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.

Looking To The Future Of Art And Animation

Our very own WIA Vice President Jinko Gotoh made an appearance — virtually — at WonderCon in Anaheim the weekend of April 1-3. This was the first in-person WonderCon since it was temporarily canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was part of a panel entitled, “Developing the Future of the Art, Media, and Entertainment Industry” which aimed to discuss how industry leaders and government officials can best provide industry-level skills to students and access to jobs in the industry especially students in under-served communities.


Joining Gotoh on the panel were:

  • Nicole Hendrix, Producer, Executive Director of the BRIC Foundation, Concept Arts Association
  • Alison Mann, Talent Manager, Co-President of Fourth Wall Animation, Co-Founder BRIC Foundation
  • Steve Issacs, Education Program Manager at Epic Games
  • Matthew Waynee, Teacher 32nd Street USC Magnet School
  • Jewyl Anderson Clarke, San Diego County Office of Education

Read more about this amazing and important panel here.

6th Annual WIA World Summit – June 13th, 2022

We invite you to join us for an in-person and virtual day-long symposium featuring panels and discussions with leaders, filmmakers, and creators from around the world. We’ll cover a wide range of topics centered around this year’s theme:

Gender Justice: A Global Call for Inclusion in Animation.

Save the date and we look forward to seeing you there!

Honoring Deaf Creatives In Animation

We at WIA are thrilled to honor the trailblazing deaf and hard-of-hearing people who prove animation truly is for everyone!

Join us this month — and every single day — in recognizing these groundbreaking global artists’ courage, accomplishments and sacrifices which accurately and respectfully brought deaf culture to animation.

Carin Powell

Carin Powell is a 3D animator who has had single-sided deafness since early childhood. She is also the writer and director behind Liftoff, a short animated film about a deaf dancer. Powell worked at Anamon Studios in San Francisco, and through hard work and exceptional talent, became the lead animator and fix team lead on their short film, Let’s Eat.

Along with fellow creative Nora Ng-Quinn, Powell co-founded of Signing Animation, a non-proft organization created in January 2020 as a way to combat the bias against deaf and hard-of-hearing talent in the animation industry. Through her work with Signing Animation, she aims to demonstrate the singular talent of deaf and hard-of-hearing artists, the methods by which integrated teams can thrive, and the transformative power of storytelling.

Celebrating Women In Animation

Today marks the beginning of Women’s History Month and WIA will be honoring the trailblazing women who broke barriers and made critical advances for gender equity in the field of animation.

We recognize and celebrate their hard-fought sacrifices and accomplishments as they made advances in gender equity in the animation industry.

We will be highlighting some groundbreaking global artists and professionals as well as changemaking contemporaries who have shaped and bettered the animation field.

Lisette Titre-Montgomery

Lisette Titre-Montgomery is an art director with more than two decades of experience in the video game industry. She has led art studios large and small in the US, Japan, China, Australia, India, and the Philippines. She has contributed to some of the industry’s highest-profile games, including Tiger Woods Golf, The Simpsons, Dante’s Inferno, Dance Central 3, SIMS 4, South Park, and Transformers Age Of Extinction for Android and iOS.

Victoria Alonso

Victoria Alonso is an out Argentine film producer and is also the president of Physical, Post Production, VFX and Animation at Marvel. In January 2020, she was awarded the Filmmaker Award by the Motion Picture Sound Editors at the 67th Golden Reel Awards. In October 2021, it was announced that Alonso would be the top honoree at Outfest’s Visionary Award at the November ceremony at LA’s Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Gabby Zapata

Gabby Zapata is an artist who currently works at Disney Digital Network as a lead Visual Development Artist. She’s worked with IDW Disney, Nickelodeon, Digital Domain, Dreamworks Consumer Products, Dreamworks TVA, Spinmaster, HuevoToons Mexico, Disney TVA and Netflix. She is proud of her Latiné heritage and its influence can be seen in her art.

Reiko Okuyama

Reiko Okuyama was a pioneer in Japanese animation. She was one of the first women Japanese animators and her work was featured on the landmark feature-length anime Hakuja den released in the US as “The Tale of the White Serpent” in 1958.

As a young child, Okuyama spent much of her early life confined to bed due to a series of illnesses. That is when she developed her interest in drawing.

After dropping out of Tohoku University and working a variety of jobs, her uncle referred her to a job at ​​Toei Animation. At the time, she believed the animation studio was a children’s book publisher. Her drawing skills helped her secure a position with Toei Animation and led her to work on “The Tale of the White Serpent.” She was then promoted to second key animator on 1959’s Shonen Sarutobi Sasuke — released as “Magic Boy” in the United States. Okuyama continued to work for Toei Doga until 1976, eventually rising to the position of head animator.

