BWA Studios to host Black in Animation Awards on 14 November

Strengthening the voice of inclusiveness, Black Women Animate (BWA Studios) announced that the second edition of Black in Animation Awards will be held on 14 November. The theme of the ceremony this year is ‘Lift While We Climb’.

“Last year, we partnered with Cartoon Network to bring long overdue praise to pioneers who have paved the way for today’s generation of animators to dream big and pursue careers in animation. In Honoring Our Stories, we also reminded the animation industry at-large of our contributions both past and present,” BWA Studios wrote on their official website.

“This year, we are refusing to settle for the current status quo. This year, our mandate is to Lift While We Climb and in doing so we are ensuring that there is always a constant pipeline for Black creatives into this industry both equitably and authentically,” they added. 

There are seven award categories:

Trailblazer Award- The Trailblazer Award is given to a pioneer who has paved the road for us to run on. This person may have been one of the first or onlys in the room. They have certainly played a significant role in establishing the presence of Black voices in animation. 

Narrative Creator Award- The Narrative Creator Award is given to the figure who has played a significant role in transforming representation in animation by lending their voice and talent to the advancement of authentic and diverse storytelling.

Cultural Innovator Award- It is given to the person who has centered the voices of black people in animation in an innovative way as a content creator or influencer. 

Rising Star Award- This award goes to the winner of the 2020 Animated Shorts Competition. This year, there are over 80 submissions. The winning film is selected for its story, animation style, and innovative qualities.

Lifetime Achievement Award- The Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to an inspiring Black creator who has gifted us with a legacy of dynamic storytelling. 

International Award- The International Spotlight included in the event program proudly acknowledges an artist outside of the U.S. who is creating inspiring work that resonates across the diaspora.

Next Gen Award- The Next Gen award goes to a content creator who is making room for this generation of Black talent in animation. 

The Award show nominating committee comprises of:

  1. Camille Eden- Nickelodeon recruiting and talent development VP, Women in Animation talent development chair

2. Marlon West – Disney effects head 

3. Sidney Clifton – Jim Henson & Deluxe Animation EP, BWA Studios supervising producer

4. Nicole Rivera – Cartoon Network original series development VP

5. Carl Reed- Lion Forge Animation president

6. Jinko Gotoh – Netflix producer, Women in Animation VP

7. Lynne Southerland- director and showrunner

Prior to the main award ceremony BWA Studios are conducting a virtual Boot Camp on 13-14 November. Various panel discussions, workshops and presentations will be held. CG modeling & set dressing masterclass will be presented by Pixar‘s Christina Faraj. 

The Award show will be hosted by Grammy Award-winning British rapper Estelle.