Netflix has announced the third session of the Netflix Animation Foundations Program, a mentorship initiative that expands access for underrepresented talent to compete for entry-level roles in animation.
Netflix will be partnering with Black ‘N Animated for this edition. Black ‘N Animated is an organization working on career growth and empowerment for Black students and professionals in the animation industry. They will identify up to 50 participants for the session. Those looking for more information on how to apply can do so by contacting Black ‘N Animated.
The program is divided into six tracks: art and visual development, storyboarding, writing, CG/VFX, production management, and an informational track that covers part of all these disciplines. All tracks are run virtually and run for four months.
Participants are matched with a mentor from Netflix Animation, where they receive advice on the industry, their careers, and guidance on editing and curating portfolios, writing samples and resumes. Mentees are also invited to lectures on the animation pipeline to help them prepare to apply for internships, training and apprentice programs, or entry-level positions in the animation industry.
Netflix’s first session had 74 mentees chosen by the non-profits Latinx in Animation and Exceptional Minds, where participants have gone on to be interns at Nickelodeon Studios and Dreamworks, character designers at Marvel, and freelancers at Disney Television. The program’s second session ran with 52 mentees sourced from Illuminative and Veterans in Media & Entertainment.
A former program mentee, Michael Johnson, says, “I’ve established a great relationship with my mentor and feel that the Netflix staff was genuinely working to guide me to the next step in my professional career path. I challenged myself to develop an animated pilot during the program and I feel more confident in my writing.” A mentor from the program, Maddie Lazer (Production Manager, Ultraman: Made in Japan) also says she grew as an instructor during her involvement. “This was the first time I had the opportunity to participate in long-term mentorship one-on-one with a mentee. I felt it made the experience more meaningful than the groups I have supported in the past.”
Netflix said, “Through the Foundations Program, we’re excited to increase access to networking and job opportunities for emerging artists and create more opportunities for representation in the animation industry.”