We have always advocated for a more diverse and inclusive world for kids on screen. In 2020 we raised the call behind the scenes and launched our industry initiative, Toward an Inclusive Future, to jumpstart actionable conversations among experienced and rising creators of media and entertainment for kids. Once again, The NYICFF Industry Forum will host local, national, and international creative and cultural practitioners—100% online. Join us for frank and insightful conversations and help shape the future of kids' storytelling.

Missed the the live events? Stream them now for free!

Now available online for free! We welcome participation from those at all career stages—from upcoming talent to established makers: executives, filmmakers, directors, producers, distributors, writers, animators, and film and media students.

2021 speakers & guests

Frank Abney
Co-founder of Rise Up Animation, director of Netflix's Canvas, producer of Oscar®-winning short Hair Love
Lindz Amer
Founder and CEO of Queer Kid Creative, co-host of Queer Kid Stuff, and host of Activist, You!
Masuma Begum
Virtual Intensive Training Intern, The Animation Project
Reginald De Guillebon
President, Folimage
Madeline Di Nonno
CEO, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and Chair of the Board of Directors for the Television Academy Foundation
Elizabeth Ito
NYICFF Award-winning director (Welcome to My Life), creator of Netflix's City of Ghosts
Marie Jamora
Director of Flip the Record (NYICFF 2018) and What Isn’t There, and founder of Cinema Sala
Eché Janga
Director of Buladó (NYICFF 2021) and Helium
Monica Lago-Kaytis
Co-founder of Rise Up Animation, Executive Producer of The Christmas Chronicles
Guillaume Lorin
Director, NYICFF 2021 Grand Prize winner Vanille
Halima Lucas
Writer/director of Amelia's Closet (NYICFF 2017), writer, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur
Ernesto Javier Martínez
Writer of La Serenata and When We Love Someone We Sing to Them, professor at University of Oregon
Koji Nelissen
Producer, NYICFF 2021 Award-winner Buladó
Halcyon Person
Head Writer at 9 Story Media
Nienke Poelsma
Head of Cinekid for Professionals
Miguel Puga
Co-executive producer and director of The Casagrandes
Noelle Stevenson
New York Times bestselling writer, showrunner of Netflix's She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Ellen Su
Filmmaker, Artistic Recruiter at Titmouse, and co-lead for Women in Animation, NYC Chapter
Nala Turner
Lead Creative Arts Therapist,The Animation Project
Yalda T. Uhls, PhD
Founder, Center for Scholars and Storytellers, UCLA research scientist
Emerald Wright-Collie
Creative manager and producer, Silvergate Media and NYICFF Programming Committee member

2021 industry forum events

April 29 — 5:00pm
Behind the Curtain: Making Career Pathways Transparent

Featuring Monica Lago-Kaytis, Halcyon Person, and Ellen Su
Moderated by Emerald Wright-Collie
Presented with support from Rise Up Animation and Women in Animation

Rarely are two career trajectories identical, but no matter the case, the roadmap to a career in media can be particularly challenging—especially for those from underrepresented communities. Join us for a candid conversation from people who figured it out as they went along so you don’t have to go it alone and hear from training programs that expand access.
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May 6 — 5:00pm
Owning Your Story: BIPOC Creators

Featuring Frank Abney, Elizabeth Ito, Halima Lucas, and Miguel Puga
Presented with support from Rise Up Animation

How can you ensure that your ideas and stories are authentically crafted, produced, and represented? Join these showrunners, executives, and creatives as they discuss the shifting landscape and how to make sure your voice is heard in today’s cultural moment.
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May 13 — 5:00pm
Beyond Binary Storytelling In Kids’ Media

Featuring Lindz Amer, Ernesto Javier Martínez, Noelle Stevenson, and a presentation from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media's Madeline Di Nonno

Queer representation opens doors for everyone. Seeing queer issues, joys, triumphs, and celebrations on screen can give young audiences an avenue to understanding themselves and others. Activists, authors, and filmmakers discuss inclusive programming for kids and underscore the importance of discussing gender and sexuality in age-appropriate ways.
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May 20 — 2:00pm
Going Global: Diverse Storytelling in a Diasporic World

Featuring Reginald De Guillebon, Eché Janga, Guillaume Lorin, Jean-Charles Mbotti Malolo, Koji Nelissen, and Nienke Poelsma
Co-presented by Cinekid

How is diverse storytelling for young audiences supported globally? International film institutions, independent studios, directors, and producers discuss crafting films creatively and sustainably through dedicated initiatives, workshops, co-production partnerships, and more.
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May 27 — 5:00pm
A Solid Foundation: Funding Kids’ Media as a Key Investment in Inclusion

Featuring Marie Jamora and Yalda T. Uhls
Presented with support from Center for Scholars and Storytellers

Children’s media has the enormous potential to help foster a diverse, inclusive society through thoughtful stories and broad representation. Funders are key in supporting independent filmmakers and arts organizations to get this work made and screened. This panel will highlight best practices of funders, filmmakers, and cultural organizations collaborating on positive change.
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