Women in Animation World Virtual Summit Tackles Diversity and Inclusion

·5-min read

The program for the fifth Women in Animation World Virtual Summit has been announced in conjunction with the hybrid version of this year’s Annecy International Animation Festival.

Produced by the South African animation studio Triggerfish, the event will be available exclusively to WIA members from June 14-19. The public will be able to view the event on Women in Animation’s website and YouTube channel the next day.

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The theme of this year’s virtual summit is “The Business Case for Diversity.” Highlights include a keynote presented by Justice RX’s Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, Ph.D. as well as a fireside chat with Marvel Studios’ Victoria Alonso.

“At the last four Summits, WIA built shared vocabulary around diversity, inclusion, belonging and equity,” WIA President Marge Dean said. “As a global community, the organization traversed monumental paradigm shifts, challenges and opportunities this past year including racial equity, a global pandemic, a rise in discriminatory violence and strong headwind toward inclusivity. As WIA marks its fifth Summit at Annecy, it’s important to ensure that our global WIA community continue to learn from each other and share not only the business imperative for DEI, but also the successes and failures we’ve all had in trying to move forward.”

“We’re honored to be partnering with WIA on this important summit,” Triggerfish CEO Stuart Forrest said. “Triggerfish has a vision for a world where stories are told and created by the people the stories belong to, and WIA’s work in gender inclusivity and diversity takes huge steps towards that goal, particularly as it applies to the continent of Africa.”

Added Mickaël Marin, CEO of Citia, on behalf of the Annecy International Animation Festival, “We are so proud to once again host the Women in Animation World Summit as part of our festival. WIA’s dedication to presenting enlightening conversations surrounding diversity and inclusion really inspire us year after year.”

View the full WIA summit program below:

Welcome from WIA

WIA President Marge Dean and CITIA CEO Mickaël Marin welcome viewers along with Triggerfish CEO Stuart Forrest and Senior Producer Vanessa Sinden as WIA’s official partner for the 2021 Women in Animation World Summit.

Keynote Address: Stories Matter by Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, Ph.D.

  • Introduction: Julie Ann Crommett, WIA Secretary/DEI Chair and Founder and CEO, Collective Moxie; Equity and Inclusion Strategist

  • Speaker: Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, Ph.D., Lead Artist of AT BUFFALO: A New Musical & Vice President of Creative Affairs, JusticeRx

  • Keynote Description: Narratives and stories have a direct impact on how we perceive ourselves, the world and each other. Join Dr. Amma as she shares insights and connections between her creative work, narrative change and the African diaspora.

Panel: Alternative Career Paths and Opportunities for Talent

  • Moderator: Jinko Gotoh, WIA Vice President and Producer, Netflix

  • Speakers: Meredith Dean (Clinical Program Director, The Animation Project), Allison Frenzel (Arts, Media, and Entertainment Education Programs Specialist, California Department of Education), Corinne Kouper (SVP Development & Production, TeamTO; Co-Founder, ECAS; Co-President, LFA), Carina Lücke (Director, Triggerfish Foundation (PBO)) and Arnon Manor (Visual Effects Society Board Member and Chair of its Education Committee)

  • Panel Description: Attending art school and obtaining a degree is a privilege not afforded to all. This panel discusses how to challenge the status quo and create alternative career opportunities, especially for diverse talent.

Panel: Greenlighting Diverse Voices

  • Moderator: Janet Wu, Director of Original Animated Film, Netflix

  • Speakers: Peter Gal (Chief Creative Officer, Television for DreamWorks Animation), Jessica Julius (Vice President, Creative Development, Walt Disney Animation Studios), Ramsey Naito (President, Nickelodeon Animation Studio), Karen Rupert Toliver (Executive Vice President, Creative, Sony Pictures Animation), Sarah Victor (Head of Development, Crunchyroll)

  • Panel Description: The need to tell and hear representational stories from a more diverse range of storytellers has never been more important. This panel of seasoned content decision-makers shines a light on the importance of making stories from underrepresented communities, the need for authenticity in front of and behind the camera, and a behind-the-scenes look at the path to greenlight.

Video: Meet the Artist

This year’s Women in Animation World Summit featured artist Monica Ahanonu talks about her involvement in the project, and her inspiration for the artwork.

Panel: African Creators in Animation presented by Triggerfish

  • Moderator: Vanessa Sinden, Senior Producer, Triggerfish

  • Speakers: Omotunde Akiode (Writer, Story Editor), Kelly Dillon (Creator, KIYA), Ng’endo Mukii (Director, Writer), Malenga Mulendema (Creator, Mama K’s Team 4), Tendayi Nyeke (Development Executive, Triggerfish), Orion Ross (Vice President, Original Programming, Animation, Disney EMEA)

  • Panel Description: A conversation with leading African women taking center stage with shows they have created, written, and are currently directing.

Featurette: Mentoring and Making a Difference Around the World

An inspiring featurette that offers a glimpse into WIA’s history and successful global mentoring program.

A Fireside Chat with…Victoria Alonso

  • Moderator: Julie Ann Crommett, WIA Secretary/DEI Chair and Founder and CEO, Collective Moxie; Equity and Inclusion Strategist

  • Speaker: Victoria Alonso, Executive Vice President, Production at Marvel Studios

  • Panel Description: Victoria Alonso shares her perspective on the economic power of diversity in front of and behind the camera, and its impact on storytelling and success.

Video Compilation: Women in Creative Leadership

A visual collection of short stories from some of the world’s leading animation studios highlighting women in creative roles. Participating studios include Aardman, Animal Logic, Chromosphere, Crunchyroll, Disney Junior and Disney Television Animation, DreamWorks Animation, The Gotham Group, Illumination, Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm, Netflix, Nexus Studios, Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Paramount Animation, ReelFX Animation, Skydance Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, TED-Ed, Warner Animation Group and WarnerMedia, including Cartoon Network Studios, Warner Bros. Animation and Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe.

Closing from WIA

A closing message expressing gratitude from WIA’s President Marge Dean.

The virtual summit is supported by global fund partners Animal Logic, Autodesk, NBC Universal/Illumination/DreamWorks Animation, Netflix, Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Paramount Animation, Pixar Animation Studios, Reel FX Animation Studios, Sony Pictures Animation/Sony Pictures Imageworks, The Walt Disney Company (including Walt Disney Animation Studios, Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm, Disney Television Animation and Disney Junior) and WarnerMedia.

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