else. All three women pointed out that it’s up to producers and directors to have the courage to hire more women by putting more emphasis on their artistic credentials rather than their work experience. The problem is that all of the major animation studios are pieces of large corporations and external applications go through Human Resource departments that are trained to look for the person with the most or best experience. With women already forced to a late start in animation history, that can be another difficult hurdle to overcome.

What is the path to achieving gender equality sooner rather than later? Being happy with just getting closer can no longer be good enough. Chapman pointed that out while putting the onus on women to maintain their tenacity.

“We also need more women in leadership roles who aren’t afraid to hire other women. We need more women CEOs and CCOs. The industry needs to have an equal amount of women leading the creative from the top. We also need more female creative leads. Those would all be great starts! The responsibility is industry-wide, which includes the hiring practices of the studios and the promotions of lower tier artists within the studios… and it’s the responsibility of the women trying to get into the industry and/or be promoted to not give up!”

“It takes both external and internal forces to make a change,” Gotoh added. “Studios and producers need to see hiring the underrepresented as an opportunity for the creative industry and not as a risk. We need programs that support and train inclusive workspaces and communities and tear down barriers. We need to do talent development to advance their careers as well as give opportunities by sponsoring the underrepresented genders. Lastly, we need data-driven transparency for the industry and companies to identify areas for improvement, set measurable goals, and create action to address workforce disparities.”

“The first step, which I believe many companies have taken, is to truly recognize the lack of women in our creative roles,” added Lepito. “And second, get to know women in our industry, whether that be top talent or emerging. Finally, offer support, mentorship, and training for those women who you wish to grow in your organization. I feel this combination is the most critical aspect to getting women into leadership roles.”

Another thing the animation industry needs to recognize, and this is unique in animation and the overall entertainment industry compared to other walks of life, is content. It’s not enough for studios to improve their hiring practices regarding gender equality. They also need to do better in creating strong and positive female, non-binary, trans, and gender-fluid characters to achieve true equality.

Gotoh agrees that the industry can and needs to do better. “It’s not simply about promoting strong female characters. We also need characters from the underrepresented genders to be portrayed as normal people, as we saw in The Mitchells Versus the Machines. We have seen more in the TV series space with creators like Rebecca Sugar.”

Chapman concurred but expanded on the notion that there is more to it than simply plugging in a female character and moving forward with the same tired plot devices, again using her own experiences as an example.

“Yes, it’s nice to have a kick-ass female warrior once in a while, but those characters do not really represent a diversity in character,” says Chapman. “It just feels like, that character was once conceived as a boy, but now it’s a girl because that’s politically correct. I cannot tell you how many offers I had to develop stories with “kick-ass warrior princesses” after Brave! They completely missed the point on that one. It’s very frustrating. That’s why I found Turning Red to be so refreshing and real and relatable.”

We all love animation because of its limitless possibilities. It is the only form of cinematic or televised storytelling that starts literally with nothing, and every single thing the audience sees is a product of someone’s imagination. A diversified workforce only expands those imaginations and broadens the potential of where those beautiful, imaginative, interesting, terrifying, funny, and emotional ideas come from.

As Chapman said, “Let’s broaden the scope of the stories, please!”

WIA ANNOUNCES 2023 SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM INDUSTRY PARTNERS

WIA ANNOUNCES 2023 SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM INDUSTRY PARTNERS

This latest cycle boasts the largest number of industry partners and most robust prize packages since the inception of the program.

LOS ANGELES, CA — WIA is proud to announce the largest number of industry partners contributing to the ongoing WIA Scholarship Program.

Eight partners — Animation Focus, Animation Mentor, ArtStation, Autodesk, Foundry, LAIKA, Toon Boom, Wacom and Yellowbrick Learning — have contributed workshops, tutoring sessions, software packages, hardware, and cash prizes for the 2023 cycle. Additionally, WIA’s Bay Area and Montreal Chapters are providing special scholarship prizes for students who have ties to their areas.

