Raft of broadcasters, studios and government entities support major diversity initiative
Les Femmes s’Animent (LFA) is delighted to announce that Netflix, Canal+, France Télévisions, Newen Studios Group, CITIA, the French Ministry of Culture, Region Réunion, and the French Embassy of Benin have pledged their support for its Franco-African mentoring program, A Woman’s Journey (Parcours de Femmes).
A Woman’s Journey is a mentoring program for women from France and Africa who want to create short animated films but are not part of, nor have access to the animation industry. Launched in 2021 by LFA (Les Femmes s’Animent, an organization which supports women in French animation), the aim of the initiative is to help six teams consisting of one author and one director to develop a film project, from concept to pitch at this year’s Annecy Festival.
Lorraine Sullivan – Grow Creative Manager, Netflix France: “At Netflix, we are fully committed to ensuring that women are represented in the entertainment industry, both behind and on screen. This is why our partnership with LFA, advocating for more women creatives in animation in France and Africa, is a project that we fully support.”
Audrey BRUGERE, Head of Kids Programs, Groupe CANAL+, commented, “CANAL+ is very proud to support LFA’s great initiative, A Woman’s Journey. We are happy to provide an opportunity to women who, without this mentoring, would not have had access to this industry. Moreover, we are convinced that the mix of the teams allows for even richer and more creative content.”
Pierre Siracusa, Director of Animation, France Télévisions, stated, “France Télévisions is proud to join this first edition of A Woman’s Journey alongside LFA. This initiative is part of our proactive policy of encouraging the emergence of new female talent in audiovisual production and the diversity of talent in the cultural industry.”
Olivier Lelardoux, CEO of Blue Spirit (Newen Studios Group), commented, “Newen Studios and Blue Spirit are committed to inspiring and supporting all talent through their studios and their productions. In order to highlight the richness and diversity of female talent in the French-speaking world, we are pleased to support A Woman’s Journey alongside partners who share the same values of equality and excellence in the creative process.”
Eleanor Coleman, LFA Co-Founder, commented, “This exciting extension of our popular mentoring program is designed to give a voice to women we don’t often hear from. The support from our sponsors has been incredible and we are thrilled to provide concrete training and opportunity for women who are underrepresented in our industry.”
The program consists of three masterclasses provided by industry experts: Anca Damian (directing and writing a short film), Corinne Destombes (Producing a short film), and Lucie Walker (Copyright); and remote coaching sessions with the mentors, who support the female creators throughout the project. The mentorees then travel to Annecy where they receive a final pitch preparation coaching session with Ucka Ludovic Ilolo, before presenting their project to an audience of international professionals.
The ambition of A Woman’s Journey is to create a collection of short films that support a personal feminist perspective of the world around them. The six projects – selected from 50 submissions – were encouraged to explore the foundations of feminist education and how to create a more egalitarian society. Their films should take a concrete and committed look at the world, and the relationship between men and women.
Three of the teams are from France (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Réunion, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) and three from Africa (Benin, Gabon/Niger, Ivory Coast). This is the first LFA project to extend beyond France, honoring the focus on Africa at last year’s Annecy Festival. The broad geographical remit was in part inspired by the Manifesto for a Feminist Education by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi which advocates for “the moral urgency of imagining a different education for our children together, in an attempt to create a fairer world for women and men.”