Highlights include a Keynote presented by Justice RX’s Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, Ph.D. and a Fireside Chat with Marvel Studios’ Victoria Alonso as WIA partners with South Africa’s Triggerfish for this year’s event.


Women in Animation (WIA) is pleased to announce the program for the fifth Women In Animation World Summit, in conjunction with this year’s hybrid version of the Annecy International Animation Festival and Mifa 2021. The  theme of this year’s virtual Summit is “The Business Case for Diversity.”

The Women in Animation World Summit will be viewable exclusively as part of the festival’s virtual programming and for WIA members from Monday, June 14th at 9:00am CAT through Saturday, June 19th. As of June 20th, the Summit will be available to the general public via the WIA website and YouTube Channel.

At the last four Summits, WIA built shared vocabulary around diversity, inclusion, belonging and equity. As a global community, the organization traversed monumental paradigm shifts, challenges and opportunities this past year, including racial equity, a global pandemic, a rise in discriminatory violence and strong headwind toward inclusivity. As WIA marks its fifth Summit at Annecy, it’s important to ensure that our global WIA community continue to learn from each other and share not only the business imperative for DEI, but also the successes and failures we’ve all had in trying to move forward.

Marge Dean (WIA President)

Commenting on the theme, WIA Secretary/DEI Chair Julie Ann Crommett added, “the business case is not just that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are good for business empirically (they are), but that we each as businesses and individuals have a part to play in making change. Many companies, organizations and industries have committed to doing better – seizing the case for DEI.

We get further faster by being more transparent with each other, more transparent as an industry and truly building a global community of practice and thought leadership. Our hope is this Summit begins to model what transparency and action can and should be in our industry.”

Further to that, WIA Vice President Jinko Gotoh said, “we must democratize animation on all fronts: education, art, technology, and industry. I’m proud of the work WIA continues to do. We advocate sustainable change across the globe. Along those lines, we are thrilled to partner with Triggerfish to present this year’s Summit, as they have been doing such tremendous work over the years to diversify storytelling and bring better representation to the African animation industry.”

“We’re honored to be partnering with WIA on this important summit. Triggerfish has a vision for a world where stories are told and created by the people the stories belong to, and WIA’s work in gender inclusivity and diversity takes huge steps towards that goal, particularly as it applies to the continent of Africa.

Stuart Forrest (CEO, Triggerfish)

Added Mickaël Marin, CEO of Citia, on behalf of the Annecy International Animation Festival, “we are so proud to once again host the Women in Animation World Summit as part of our festival. WIA’s dedication to presenting enlightening conversations surrounding diversity and inclusion really inspire us year after year.”

Women in Animation Summit 2021 Program

Women in Animation World Summit

Here is the official program for the day:

Welcome from WIA  

WIA President Marge Dean and CITIA CEO Mickaël Marin welcome viewers along with Triggerfish CEO Stuart Forrest and Senior Producer Vanessa Sinden as WIA’s official partner for the 2021 Women in Animation World Summit.

Keynote Address: Stories Matter by Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, Ph.D.

  • IntroductionJulie Ann Crommett, WIA Secretary/DEI Chair and Founder and CEO, Collective Moxie; Equity and Inclusion Strategist
  • SpeakerAmma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, Ph.D., Lead Artist of AT BUFFALO: A New Musical & Vice President of Creative Affairs, JusticeRx
  • Keynote Description: Narratives and stories have a direct impact on how we perceive ourselves, the world and each other. Join Dr. Amma as she shares insights and connections between her creative work, narrative change and the African diaspora.

Panel: African Creators in Animation presented by Triggerfish

  • ModeratorVanessa Sinden, Senior Producer, Triggerfish
  • SpeakersOmotunde Akiode (Writer, Story Editor), Kelly Dillon (Creator, KIYA), Ng’endo Mukii (Director, Writer), Malenga Mulendema (Creator, Mama K’s Team 4), Tendayi Nyeke (Development Executive, Triggerfish), Orion Ross (Vice President, Original Programming, Animation, Disney EMEA)
  • Panel Description: A conversation with leading African women taking center stage with shows they have created, written, and are currently directing. 

