Search form

WIA Honors Disney, Twomey and Kahrs with Diversity Awards

Inaugural edition of awards will be presented at Spark Animation 2017 in Vancouver.

LOS ANGELES -- Women in Animation is proud to announce the inaugural WIA Diversity Awards recipients, in partnership with Spark Computer Graphics Society: Walt Disney Animation Studios and filmmakers Nora Twomey (The Breadwinner) and Academy Award-winning director John Kahrs (Paperman) for his short film, June: Life Is Better When You Share The Ride.

The awards are to be presented at Spark Animation 2017, taking place Oct. 26-29 in Vancouver.

The WIA Diversity Awards were established to recognize and honor individuals, companies and organizations that have made a significant impact in expanding the diversity of voices in the art and industry of animation, either through their own creative work, by fostering the work of others, or by leading diversity initiatives that enrich our industry and society. The inaugural list of recipients are as follows, and were chosen on the following basis:

  • Walt Disney Animation Studios -- Voted on by select members of the WIA board of directors, the WIA Diversity award is given to WDAS for the commitment by key individuals and their corporate support in funding WIA’s mission to foster change in the animation industry. WDAS leaders and artists have generously committed countless hours of their time each year to WIA and its causes. Their commitment to diversity is evidenced onscreen as well with 2016’s hit features Zootopia, which tackled the themes of bias and stereotype, and Moana, in which a young female Pacific Islander saves her family and the world.  
  • 'The Breadwinner' director Nora Twomey is being recognized at the inaugural WIA Diversity Awards.

    Nora Twomey -- For her animated feature The Breadwinner, which not only depicts cultural differences, but also shines a light on gender gaps in today’s world, the WIA Diversity Award (juried by select members of the WIA board of directors) is awarded to this incredibly talented female filmmaker. The Breadwinner tells the story of a young girl in Afghanistan who disguises herself as a boy in order to help provide for her family.

  • John Kahrs -- Academy Award-winning director John Kahrs receives the WIA Diversity Award, juried by Spark CG, for his Lyft short film June: Life Is Better When You Share The Ride, which shows a community supporting each other regardless of age, gender or race. By blurring the line between drivers and passengers, it emphasizes that we are all one and the same.

“Women in Animation’s mission is to affect change in the animation industry, and it is essential, in our view, to highlight and celebrate those organizations and artists who are making a difference,” says WIA co-president Marge Dean. “We are so grateful to Spark CG for their partnership and to our honorees for their tremendous contributions to this cause.”

Source: Women in Animation

Thomas J. McLean's picture

Tom McLean has been writing for years about animation from a secret base in Los Angeles.