Details for each of the scholarship packages being offered by these partners are outlined below:

2022-2023 SCHOLARSHIP SPONSORS

(Displayed In Alphabetical Order)

Animation Focus provides online animation tutoring on a 1 to 1 basis with a professional feature film character animator – 1 hour per week for 4 weeks. One WIA scholarship recipient will receive a place in a 2023 Animation Focus class

Animation Mentor will offer one WIA Animation Scholarship winner a 6-week workshop (a $699-$899 value) and will allow that awardee the choice of several courses. With their choice of 10 different classes: Maya Workshop: Animation Basics, Cartoony Animation for 3D Animators, 2D Animation for beginners, 2D Animation: Walk Cycles & Character Movement, Pre-Visualization basics for animators, Storyboarding Fundamentals, Intermediate Storyboarding, Visual Development: Principles of Design, Game Animation Fundamentals, and Digital Painting, the student winner will have many options to best personalize this educational opportunity.

ArtStation is proud to support the WIA Scholarship Program and is offering 25 one-year ArtStation Pro upgrades to recipients. ArtStation Pro comes with a custom website builder, analytics, blog page, 4K uploads and video clips, and much more!

Autodesk is supporting this year’s recipients with licenses of their 3D modeling and animation software. Eight winners will have the choice between one-year subscriptions of Autodesk Maya or Autodesk 3ds Max

Foundry will offer one WIA Animation winner, $2,000 in scholarship funds together with a permanent Production Collective license to its suite of products, including Nuke Studio, Katana, Mari and Modo. This license will allow the winner access to Foundry’s industry-leading compositing, editorial, review, modeling, 3D painting, look development and lighting software.

LAIKA is excited to participate in the WIA Scholarship Program again this year and they will be giving out two cash awards, up to $2,000 USD to two deserving students who specialize in stop motion. LAIKA hopes to take this opportunity to foster future talent that shares the same passion for stop motion filmmaking.

Toon Boom is excited to support the WIA scholarship program for the third year in a row, helping to build a more diverse animation industry and providing support to new talent entering the market. The prizes include 20 licenses of Storyboard Pro, 20 licenses of Harmony Premium, and 10 Harmony Fundamentals Online Courses. The best way to prepare for a future in animation is to set a solid foundation with leading technology that will be used throughout a professional career.

Wacom is excited to be a part of Women In Animation’s mission. They believe everyone is creative and want to continue to provide access, support and awareness to those who are bringing a new voice to the industry. Wacom is donating Cintiq Pro 16’s to ten WIA scholarship winners because they understand the importance of having professional level technology as it will set the talent apart for both freelancing work and their creative portfolios making them more hirable in the Animation industry.

WIA Bay Area Chapter is offering a $1,500 USD scholarship to one scholarship recipient who is living and studying in the Bay Area. This opportunity is also open to students who are currently living in the Bay Area but are attending schools elsewhere remotely this year.

WIA Montreal Chapter is offering a $1,000 CAD scholarship to one student who is currently studying in Montreal or living in Montreal while taking online classes at schools in other countries.

Yellowbrick Learning — Animation Mentor’s parent company — is proud to announce that they are also offering a separate scholarship award that will allow 3 awardees their choice of one Yellowbrick online course for each winner. (a $1,000 per class value, totaling $3000) With their choice of 22 different classes to choose from, such as Fashion, Music, Film & Entertainment, Beauty, Design, E-commerce, Hospitality, New Media, and E-Sports & Gaming, the 3 winners of this scholarship will get to choose 1 course each from their curriculum.

The WIA Scholarship Program is devoted to furthering the academic efforts of deserving animation college students who demonstrate artistic talent, a passion for animation, a financial need, and a promising future in our industry. Applicants who identify as women or as a person of an underrepresented gender identities and who are enrolled in schools all over the world to pursue various aspects of animation production, are encouraged to apply.

“We’re proud to support the emerging talent from all corners of the world as they continues to expand and sharpen their skills in animation,” said WIA’s Chair of Education, Hsiang Chin Moe. We’re also proud to partner with our generous sponsors who share the same passion for the animation field. Their generous contributions will make real, tangible differences in the lives of these talented creatives.”

