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2023 AfroAnimation Summit Coming to Burbank

The conference, running April 26-27, promotes diversity and inclusion in animation, welcoming an international coalition of industry speakers, studio execs, students, creatives and young professionals, in-person and via livestream.

The 2023 AfroAnimation Summit takes place in person for the first time in Burbank, California, April 26 - 27, 2023, while also live streaming worldwide. The event will unite a diverse coalition of 60+ industry speakers, studio executives, and recruiters from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., the Caribbean, Nigeria, and South Africa, to discuss ways to increase inclusion and representation in the animation industry.

Over 200 invited local art and design students from Los Angeles and Burbank high schools, undergraduates from Howard University, New York University, and SCAD, freelancers, independent studio owners, creatives, and young professionals from around the world will participate in this year’s summit.

Sony Pictures Animation's Spider-Verse film franchise directors Kemp Powers and Peter Ramsey, along with the creators and directors of the upcoming Disney+ Original African sci-fi anthology Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire, headline a collection of featured industry speakers.

“We created AfroAnimation in 2021 to help increase diversity in the animation industry, and the response globally has been overwhelming,” said AfroAnimation founder Keith White. “We’re proud to bring together a global team representing the entertainment industry this year, featuring a dynamic group of speakers, movie studio sponsors, and awardees.”

This year’s lineup will include an awards ceremony honoring independent creators from around the world and panels covering myriad topics, including “The Pathway to a Career in Animation,” “Being Black in Animation,” and “Increasing Storytelling by Women in Animation and Beyond.” It will also feature screenings of the year’s most anticipated animation film releases and the AfroAnimation Indie Short Film Awards honorees.

Returning studio partners include Netflix; DreamWorks Animation; Warner Bros Animation; Nickelodeon; Sony Pictures Animation; Sony Imageworks; WildBrain; Titmouse; Triggerfish Animation; and Disney Television Animation. Participating groups with a similar mission include ASIFA-Hollywood, American Film Showcase, Women in Animation, LatinX, and KickStarter. 

“I am delighted by the growth of AfroAnimation this year,” said AfroAnimation co-chair Rio Cyrus. “With the help of our sponsors and studio partners, we are doing our part to build a global animation community that reflects the world at large.”

Additional information is available here.

Source: AfroAnimation Summit

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.