Netflix & Canal+ back Franco-African women’s animation mentorships

L-R: Eleanor Coleman, Corinne Kouper & Delphine Nicolini

Global streamer Netflix and France’s Canal+ are among a host of companies and organisations to pledge support to Les Femmes s’Animent (LFA)’s Franco-African animation mentoring program, A Woman’s Journey (Parcours de Femmes).

Broadcaster France Télévisions, Newen Studios Group, cultural co-operative CITIA, the French Ministry of Culture, Region Réunion, and the French Embassy of Benin have also backed the program, which offers training and support to 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, an organisation 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.

LFA was founded in 2015 by Corinne Kouper co-founder and SVP of development & production at Jade Armor prodco TeamTO; Paris-based American producer Eleanor Coleman; and artistic producer Delphine Nicolini.

Masterclass extension

A Woman’s Journey consists of three masterclasses provided by industry experts, covering the topics of how to direct, write and produce a short film and an introduction to copyright, alongside remote coaching sessions with the mentors, who support the female creators throughout the project.

The mentorees will then travel to Annecy next month for a final pitch preparation coaching session, 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.

Three of the teams are from France and three from Africa, with A Woman’s Journey being the first LFA project to extend beyond France, honoring the focus on Africa at last year’s Annecy Festival.

Lorraine Sullivan, Grow Creative manager at Netflix France, said that the streamer is “fully committed to ensuring that women are represented in the entertainment industry, both behind and on screen,” while Audrey Brugere, head of kids programs at Groupe Canal+ said the [xxx] is “happy to provide an opportunity to women who, without this mentoring, would not have had access to this industry.”

LFA co-founder Eleanor Coleman said that this extension of its mentor program is “designed to give a voice to women we don’t often hear from,” adding: “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.”

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