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2024 Stories x Women Applications Now Open

The FIAPF and WIA program provides mentoring and coaching from industry experts to prep women animators from emerging animation communities in Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America to pitch projects at the Annecy Festival and Market; deadline to apply is March 17, 2024.

FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) and WIA are now accepting applications for 2024 Stories x Women. Now in its third year, the program is aimed at increasing the diversity of voices in animation globally. Its goal is to support access to international opportunities for women animators who want to tell their authentic stories from emerging national film and audio-visual animation communities of Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. The Walt Disney Company is sponsoring the 2024 program; additional sponsor announcements are coming soon.

Up to five two-person teams will be selected from a competitive pool of candidates. The teams will benefit from a series of mentoring and coaching sessions led by internationally acclaimed animation experts who will prepare them to pitch their projects at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Market. The teams must have a woman in a leading role (e.g., producer, director, or screenwriter) and must have pitch-ready projects that are either an animated film or series. All participant expenses are paid for by the program, including travel, lodging, and accreditations.

The deadline to apply is March 17, 2024. Additional program and application information is available here.

"WIA has been advocating to recognize and center talented women and nonbinary creatives in animation for the last 30 years,” said WIA president Marge Dean. “As we move into the third year of the Stories x Women program, we’re thrilled to be able to continue our commitment to backing deserving creators and providing them with the tools and support to tell their authentic stories."

In its first two years, women-led teams from more than two dozen countries applied for the Stories x Women program, and 11 delegations representing a dozen countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Malaysia, Peru, South Africa, and Thailand, have been chosen.

“I was very insecure about myself because I thought, ‘I’m a nobody. I'm 28, and I don’t have that much experience in the industry,’” first-time director and 2022 Stories x Women alumni Paula Boffo told AWN when asked how she and her fellow Argentinian team member, Patricio Plaza, benefited from the program. “And I thought I lacked the experience to present myself and our project in front of so many professional people. But I feel like I've learned so much on how to manage things in the market. I now understand that we're all just people talking about possibilities.”

Another team that benefited from the Stories x Women program was the duo behind Cotton Bottom Town, helmed by director and producer Luisa Fernanda Velasquez and co-director Andrés Felipe Rodriguez. According to Velasquez and Rodriguez, Stories x Women provided them with “invaluable visibility.” Since taking part in the program, Rodriguez and Velasquez’s series pilot, Astropackers, recently won the Best Episodic Short award at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) in 2023. They have also been working on their short film, Where is My Espresso?

Source: WIA

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.