Netflix’s ‘Animation Foundations Mentorship Program’ to uplift new underrepresented talent

Netflix has announced that it is launching a new mentorship program for emerging creatives, particularly from underrepresented communities looking to break into the animation industry.

Seeking to build on the impactful storytelling of productions like Maya and the Three, Ridley Jones and Over the Moon, the studio is looking to deliver more of these empathy and understanding-building stories to audiences, and increase the diversity of representation behind the screen at the same time. Determined to continue producing these types of stories, Netflix has developed this new mentorship program; the goal is to build equity and access to underrepresented early creatives, giving them an opportunity to bring their unique and varied stories to the animation space. 

The four-month Netflix Animation Foundations Program levels the playing field in a highly competitive industry by broadening opportunities and reach by preparing underrepresented talent to compete in the early creative talent pools. 

Program participants will be matched to a mentor from Netflix Animation Studio. Mentees will receive mentorship on the industry, career advice, and guidance with editing and curating professionally-styled portfolios, writing samples, or resumes, so they are prepared to apply for internships, training programs, and entry level positions within animation. The idea is to prepare them for a career in animation, helping them compete against those with industry connections or a top degree.

For the fall 2021 launch of this program, Netflix has partnered with LatinX in Animation and Exceptional Minds to identify candidates from the LatinX and neurodivergent communities.

  • LatinX in Animation (LXiA) represents a diverse group within the animation, VFX and gaming industries dedicated to uniting a talented pool of innovators with a heart to create exceptional stories across multiple platforms. They do so by organizing activities and events focused on networking, camaraderie, community service, education, communication and professional development. LXiA provides the resources necessary to promote and further develop Latinx creatives and decision-makers in the animation, VFX and gaming industries.
  • Exceptional Minds (EM) is the only autism education organization that provides technical instruction in the digital arts while fully integrating behavioral training into the curriculum. EM has a three-year, full-time Professional Training Academy that is unique in that it combines the skills of artists, instructors, technicians, and behaviorists into a completely articulated curriculum based on idiographic, empirically validated principles of instructional design.