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CalArts, United Nations to Make Animated Films Addressing Gender Inequality

CalArts and the United Nations are animated about the fight for gender parity. As part of the UN Women’s HeForShe initiative, the CalArts animation school and the global human rights organization are partnering to produce animated films addressing the issue of gender inequality.

HeForShe and CalArts will team in the spring to further their message of matched gender participation when promoting equal rights for men and women by enlisting the talents of the animation school’s students, who will produce 13 films on the subject. The final products will debut at the UN Women’s HeForShe Impact Summit on Sept. 26 as part of the UN General Assembly in New York City.

“Animation is ideal for promoting gender equality because the medium makes it possible to visualize a world beyond our current reality and to communicate ideas on screens large or small,” said CalArts experimental animation program teacher Pia Borg. “While animation has traditionally been a male-dominated industry, our program has a strong representation of animation students from all genders and this is a subject they are passionate about.”

In 2014, actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson launched the HeForShe campaign at the UN headquarters in New York City, asking men to pledge their allegiance to the campaign for gender equality. Watson has since been the face of the HeForShe initiative, and others in and outside of the entertainment industry have also gotten involved, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Forrest Whitaker, Lin Manual-Miranda, and Edgar Ramirez.

“The UN provided us with a set of stories about the HeForShe initiative for inspiration, however, most students have conducted independent research, choosing subjects that resonant with their own lives,” Borg said. “We felt it was important that the works extended the student’s own individual voice while still aligning with the vision of the HeForShe campaign.”

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