In a year in which women animators and filmmakers will be celebrated at the Annecy animation festival, the recently relaunched Women in Animation (WIA) will play an active role at the festival. The 21-year-old organization has unveiled a series of events that it will present at the festival in southern France next month:

Tuesday, June 16 — WIA chairperson and executive producer of the upcoming film The Little Prince Jinko Gotoh will deliver a keynote address as part of a program entitled “Future of Animation: Combining Viewpoints.” The program, taking place from 6:15-7:30pm in La Petite Salle-Bonlieu will include other speakers such as Lisa Henson and Francoise Guyonnet. Gotoh’s talk will focus on the need for a diversity of voices in the industry. “My first memory of animation was being mesmerized by Lady and the Tramp and Astroboy as a small child in Japan,” says Gotoh. “When I met Osamu Tezuka, the creator of Astroboy, I wanted to do what he did. Unlike 50 years ago, animation now is an exploding global industry. We have an exciting opportunity to diversify the voice. I want children today to experience the magic like I did, and hopefully participate in changing the future landscape, empowering all the untapped talent, especially women.”

Wednesday, June 17 — A “Women in Animation” panel discussion will include WIA advisory board members Bonnie Arnold, Margie Cohn, Lenora Hume, Julia Pistor, and Adina Pitt as well as WIA co-president Kristy Scanlan and WIA chairperson Jinko Gotoh, with moderation by WIA co-president Marge Dean. “We have been collecting statistics from studios and schools around the world which show that women dominate art schools but then only make up about 20% of the creative work force,” says Dean. “We will address that ratio and talk about what we’re doing to rectify the situation.” The presentation and panel will take place from 10am—12pm at Verdi A&B, 3rd floor of the Imperial Palace.

Thursday, June 18 — WIA advisory Board members Margie Cohn, Julia Pistor and Adina Pitt will participate in a panel discussion entitled “Is There a Recipe for a Successful Girl/Boy TV Series?” Other panelists include Avril Blondelot, Eleanor Coleman, and David Michel. “The conversation about gender content is also a point of focus for WIA, as we value opportunities to create positive role models for females both on- and off-screen,” notes Pistor. The discussion will take place from 2-4pm in Ravel A&B at the Imperial Palace.

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