WIA Animation Scholarship applications are open from Oct. 19, 2022 until Dec. 1, 2022. Eligibility requirements, application and other details can be found on the WIA website here. Scholarship winners will be announced at the BRIC Foundation Summit in 2023.

2022-2023 WIA Scholarship Program Applications Are Open

The 2022-2023 WIA Scholarship programs application window is now open!

This year’s industry partners contributing to the ongoing WIA Scholarship Program include:

  • Animation Focus
  • Animation Mentor
  • ArtStation
  • Autodesk
  • Foundry
  • LAIKA
  • Toon Boom
  • Wacom
  • Yellowbrick Learning

Additionally, WIA’s Bay Area and Montreal Chapters are providing special scholarship prizes for students who have ties to their areas.

The WIA Scholarship Program is devoted to furthering the academic efforts of deserving animation students who demonstrate artistic talent, a passion for animation, a financial need, and a promising future in our industry.

Applicants who have identified themselves as female, trans or non-binary, and who are enrolled in schools all over the world to pursue various aspects of animation production are encouraged to apply.

Why Are So Few Women In Animation?

Why Are So Few Women In Animation?

Women in film are still struggling to find jobs in the film industry, specifically in animation.
Animated films like Domee Shi’s “Turning Red” or Nora Twomey’s Oscar-nominated “The Breadwinner” are putting women and young girls in the spotlight, but the animation industry as a whole is still struggling to hire and promote women behind the scenes.

Nicole Hendrix is the co-founder and executive director of the BRIC Foundation.

“These pathways into the industry are not equitable,” said Hendrix.

“It’s like, there’s all this great talent out there that you’re not utilizing,” said Margaret Dean, the president of Women in Animation.  Of the top animated films released from 2007 to 2018, less than 3% were directed by women and industry leaders say it’s because of inequality in the talent pipelines.

“It’s just very much exclusion by familiarity within the industry. It’s a ‘you have to know someone’ in order to get hired or to get into a really good program that you’ll get hired from. Not to mention money, right? Not everybody can afford to be an unpaid intern,” said Hendrix.

“It was just the phrases of ‘it was an old boys club,’ and then people always hired people that they knew that they were friends with,” said Dean.

A 2019 report from the University of Southern California found that women directors were more likely to be seen as a “risk” to studios, and less likely to be promoted to higher leadership roles.

Women overall hold around 30% of the creative jobs in animation. And as more people in Hollywood are becoming more aware of the gender-gap in entertainment, organizations like the BRIC foundation and Women in Animation are pushing for parity.

“There’s definitely waves that people ride and we just need to all come together to make sure that we hold people accountable,” said Alison Mann, the co-founder of the BRIC Foundation.

“Equally important work that we realized we needed to do was to start working with the women themselves, and to really launch talent development programs,” said Dean.

Women in animation, or “WIA,” has challenged the industry to achieve 50/50 parity by 2025. And its educational programs include mentorship opportunities for women, transgender and non-binary people.

“They became these little networks, almost like a seed of a little network,” said Dean.

The BRIC Foundation is working to create more opportunities for women as well through its own industry-wide summits, workshops and the development of a new apprenticeship program.

“Out of our third-year summit, the plan for an apprenticeship program came and it was an industry advisory across animation, visual effects in gaming, 60 major companies represented. And we really mapped out what are the entry level positions that people are wanting to hire for, what knowledge, software, skills, portfolio is needed to achieve those roles?” said Hendrix.

The program hopes to provide training opportunities for students in public high schools and community colleges and ultimately lessen the barriers to enter the animation industry.

“We have to remember to kind of rise above and continue pushing forward and figuring out new strategic ways to create opportunities for people that might not and, and I think everybody has a seat at the table to make change,” said Mann.

¡Adelante Mujer! Breaking Barriers And Achieving Gender Parity In Animation

¡Adelante Mujer! Breaking Barriers And Achieving Gender Parity In Animation

In the US and Latin America, women and women-identifying people make up anywhere from 70 to 80 percent of animation students. However only about 30 percent — and in some cases as few as 20 percent of professionals working in animation identify as women. What are the systemic and internalized barriers that prevent women from reaching their potentials within the industry? What can be done about it? This panel will discuss some reasons for this disparity and how we can close the gap.

