As Shadow And Act has covered, the animation industry still has a lot of work to do when it comes to becoming more racially inclusive. But it appears a step in being made in that direction thanks to the newly-launched Universal Animation Writers Program, the first program of its kind to combine television and film content into one animation writing program.

The program was created by Universal Filmed Entertainment Group’s (UFEG) Global Talent Development & Inclusion (GTDI) department and will serve as a program for film and television content. The paid program will take place over the course of a year and, with partnerships from Dreamworks Animation, Illumination and Universal 1440 Entertainment, will develop “an inclusive group of talent.” This group will “build upon the Studio’s commitment to telling stories with unique narratives that appeal to and reflect the vast diversity of its audiences.”

Prospective writers can submit their samples for a Film Track or one of two Television Tracks geared towards either preschoolers aged 3-5 or children aged 6-11. Film Track Writers will create two feature-length scripts for development consideration, and Television Track writers will develop two pilot scripts.

“Representation in the family entertainment space is so important as all young audiences should be able to see themselves and their families portrayed onscreen,” said GTDI’s senior VP Janine Jones-Clark. “We’re excited to further expand on our commitment to make authentic content with this animation-focused program, and we look forward to harnessing more access and awareness for emerging voices in both film and television who want to make an impact on family audiences everywhere by telling their own stories.”

Writers can apply now at through December 16 with the program beginning in June 2020.


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Photo: Universal

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