The Stories x Women mentoring program has selected five kids shows to benefit from intensive mentoring starting this week with execs from sponsoring companies Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment, plus one-on-one coaching to prepare to pitch their show concepts at Annecy in June.
Stories x Women is run by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations and Women in Animation.
To qualify for consideration, projects had to have at least one woman in a leadership role, such as producer or screenwriter. This year’s finalists are: Superpunk from Brazilian artist Guilherme Petreca and Mirtes Santana; Negocio de Brujas (Witch’s Business in English) from Chile’s Sanhueza Meléndez and Alejandra Jaramillo Fanta; Nerea, from the Dominican Republic’s Fabiola Contreras Rosso and Arima Léon; Malaysian series The Golden Pig from Hewi Ling Ow and Kate Goodwin; and Papo Hapo, created by Irmak Atabek Ndungu and Mbithi Masya in Kenya.
This is the second year for the Stories x Women program—in 2022, creatives from countries including Thailand, Colombia and Saudi Arabia were selected.
Women in Animation is aiming to reach 50/50 gender parity in animation by 2025, and says that programs like this are a key stepping stone towards that goal. But the industry still has a long way to go—according to the org’s 2021 report, more men than women occupied every single VFX leadership role for films.