Panelists:

Alma Canchola

Julie Ann Crommett

Marge Dean

Renata García

Alejandra Pérez, (Moderator)

Letter from WIA President Marge Dean – June 27, 2022

Dear friends of WIA,

After the birth of my second child, I knew that I didn’t want to have any more children. I had my tubes tied voluntarily. After the procedure, my soon-to-be-ex-husband and I got into an argument and he yelled at me, “You are now no different than a man!” I felt the verbal smack, but out of nowhere I replied, “You’re damn right!” I felt such a sense of freedom and power because the threat of pregnancy was lifted for me. And although there were many more hurdles to get over to be where I wanted to be in my career, I knew pregnancy was a fundamental point of vulnerability that was gone forever. Being able to control whether or not I would bear a child was completely empowering. At that moment, I believed that anything was possible for me.

The undoing of Roe v Wade by the US Supreme Court is a direct attack on that freedom and power for American women and anyone who can get pregnant. As Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her dignity. It’s a decision that she must make for herself. When the government controls that decision for her, then she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”

Control of reproduction has been a battleground forever, all around the world. Centuries ago, ruling power was driven by having adequate heirs, survival depended on having enough family members to keep things afloat, entire economies depend on a growing workforce, and so forth. Likewise, entire generations of people deemed undesirable have been wiped out due to the horrid practice of forced sterilization. The control of reproduction is a struggle that is at the core of who we are as humans.

But this is not just about babies or the right to life. This is about control of one of the greatest powers that over half the population has: the ability to reproduce. And until recently, this has been the primary value that women have had to society. We’ve come a long way in a relatively short time, and the Supreme Court action last week has now swiftly undone that work in the United States while setting the stage for similar actions in other parts of the world.

However, this is not just about reproduction. The decision has a much bigger context. Justice Clarence Thomas, in his concurrence, specifically states that there are no liberty issues covered by the 14th amendment. This puts into jeopardy other interpersonal and private liberties that we’ve had such as the right to contraceptives, the legality of homosexuality, the right to a legal marriage regardless of sexual orientation, and even the right of interracial couples to exist.

If this feels like a personal attack, that’s because it is, at a very deep level. It’s personal for all of us, not just those who are in their childbearing years. We must realize that Roe v Wade was dismantled by an organized, committed, anti-civil rights movement that is campaigning around the country (and around the world) to take back the rights that previous generations have fought so hard to attain. Again, it’s about more than just reproductive rights. They are systematically working to take the vote away from millions of Black & Brown Americans, end gay marriage, and suppress other hard-won basic rights. To combat this movement, we must be more strongly organized and committed to holding on to the rights that we’ve inherited from the generations who went before us. Every single one of us who has any amount of time, energy and passion needs to join a local group (or start a group if it doesn’t already exist) and work together to protect the most vulnerable in our community, especially realizing that those facing socio-economic challenges will be the hardest hit in this wave of rights suppression. We need to become an even stronger COUNTERMOVEMENT because it’s the most effective way for most of us to exert power and influence. What can YOU make happen in the place that you live and work? How can YOU effectively make things better for your community?  How can YOU make sure things don’t get any worse?

If you feel scared and angry, know that you are not alone. It’s important that we hold on to hope, that we don’t give in to despair. Even though our reality could get worse across the board, we need to stick together, have each other’s backs, and take care of each other. WIA exists to amplify the voices of women, trans, and nonbinary people. Use the WIA community as a way to connect with others to share your fears and anger, and to channel your energy towards gender justice in a variety of ways: get connected to your local chapter or student club (or start one of your own); become a mentor; stay engaged in the conversations on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Use all of this as a means to ACT. We need to be seen and heard, we need to join our voices together as part of this countermovement to demand dignity and respect now more than ever.

