Stacy L. Smith

This year’s day-long Women in Animation World Summit will kick off in Annecy, France, on the morning of June 10 with a dive into statistics concerning the presence of women in the animation industry. The theme of the summit, which coincides with the Annecy Animation Festival, is “Belonging.”

Dr. Stacy L. Smith is set to announce new results from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which studied the creative, business and educational climate for women who are interested in careers in animation.

“For the last year, we have had the honor and privilege to collaborate with Dr. Smith and USC Annenberg on this groundbreaking study,” said Women in Animation President Marge Dean (also the head of Crunchyroll Studios) in a prepared statement. “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.”

Julie Gayet interviews Agnes Varda

Julie Gayet (left) and the late Agnes Varda in Cinéast(e)s.

Also speaking during the summit will be actress and producer Julie Gayet (Sélect Hotel, Raw, The Insult), who will talk about her own advocacy for women in the film industry and discuss the making of Cinéast(e)s, a French documentary about gender and cinema that features a range of female French filmmakers.

One session, “Creating an Environment of Belonging,” will assemble a panel of men, moderated by Dean, to discuss allyship and gender inclusivity in the business. Speakers will include Eamonn Butler of Cinesite, Ricardo Curtis of House of Cool, Michael Fukushima of the National Film Board of Canada, Peter Gal of DreamWorks Animation and Chuck Peil of ReelFX. Another, “Supporting Students of Animation,” will offer tips on how the industry can better accommodate large numbers of female students in animation schools seeking work.

The last panel of the day will feature studio heads talking about their own roles in creating a diverse, inclusive working environment and culture. Moderated by Walt Disney Animation Studios SVP, Talent and Studio Planning Ann Le Cam, the panel will include Warner Animation Group EVP Allison Abbate, Sony Pictures Animation President Kristine Belson, DreamWorks Animation President Margie Cohn, Netflix VP of Original Animation Melissa Cobb, Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios Co-President Andrea Miloro and Nickelodeon VP, Animation Production and Development, Ramsey Naito.

Women in Animation World Summit logo

Women in Animation World Summit logo
Celine Desrumaux

This year’s summit logo was created by production designer Celine Desrumaux (The Little Prince, Google Spotlight Story “Age of Sail” and forthcoming Glen Keane feature Over the Moon). “Working in watercolor, I can let the colors flow together a bit, while still allowing them to retain their powerful individual presence,” Desrumaux said in a statement about her work. “In my artistic perspective, it’s a representation of the diversity of women in our community and how we inspire one another.”

The proceedings will be livestreamed; for more on where to watch, be sure to check out the Women in Animation website closer to the date of the event.

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