WIA Selects Five Teams For 2024 Stories X Women Program

WIA Selects Five Teams For 2024 Stories X Women Program

The program is sponsored by The Walt Disney Company and UNESCO.

Today, WIA announced the five delegates selected for the 2024 cohort 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. The Walt Disney Company and UNESCO are sponsoring the program.

These talented creatives 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 2024 Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Market (MIFA), including as part of the MIFA Pitching Sessions. The teams will be conducting their pitches on Tuesday, June 11 from 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. CEST in the Impérial Palace in the Haendel Room.

More than 140 applications were submitted — the largest pool to date — from 30 different countries with the following breakdown:

  • 11 African countries
  • 10 Latin American countries
  • 9 Asia-Pacific countries

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

  • AIMÓ (AIMO) – Brazil. A project led by Fernanda Alves Salgado (with Giuliana Danza)
  • The Human and the Android – Indonesia. A project led by Theresa Cornelia
  • Jaé Natal! (S’up Xmas) – Brazil. A project led by Camila Padhila (with Roger Keesse)
  • Karetabla – Argentina. A project led by Maria Rosario Carlino (with Carlos Zerpa)
  • OARONA – South Africa. A project led by Thandiwe Mlauli (with Angel Pitre)

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 Stories x Women enters its third year, we are extremely proud to see how it’s helped spotlight the talented animation creatives of underrepresented gender identities from Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America,” said Marge Dean, WIA President. “I am grateful for the continued support from Disney and am thrilled to welcome UNESCO as a new partner in supporting animation in developing industries. Collaboration is key to achieving gender parity in animation.”

Dean’s sentiments of collaboration and support of women-creators are echoed by UNESCO and Disney.

“UNESCO believes that investing in women creators is a catalyst for cultural diversity, equality, and sustainable societies. This is why our collaboration with WIA and The Walt Disney Company resonates with our mandate, to accompany the development of inclusive cultural creative industries in the Global South,” said Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture

“Supporting women in animation is essential to Disney’s commitment to empowering the next generation of storytellers,” said Meredith Roberts, executive vice president of Television Animation at Disney Branded Television. “This support helps ensure that a multitude of voices, cultures, and perspectives are represented in animation, fostering richer narratives that resonate with global audiences.”

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