While WIA is not a reproductive justice organization, we stand shoulder to shoulder with those organizations that have deep expertise in this realm, such as:

I encourage each of you to find a way to support these and other reproductive justice organizations whether by donating or volunteering. We’ve also created a list of resources for additional organizations, abortion services, and mental health services.

The easy part in all of this, in some ways, is that it doesn’t matter what you choose to do.  Anything you choose will be part of the movement and will work against future backsliding.  Social change comes from people banding together to make things happen. It’s not as hard as you think it is, especially if you’re part of a team.

Please recognize that this back-step is a big one, and we all need to act now to stop it from getting worse and spreading around the world. Taking action will help with your fears, anxiety, and anger that can at times be overwhelming, and it will actually make a difference in the forward movement of our lives, I promise.

Together in Resistance,

Marge

Statement On The U.S. Supreme Court Decision Regarding Roe V. Wade

Statement On The U.S. Supreme Court Decision Regarding Roe V. Wade

Today the Supreme Court of the United States has issued the crushing and devastating decision to end Roe v Wade which will disproportionately harm millions of Americans of underrepresented gender identities and specifically people of color.

In the United States, about 30% of people working in animation are of underrepresented gender identities — women, transgender and non-binary people — who potentially will see their right to safe and adequate reproductive care stripped from them. That’s why we’ve created a resource page of reproductive rights advocacy groups, reproductive health organizations and mental health resources.

We are fully committed to supporting the organizations and groups that have led and continue to lead the fight for full access to reproductive care. Since the initial decision draft was leaked in May, these local, regional and national organizations and advocates have been working hard to create a roadmap with resources, actions and next steps to share. To join the battle for access to reproductive health care, follow and support organizations like:

WIA Conversations: Dani Bowman, Autism Advocate & Entrepreneur

WIA Conversations - Dani Bowman

Autism Advocate & Entrepreneur

Dani Bowman founded DaniMation Entertainment before she attended high school and has worked professionally in the animation industry since she was 14. She has several award-winning animated shorts under her belt which have featured the voices of Joe Mantegna, Tom Kenny (Sponge Bob), June Foray, Debi Derryberry, and Stella Ritter, among others.

At age 15, Dani was hired to teach three summer animation camps by Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Films.  Since this beginning, Dani has expanded out on her own to teach more than 2,000  youth with autism animation in the US and UK at both summer workshops and classes in Los Angeles. Dani uses her passions of Public Speaking, Animation, Illustration, Fine and Visual Arts, and Teaching Animation to demonstrate to others on the autism spectrum that anything is possible.

Watch The Conversation With Dani Below

The International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations and WIA Select Six Delegates for Their Inaugural Stories X Women Program

The International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations and WIA Select Six Delegates for Their Inaugural Stories X Women Program

The program is sponsored by Walt Disney Animation Studios, with additional support from Triggerfish Animation.

Today, FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations) and WIA (Women in Animation) announced the six delegations selected for Stories x Women, a program aimed at increasing diversity of voices in animation globally. Stories x Women’s concrete goal is to support access to international opportunities for women animators from emerging national film and audio-visual animation communities of Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America who want to tell their authentic stories. Walt Disney Animation Studios sponsored the program with additional support from Triggerfish Animation.

These talented creatives, chosen from a competitive pool of candidates, will benefit from a series of mentoring sessions led by internationally acclaimed animation experts, as well as 1:1 coaching sessions that will prepare them to pitch their projects in the upcoming 2022 Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Market.

The selected delegations are (listed in alphabetical order by country):

La Sombra del Altiplano (Highland’s Shadow) – Argentina. A project led by Paula Boffo (with Patricio Plaza)

Cotton Bottom Town – Colombia. A project led by Luisa Fernanda Velasquez (with Andrés Felipe Rodriguez Rodriguez)

La Carpeta de Greta (Greta’s Journal) – Peru. A project led by Elva Alessandra Arrieta Tabuzo (with Saul David Anampa Mesias)

Pulane’s Adventures – South Africa. A project led by Tracy Stucki and Nompi Vilakazi

Rorisang & the Gurlz – South Africa. A project led by Dr Tshepo P. Maaka and Kabelo Maaka

Gannu – Thailand. A project led by Aimsinthu Ramasoot and Saraswathi Vani Balgam

Fully committed to supporting women creators, this first call of Stories x Women was open to up to two team members, which had to include at least one woman leading the project (i.e. producer, director or screenwriter).

