The Franco-African Initiative preps women creators from France and Africa to pitch projects at Annecy 2022; Netflix, Canal+, France Télévisions, Newen Studios Group, CITIA, the French Ministry of Culture, Region Réunion, and the French Embassy of Benin have signed on to lend their support.
Les Femmes s’Animent (LFA) has announced its diversity initiative, A Woman’s Journey (Parcours de Femmes), has received the support of Netflix, Canal+, France Télévisions, Newen Studios Group, CITIA, the French Ministry of Culture, Region Réunion, and the French Embassy of Benin. Launched in 2021, the Franco-African mentoring program provides opportunities to women from France and Africa who want to create short, animated films but are not part of, nor have access to the animation industry.
This year the initiative will help six teams consisting of one author and one director in the development of a film project, from concept to pitch, at this year’s Annecy Festival.
"At Netflix, we are fully committed to ensuring that women are represented in the entertainment industry, both behind and on screen,” commented Lorraine Sullivan - Grow Creative Manager, Netflix. “This is why our partnership with LFA, advocating for more women creatives in animation in France and Africa, is a project that we fully support."
“CANAL+ is very proud to support LFA’s great initiative, A Woman’s Journey,” added Audrey Brugere, Head of Kids Programs, Groupe CANAL+. “We are happy to provide an opportunity to women who, without this mentoring, would not have had access to this industry. Moreover, we are convinced that the mix of the teams allows for even richer and more creative content.”
The program consists of three masterclasses provided by industry experts:
- Anca Damian - directing and writing a short film
- Corinne Destombes - producing a short film
- Lucie Walker – copyright
The female creators will receive remote coaching sessions with mentors throughout the project. They will travel to Annecy to receive a final pitch preparation coaching session with Ucka Ludovic Ilolo, before presenting their project to an audience of international professionals.
“France Télévisions is proud to join this first edition of A Woman’s Journey alongside LFA,” said Pierre Siracusa, Director of Animation, France Télévisions. “This initiative is part of our proactive policy of encouraging the emergence of new female talent in audiovisual production and the diversity of talent in the cultural industry.”
The ambition of A Woman’s Journey is to create a collection of short films that support a personal feminist perspective of the world. The six projects – selected from 50 submissions - were encouraged to explore the foundations of feminist education and how to create a more egalitarian society. Their films should take a concrete and committed look at the world, and the relationship between men and women.
Three of the teams are from France (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Réunion, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) and three from Africa (Benin, Gabon/Niger, Ivory Coast). This is the first LFA project to extend beyond France, honoring the focus on Africa at last year’s Annecy Festival. The broad geographical remit was in part inspired by the “Manifesto for a Feminist Education” by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi which advocates for “the moral urgency of imagining a different education for our children together, in an attempt to create a fairer world for women and men.”
“Newen Studios and Blue Spirit are committed to inspiring and supporting all talent through their studios and their productions,” commented Olivier Lelardoux, CEO of Blue Spirit (Newen Studios Group). “In order to highlight the richness and diversity of female talent in the French-speaking world, we are pleased to support A Woman’s Journey alongside partners who share the same values of equality and excellence in the creative process.”
“This exciting extension of our popular mentoring program is designed to give a voice to women we don’t often hear from.” concluded Eleanor Coleman, LFA Co-Founder. “The support from our sponsors has been incredible and we are thrilled to provide concrete training and opportunity for women who are underrepresented in our industry.”
Created in 2015, LFA was co-founded by animation executives Corinne Kouper, co-founder and SVP of Development & Production at TeamTO; Eleanor Coleman, a Paris-based American producer; and Delphine Nicolini, an Artistic Producer.
Source: Les Femmes s’Animent