Kidscreen is launching a three-month initiative to connect post-secondary animation and children’s media students with experienced mentors. This Next Wave Mentoring Program aims to help graduating students bridge the gap between school and a career in the kids entertainment industry.
A group of students in their final years of world-leading animation and film programs have been paired with industry mentors based on the type of work each student is interested in focusing on after graduation. Each matched pair will have three video calls over the next six weeks to discuss entry-level career planning, identify and develop leads for employment opportunities and review the student’s portfolio of work.
A second wave of the program with a new group of students and mentors will run mid-July and until the end of August.
Schools participating in the first wave are: California Institute of Arts (US), Sheridan College (Canada), Gobélins—L’École de L’Image (France), Ballyfermot College and the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (Ireland) and The Animation Workshop (Denmark). The second wave schools include NYU Tisch School of Arts (US), Centennial College (Canada), Griffith University and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Australia) and Image Campus (Argentina), with more coming on-board soon.
A few of the first-wave mentors include Billy Wee (SVP of original animation, HBO Max), Eryk Casemiro (SVP of preschool, Nickelodeon), David Levine (VP of kids programming for Europe & Africa/UK & Ireland, Disney EMEA), Janine Weigold (manager of original animation, international, Netflix), Tara Sorensen (head of creative development, children’s, Apple), Stephanie Betts (EVP of content and current series, WildBrain), Chris Keenan (SVP & executive producer of content development and production, Mattel), Alex Woo (former story lead, Pixar) and Colin Williams (creative director, Sixteen South).
A full list of mentors and more information is available on the Next Wave website.