“As the global voice for producers worldwide, FIAPF promotes all forms of film genres, including animation and its universal language,” said President of FIAPF, Luis Alberto Scalella. “With Stories x Women, we want to support the work of women animators from regions that are less visible in the international market. FIAPF has been working on diversity and gender equality for more than a decade, launching Stories x Women is an extra step in our collective action. We are extremely happy to run this initiative with Women in Animation and to benefit from the support of Walt Disney Studios and Triggerfish Animation, one of the pioneers in animation in Africa.”

“For more than 25 years WIA has been on the frontline of gender equity in animation, fighting for the empowerment of talented yet underrepresented artists and creatives in the industry and advocating for a more just and equitable system for our global field,” said Marge Dean, WIA president. “Stories x Women gives these deserving creators the support they need to bring their stories to life. We’re thrilled to be part of such a wonderful initiative that champions our mission of bringing together the global animation community to empower and advocate for people of underrepresented gender identities in all facets of the industry.”

“Having had the good fortune to work with voices around the world on both Moana and Raya and the Last Dragon, I’m thrilled beyond words to be part of this fantastic initiative to support, mentor and invite this international group of talented female filmmakers to Annecy, the world’s foremost animation festival, helping them gain access to the resources and connections necessary to bring their unique creations to the screen, and inspire the next generation of women in animation,” said Disney Animation producer Osnat Shurer.

ABOUT FIAPF

FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) represents producers worldwide, gathering 36 national producers organisations from 29 countries across the globe. FIAPF aims to defend the creative, legal and regulatory interests of the Film Production sector worldwide. FIAPF also carries out the Accreditation Programme for International Film Festivals, which brings together 45 International Film Festivals from 28 countries on the five continents to bridge producers and festivals’ interests for the sake of films. Follow us on Twitter Producers and Twitter Festivals.

ABOUT WOMEN IN ANIMATION

Women in Animation (WIA) envisions a world in which women and people of underrepresented gender identities share fully in the creation, production and rewards of animation, resulting in richer and more diverse entertainment and media that move our culture forward. The mission of WIA is to bring together a global community of animation professionals to empower and support people of underrepresented gender identities in the art, science and business of animation by increasing access to resources, creating opportunities for education, encouraging strong connections between individuals, and inspiring excellence. For more information or to join WIA, please visit womeninanimation.org or follow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.

ABOUT WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS

Combining masterful artistry and storytelling with groundbreaking technology, Walt Disney Animation Studios is a filmmaker-driven animation studio responsible for creating some of the most beloved films ever made. WDAS continues to build on its rich legacy of innovation and creativity, from the first fully-animated feature film, 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to 2019’s Frozen 2, the biggest animated film of all time, to our 60th animated feature, Encanto. Among the studio’s timeless creations are Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Frozen, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia.

For more information contact:

Fumi Kitahara, PR Chair, WIA
[email protected] 

or 

Beatriz Valenzuela, Communications Manager, WIA 
[email protected]

 

Florence Girot, Coordinator, Stories x Women
[email protected]

Calling All Members: Submit Nominations For WIA Member Snapshots!

Calling All Members: Submit Nominations For WIA Member Snapshots

Do you know an exceptional WIA member who deserves to be recognized with one of our WIA Member Snapshots? Nominate them to be highlighted in our monthly member feature. You can even nominate yourself!

The WIA Member Snapshot is not only a way for members to get to know each other, but it’s also a way to commit members’ experiences and perspectives to its archive.

WIA Member Snapshots offer a way to get to know our contemporaries, sharing stories of members at various stages in their careers to create a deeper sense of community around the globe, and to promote inspiration and connection at all steps on the professional ladder.


Click a button below to submit your nomination for either a fellow WIA member or for yourself.

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