Women in Animation (WIA) and Les Femmes s’Animent (LFA) announced today the program lineup and initial list of speakers for the third Women in Animation World Summit, organized in conjunction with Annecy International Animation Festival and MIFA 2019.

With the concept of “belonging” as its core theme this year, the summit will take place on Monday, June 10, at the Impérial Palace Hotel in Annecy and will feature a day-long symposium of panels and discussions spotlighting top executives, filmmakers, and artists from around the world covering a range of topics affecting women working in the animation industry today. The entire event will be livestreamed.

Kicking off the summit, Julie Ann Crommett, vice president of multicultural audience engagement at the Walt Disney Studios and WIA secretary, will introduce the theme of “belonging,” which in this context is described as the feeling of being personally accepted, respected, included, and supported in your workplace.

A key highlight this year: Dr. Stacy L. Smith will present the results of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s landmark study focused on women in the animation industry, entitled “Increasing Inclusion in Animation.” Conducted in partnership with WIA, the study examines the percentage of women working in key animation roles in film and television, the barriers and opportunities facing women as they pursue careers in animation, and the classroom-to-career pipeline for women.

“As the leading voice in the advocacy of women in animation, we had a desire to pair with a highly-respected research institution,” said WIA president Marge Dean. “For the last year, we have had the honor and privilege to collaborate with Dr. Smith and USC Annenberg on this groundbreaking study. We look forward to bringing the findings of this important study to the Annecy Animation Festival, the most important global gathering of the animation industry, and discussing next steps with leaders in the world of animation from then on.”

Later that day, WIA Vancouver’s chair, Rose-Ann Tisserand, will present “BC’s Five in Focus: Animation,” a program created by WIA Vancouver and Women in View featuring the chapter’s innovative program to aid five women across various filmmaking roles – screenwriting, directing, producing, art direction, and animation direction – in creating original animated shorts.

In addition to these keynote presentations, the summit will also host multiple events around the theme of “belonging.”

Here’s the line-up of talks and panelist:

Creating an Environment of Belonging

A distinguished panel of top male leaders in the field will engage in a discussion of ally-ship and how men can help to drive the gender inclusion conversation forward. The panel will speak from personal experience, sharing what they’re doing to make change. Moderated by Marge Dean, President of Women in Animation and Head of Crunchyroll Studios.

Eamonn Butler, Director of Animation, Cinesite
Ricardo Curtis, President and Co-Founder, House of Cool
Michael Fukushima, Studio Head, English Animation, National Film Board of Canada
Peter Gal, Chief Creative Officer, Television, DreamWorks Animation
Chuck Peil, Executive Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, ReelFX

Supporting Students of Animation

The panel will discuss how to handle the high volume of female students, many from abroad, and managing the cultural and technical challenges in animation schools. It will seek to answer the question “How can we be more supportive of the unique needs of female and non-binary students entering the workplace?” The panel will share some best practices and ideas of how to make students feel like they already belong to the community of the industry they are trying join after school. Moderated by Brendan Burch, COO Six Points Harness, and Chair of Students, Women in Animation.

Hsiang Chin Moe, Director of Operations, School of Visual Arts and Co-Lead, WIA NY Chapter
Deb Stone, Director, Recruiting & Talent Development, Blue Sky Studios and Co-Lead, WIA NY Chapter

Intergenerational Perspective on Belonging

Moderator Alison Mann, VP of Creative and Strategy, Sony Pictures Animation will lead a conversation about the importance of diverse perspectives among generations and what working together means today in the animation industry.

Jill Culton, Writer/Director, Abominable
Elizabeth Ito, Creator, City of Ghosts, Netflix
Natalie Nourigat, Story Artist, Walt Disney Animation Studios

The Face of Animation Leadership in Hollywood

This panel will end the day and feature top studio heads discussing their roles in influencing and implementing change and how they are working to create a culture at their studios that drives forward creative content that promotes diversity, inclusion and belonging. Moderated by Ann Le Cam, SVP Talent and Studio Planning, Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Allison Abbate, Executive Vice President, Warner Animation Group
Kristine Belson, President, Sony Pictures Animation
Margie Cohn, President, DreamWorks Animation
Melissa Cobb, Vice President, Original Animation, Netflix
Andrea Miloro, Co-President, Twentieth Century Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios
Ramsey Naito, Executive Vice President, Animation Production & Development, Nickelodeon

For more information on all the events at the Women In Animation World Summit visit its official page on the Annecy website.

(WIA Summit logo created by Celine Desrumaux)