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BTGF is presented by and in collaboration with the following:

Breaking the Glass Frame: Women and Animation, Past, Present, Future is a symposium that brings together scholars, educators, historians, independent and studio artists, industry personnel, legal experts, journalists and curators. The goal of the symposium is to explore and celebrate women’s historical and contemporary contributions to commercial and independent animation and academia, as well as to examine and discuss the ways in which discrimination and bias continue to confront women working within the animation industry and academia today. 

Our keynote speakers are writer/director Brenda Chapman (BraveThe Prince of Egypt) and producer and creative director Brown Johnson (Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon). 

The symposium will take place on October 5th, 6th and 7th, 2018, at the University of Southern California, close to many of the major U.S. animation studios and universities. The symposium includes paper presentations, moderated panels, screenings, a VR exhibition, and networking lunches and receptions. Panel and research paper topics to be addressed include the history of women in animation with a special presentation by Mindy Johnson, author of Ink and Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation; mentorship and advocacy in commercial and academic settings; sexual harassment and gender/racial inequality; strategies for positive change now and in the next generation; and women working with cutting-edge technologies. In the evening programs, we will present a curated screening of animated shorts by women and a 2018 documentary featuring women at Titmouse animation production company.


The Symposium is hosted in partnership with the UCLA Animation Workshop, CalArts, and Women in Animation (WIA). The Symposium is organized by USC Animation & Digital Arts Professor Sheila M. Sofian, USC Animation & Digital Arts Associate Professor Lisa Mann, UCLA Animation Workshop Chair & Professor Celia Mercer, and CalArts Experimental Animation Director & Faculty Maureen Furniss. The BTGF branding and animation was designed by Megan Simon. The symposium was developed from a concept by Dr. Bella Honess Roe (Senior Lecturer, University of Surrey, UK), who also coordinated the paper panels and CFP.