Here’s the line-up of talks and panelists:
Next Gen World View
Moderated by Julie Ann Crommett (vice president of multicultural audience engagement at the Walt Disney Studios and WIA Secretary) Hear the views of several Next Gen filmmakers on inclusion, intersectionality, and the near future when 75% of the workforce will be Next Gen.
Solene Azernour, director, Skylander Academy
Fernanda Frick, director, Here’s the Plan
Helene Leroux, co-director, Back to the Moon
Bin-Han To, co-director, Revolting Rhymes
Fawn Veerasunthorn, story supervisor, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
What 50/50 Means to Allies
Moderated by Mark Osborne (Director, The Little Prince and WIA Chair of Male Allies) The panelists will define what ally means and how to be an influencer for a more equitable future.
Eric Beckman, CEO/founder, GKIDS
Anthony Leo, producer The Breadwinner
Roland Poindexter, vice president, television development, 20th Century Fox Animation
Carlos Saldanha, director, Blue Sky Studios
Shuzo Shiota, president and CEO, Polygon Pictures
A Conversation with Oscar-Celebrated Woman Directors
Moderated by Bonnie Arnold (producer, Dreamworks Animation) Discussion of what it takes to create an award-winning film – the experience, the challenges and the journey.
Vicky Jenson, director, Shrek, Shark Tale
Dorota Kobiela, director, Loving Vincent
Nora Twomey, director, The Breadwinner
Developing Diverse Talent
Moderated by Vanessa Morrison (president of Fox Family) Industry leaders discuss their views on the importance of finding, developing, and nurturing diverse talent.
Jenny Gilbertsson, film commissioner children and youth, Swedish Film Institute
Andrea Miloro, co-president, Fox Animation
Mireille Soria, president, Paramount Animation
Cara Speller, executive producer, Passion Animation Studios
The day will also include a keynote presentation by Julie Ann Crommett, who will give an overview of the concepts of diversity, inclusion, and belonging, as well as explore the business data and creative case. She will refresh last year’s unconscious bias highlights with data on how inclusion drives business results in our global marketplace and will explore ways to facilitate change.
Additionally, Melissa Cobb, Netflix’s vice president of kids and family, will moderate a lunch conversation with a select group of leaders and influencers to further discuss the topic of inclusion and intersectionality, focusing specifically on developing diverse talent in the industry.
It’s also interesting to note that many of the sponsors of this year’s event are large American studios. For what it’s worth, it’s the same studios that have been responsible for 99% of major American animated features in the last decade being directed (and nearly as many written) by men. I’m not sure if the irony is apparent to these companies, who are sponsoring an event dedicated to fixing a problem they created in the first place.
The sponsors are Dreamworks Animation, Netflix, and Walt Disney Animation Studios at the Gold Level; Blue Sky Studios, Paramount Animation, Pixar Animation Studios, Sony Pictures Animation, Warner Animation Group, and Warner Bros. Animation at the Silver Level; and the CNC (Centre National du Cinema et de l’Image Animée), Cube Creative Productions, Cyber Group Studios, Piste Rouge, SACD, SPFA, TeamTO, and 22D Music Group at the Bronze Level.
(Women in Animation Summit artwork by Elizabeth Ito)