Michelle Derosier

Michelle Derosier is an award-winning Canadian First Nations animator, filmmaker and producer who uses her talents to focus on First Nations issues. She is Anishinaabe from Migisi Sahgaigan First Nation in Treaty 3 Territory in Northwestern Ontario and is deeply rooted in her Anishinaabek culture. 

Her youth arts education project Eagle vs. Sparrow received an Honorable Mention for Best Canadian Short Drama at the 2011 ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival. She made her directorial debut with the The Healing Lens, a documentary about the power of art and culture in healing First Nation’s Youth which won for Best Public Service Film at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.

She is the co-owner of Thunderstone Pictures.

Sylvia Moberly-Holland

Sylvia Moberly-Holland made great strides in animation and beyond. She was a British-born concept artist, and illustrator who was the second woman to become a storyboard artist for Walt Disney Productions. She worked for Disney in the 1930s and 1940s.

Moberly-Holland is possibly best known for her work on the 1940 film “Fantasia.” She was Disney’s first woman story lead with the ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ fairy sequence for the animated classic. She also developed concept art on the “Little April Shower” sequence for the 1942 film Bambi. With Mary Blair, she developed concept art for “Baby Ballet,” a sequence intended for a planned sequel to Fantasia that never got made. 

Throughout her career at the Disney studios, Walt Disney held her in high regard, noting that she was “a highly talented artist with a marvelous sense for decoration and color” who “contributed immensely to the good taste and beauty of our pictures.”

Helena Smith Dayton

Helena Smith Dayton is a true trailblazer in animation. She was an American filmmaker, painter and sculptor working in New York City who used fledgling stop motion and clay animation techniques in the 1910s and 1920s, one of the first women animators to do so.

The first documented public screening of some of her animated shorts took place on March 25, 1917 at the Strand Theater in New York City. Later that year, she released an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

The former reporter worked as a canteen director for the YMCA in Paris during World War I, she created sculpted figures depicting scenes in France. These were featured in an exhibition by the Society of Illustrators in 1922 in New York City.

Study Shows Lack Of Women In Booming VFX Field

Once again, our very own WIA Vice President, Jinko Gotoh, was interviewed about the state of gender diversity within the VFX field. Variety recently reported on our study conducted with USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, Invisible in Visual Effects: Understanding the Prevalence and Experiences of Women in the Field, which found that just 2.9% of all VFX supervisors are women and only 0.5% are women of color. The report also looked at how women were acknowledged for their work during awards season. Only four women have been nominated in the Oscar’s VFX category. Suzanne Benson won in 1986 for “Aliens” and nearly three decades later, Sara Bennett, VFX supervisor on 2015’s “Ex Machina,” took home the coveted award.

“[Getting women into VFX] needs to be done earlier because it’s all about STEM. We should say early that visual effects is a career path and then teach them the craft and the technology.”

— Jinko Gotoh, WIA Vice President

Read the Variety article here.

Highlighting these disparities is the first step in changing them.

To read the entire Annenberg Inclusion Initiative/WIA report, click here.

WIA President Marge Dean Appointed Head Of Skybound Entertainment’s Animation Studio

WIA President Marge Dean Appointed Head Of Skybound Entertainment's Animation Studio

We’re thrilled to share WIA president Marge Dean has been appointed as Head of Skybound Entertainment’s Animation Studio.

“I’ve always admired Skybound’s creator-driven spirit, and it’s a company rich with content. I’m excited to join the company during this phase of growth and evolution, and look forward to working closely with Skybound leadership and creative teams on these amazing properties.” — Marge Dean, WIA President

Marge is an Emmy-winning animation industry veteran who is known for building studios and animation pipelines. She has been responsible for the design or re-design of several studios large and small, including Columbia-TriStar TV, Warner Bros. Animation, Mattel’s Playground Production, Omation (Steve Oedekerk), Technicolor Animation and Wildbrain Entertainment.

She will be overseeing production on all of Skybound’s original animated content which includes the company’s partnership with Amazon Studios on production of the second and third seasons of its hit animated series Invincible, which she will exec produce alongside Skybound founders Robert Kirkman and David Alpert, Catherine Winder and Simon Racioppa.

Read more about this great news here.

Why Are There So Few Women Working In Visual Effects?

Our very own WIA Vice President, Jinko Gotoh, was interviewed for this great package from The LAist and KPCC about the lack of women and gender diversity within the VFX industry and about our recent report conducted with USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, Invisible in Visual Effects: Understanding the Prevalence and Experiences of Women in the Field.

The report found that of the 400 top-grossing films from 2016-19, there was virtually no change of women receiving VFX credits. That number was an abysmal 20.8 percent in 2016 and just 22.6 percent in 2019.

Read the entire LAist article here

Listen to the KPCC interview here

Highlighting these disparities is the first step in changing them. To read the entire Annenberg Inclusion Initiative/WIA report, click here.

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