Panel: Alternative Career Paths and Opportunities for Talent

  • ModeratorJinko Gotoh, WIA Vice President and Producer, Netflix
  • SpeakersMeredith Dean (Clinical Program Director, The Animation Project), Allison Frenzel (Arts, Media, and Entertainment Education Programs Specialist, California Department of Education), Corinne Kouper (SVP Development & Production, TeamTO; Co-Founder, ECAS; Co-President, LFA), Carina Lücke (Director, Triggerfish Foundation (PBO)) and Arnon Manor (Visual Effects Society Board Member and Chair of its Education Committee)
  • Panel Description: Attending art school and obtaining a degree is a privilege not afforded to all. This panel discusses how to challenge the status quo and create alternative career opportunities, especially for diverse talent.                  

Panel: Greenlighting Diverse Voices

  • ModeratorJanet Wu, Director of Original Animated Film, Netflix
  • SpeakersPeter Gal (Chief Creative Officer, Television for DreamWorks Animation), Jessica Julius (Vice President, Creative Development, Walt Disney Animation Studios), Ramsey Naito (President, Nickelodeon Animation Studio), Karen Rupert Toliver (Executive Vice President, Creative, Sony Pictures Animation), Sarah Victor (Head of Development, Crunchyroll)
  • Panel Description: The need to tell and hear representational stories from a more diverse range of storytellers has never been more important. This panel of seasoned content decision-makers shines a light on the importance of making stories from underrepresented communities, the need for authenticity in front of and behind the camera, and a behind-the-scenes look at the path to greenlight. 

Video: Meet the Artist

This year’s Women in Animation World Summit featured artist, Monica Ahanonu talks about her involvement in the project, and her inspiration for the artwork.

Featurette: Mentoring and Making a Difference Around the World

An inspiring featurette that offers a glimpse into WIA’s history and successful global mentoring program.

A Fireside Chat with…Victoria Alonso

  • Moderator: Julie Ann Crommett, WIA Secretary/DEI Chair and Founder and CEO, Collective Moxie; Equity and Inclusion Strategist
  • Speaker: Victoria Alonso, Executive Vice President, Production at Marvel Studios
  • Panel Description: Victoria Alonso shares her perspective on the economic power of diversity in front of and behind the camera, and its impact on storytelling and success. 

Video Compilation: Women in Creative Leadership

A visual collection of short stories from some of the world’s leading animation studios highlighting women in creative roles. Participating studios include Aardman, Animal Logic, Chromosphere, Crunchyroll, Disney Junior and Disney Television Animation, DreamWorks Animation, The Gotham Group, Illumination, Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm, Netflix, Nexus Studios, Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Paramount Animation, ReelFX Animation, Skydance Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, TED-Ed, Warner Animation Group and WarnerMedia, including Cartoon Network Studios, Warner Bros. Animation and Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe.

Closing from WIA

A closing message expressing gratitude from WIA’s President Marge Dean.

The Women in Animation Virtual World Summit is made possible with the ongoing support of WIA’s Global Fund partners: WIA Leadership Circle donors (in alphabetical order): Animal Logic, Autodesk, NBC Universal/Illumination/DreamWorks Animation, Netflix, Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Paramount Animation, Pixar Animation Studios, Reel FX Animation Studios, Sony Pictures Animation/Sony Pictures Imageworks, The Walt Disney Company (including Walt Disney Animation Studios, Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm, Disney Television Animation and Disney Junior) and WarnerMedia; WIA Partners Circle donors (in alphabetical order): Crunchyroll/Ellation, Electronic Arts, Entertainment One, Skydance Animation, ToonBoom and Warner Animation Group; WIA Supporters Circle donors (in alphabetical order): Darla Anderson, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Development Cooperation, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Jinko Gotoh, Nicole Paradis Grindle, Karen Hillenberg, Locksmith Animation, Mark & Kimb Osborne, Paramount Animation and Triggerfish Foundation; and WIA Friends donors (in alphabetical order): Bonnie Arnold, CalArts, Melissa Cobb, Gail Currey, Zeba Fahid, Lauren Faust, Andrew Millstein and Michael Rianda.

About Women in Animation

Women in Animation (WIA) envisions a world in which women share fully in the creation, production and rewards of animation, resulting in richer and more diverse entertainment and media that move our culture forward. The mission of WIA is to bring together a global community of animation professionals to empower and support women in the art, science and business of animation by increasing access to resources, creating opportunities for education, encouraging strong connections between individuals, and inspiring excellence. For more information or to join WIA, please visit http://www.womeninanimation.org or follow on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn or Instagram.