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Cartoon Network, Annecy Put Women in the Animation Business in the Spotlight (EXCLUSIVE)

With gender parity a hot topic in the film and TV business, Cartoon Network is throwing its considerable weight behind efforts to help the next generation of animation talent break through.

The Turner network is one of the big three kids channel operators globally alongside Disney and Nickelodeon. As the Annecy Animation Festival and MIFA market get underway it said it will fund a female animation student. The effort to discover and support more female talent is part of a focus at Annecy on women in the business.

Cartoon will also have a session at the festival celebrating the best work from women in the industry. As part of that, British animator Julia Pott will give attendees a first sneak peek at Cartoon Network special “Summer Camp Island.” Eva Lee Wallberg, creator of Cartoon Network Original “The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe” and Lauren Sassen, creative director of “We Bare Bears” – both Annecy-nominated – will also talk about their experiences and work. From the executive ranks, Turner’s international chief content officer, Patricia Hidalgo, formerly of Disney, will also speak.

Specifically, Turner will support a student at The Animation Workshop, an animation school that is part of Denmark-based Via University College. It will reveal the identity of the first recipient at tit Annecy panel. “We look forward to nurturing their talent and hope to see the candidate flourish in their career as a content creator following the footsteps of graduates such as Eva Lee Wallberg,” said Michelle Nardone, head of the animation course at the university.

“Female talent and representation in the industry is more celebrated than ever and we are really happy to be shining a spotlight on this at Annecy, and to be partnering with The Animation Workshop to sponsor an exceptionally talented female student, “Hidalgo said.

She added: “Cartoon Network is home to some of the industry’s top female creators but we know there are more out there with great, innovative stories to tell and it’s important we play our part in seeking out and supporting them.”

Cartoon’s activity is part of a wider efforts to examine at the issues facing women in the animation sector at Annecy and MIFA. Industry groups Women in Animation and Les Femmes S’Animent will hold their world summit, Monday, in conjunction with the festival. It will be live-streamed on Facebook. Disney Studios’ VP of multicultural audience engagement Julie Ann Crommett will give the opening keynote. Other speakers include DreamWorks Animation’s Bonnie Arnold and Fox Family president Vanessa Morrison.

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