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WIA Vancouver and Netflix Canada Reveal ACE Candidate Shortlist

44 candidates have been selected out of 150 applicants to compete for 9 positions, including writer, director, producer, art director, storyboard supervisor, animation director, composer, editor and production manager for the 4th cohort.

Women in Animation Vancouver (WIA Vancouver) has revealed its shortlist of candidates for the ACE Canada Program’s fourth iteration. The program is an immersive Animation Career EXCELelerator training program for animation professionals who identify as women and non-binary, supported by Netflix Canada as the premiere sponsor.

ACE supports the advancement of mid-level animation professionals into key creative and senior roles, creating opportunities for new and diverse voices to tell their authentic stories. The program provides participants a key credit in the creation of their own animated short film, as well as mentorship and training to ensure their success.

“The Animation Career EXCELerator has played a pivotal role in the career development of its participants,” said Danielle Woodrow, Director, Content - Canada at Netflix. “We are looking forward to seeing who is selected for this upcoming edition of the program and where it will take them next on their journeys in the animation industry.”

A jury of industry professionals has selected five top candidates for each position, which include writer, director, producer, art director, storyboard supervisor, animation director, composer, editor, and new to this year’s program, production manager.

The 44 candidates will participate in a series of workshops and training to further prepare for their roles. Between June and August 2024, candidates will present to a final jury that will select the 9 participants that will make up the 4th ACE cohort. Selected participants will be announced in September and will go on to create a short film with training and mentorship provided throughout the production process. The final film release is slated for Fall of 2025.

“This cohort’s application pool of almost 150 non-binary and female applicants showcases the wealth of animation talent and diversity across Canada,” said ACE Canada Program founder and co-executive producer Rose-Ann Tisserand. "The caliber of this year’s applicants is exemplary, and it will be a challenge to select one candidate per role.”

The ACE Canada Program is a resource for studios looking to hire key creative talent. Past ACE candidates have worked in positions on projects including as series director for The Barbie Band! music videos and screenwriter for the animated series LEGO Friends. ACE has presented films at Bentonville Film Festival, CTN, Annecy, Spark, and OIAF. The short film Pivot was the Best Animation winner at 55th WorldFest Houston 2022 and was an Official Selection Fantoche (Baden, Switzerland).

ACE 3 cohort’s film Ostinato will screen at the Annecy International Animation Festival’s Short Film Forum on Thursday, June 13 at 3:00 pm, accompanied by a conversation with the ACE 3 team moderated by Tisserand at MIFA Market Screening, Imperial Palace-Berlioz.

ACE Canada’s sponsors include Netflix Canada, Canada Media Fund, Creative BC, Telefilm Canada, Toon Boom Animation, Autodesk, and Atomic Cartoons.

The ACE Canada Cohort 4 Shortlisted Applicants:


  • Caitlin Langelier (Toronto, ON); Goun Lee (Toronto, ON); Haley Chung (Vancouver, New York, NY); Nattasha Shrestha (Toronto, ON); Patricia Atchison (Vancouver, BC)


  • Airin Budiman (Toronto, ON); Patricia Atchison (Vancouver, BC); Rebecca Champagne (Ottawa, ON); River Minho Kim (Vancouver, BC); Seema Virdi (Toronto, ON)


  • Andrea Mayo (Vancouver, BC); Arlyn Bantog (Vancouver, BC); Carly Sacks (Toronto, ON); Cristina Tanase (Vancouver, BC); Mackenzie Wong (Toronto, ON)

Art Director:

  • Crystal Woo (Vancouver, BC); June Lo (Vancouver, BC); Maria Mercer (Kelowna, BC); Sara Barackzay (Vancouver, BC); Svetlana Gayvoronskaya (Toronto, ON)

Animation Director:

  • Cynthia Brenes (Oakville, ON); Katie Winchester (Vancouver, BC); Reem ElShaer (Vancouver, BC); Siequalynnda McNeil-Bobb (Vancouver, BC); Vanessa Foermer (Vancouver, BC)

Storyboard Supervisor:

  • Airin Budiman (Toronto, ON); Chloe Lemay (Vancouver, BC); Gabriela Elizabeth Tavora (Vancouver, BC); Joy Zhou (Toronto, ON); Seema Virdi (Toronto, ON)


  • Andrea Beca (Vancouver, BC); Annie Ingham (Vancouver, BC); Carol Song (Vancouver, BC); Gabi Bednar (Vancouver, BC); Winnie Lai (Penticton, BC)


  • Ally Fiola (Halifax, NS); Chihiro Nagamatsu (Toronto, ON); Eimear MacCarrick (Vancouver, BC); Michelle Lorimer (Toronto ON); Sorah Eun (Vancouver, BC)

Production Manager:

  • Anastasia Walker (Vancouver, BC); Frances Nyarko-Mensah (Toronto, ON); Molison Farmer (Toronto, ON); Quinn Hardie (Vancouver, BC)

Source: WIA Canada

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.