The world of animation is conceptually a world where anything is possible, limited only by the imagination. And yet women who imagine an open door to the animation industry don't always find one…no matter what talent, education and passion they bring to the drawing board.
This docu-series tells the story of female animation pioneers in both past and present days, looking into the challenges they have faced and the progress they have made while exploring the obstacles that still exist. Highlighting the determination and passion that moved women out of the ink & paint department and into the role of animator and beyond, the film seeks to inspire the next generation of animation storytellers, while questioning the inequality between men and women within the creative workforce of animation.
The series is both an historical and current-day perspective, inviting today’s animation artists to learn from the experience of earlier generations to gain a better understanding of the foundation upon which they can build their future…to see where they’ve come from to appreciate where they stand and where they still have to go…ideally finding those open doors to wherever their imaginations take them.
When Christine Guest was developing curriculum as a professor in Media Arts at Ithaca College, she became acutely aware of the gender inequality issues within the film and television industry, but she was surprised to find the divide existed even more deeply within the animation industry. This discovery inspired Guest to put her talents into making a documentary series aimed at inspiring social change within the entertainment industry, starting with the field of animation.
The stories of many diverse women will be told through on-camera Interviews, b-roll, archival footage, animation clips and photos. While not every moment of every interview can be edited into a single film, the footage gathered will be preserved in archives for future generations to appreciate in their entirety.
Interview participants (yes, including a few men) to date include:
Women make up 60% of the college level animation student body, but they only occupy 23% of the creative leadership roles in the animation world.
10% of women are producers/directors in animated films, while 17% are writers, 21% are in art/design, and 23% are animators.