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NYICFF Industry Forum Announces 2021 Virtual Dates


The New York International Children’s Film Festival Industry Forum will take place virtually this year over five Thursdays from April 29 through May 27.

The no-fee series will bring together filmmakers, industry leaders, and artists to share projects and discuss key issues around representation for kids.

The 2021 forum will place particular emphasis on the importance of diverse representation both on and behind the camera and in all aspects of entertainment for young audiences, from development to marketing and beyond. The Festival has long been at the forefront of the call for dynamic and diverse programming for kids and families and recognizes the significant impact the content they consume can have on their understanding of the world around them.

In addition to the Festival’s annual slate of short and feature films from around the world, special programs such as Breaking the BinaryCelebrating Black Stories, and Girls’ POV have amplified often underrepresented voices and stories. The Industry Forum initiative, launched in 2020, is an outgrowth of the organization’s ongoing commitment to ensuring thought-provoking and intelligent stories are available to all audiences.

“We’ve long been aware of the necessity for young people to see themselves reflected in the media they consume and the authenticity reflected in the work of creative teams with wide-ranging backgrounds and viewpoints,” said Executive Director Nina Guralnick. “After the events of the past year, we are once again proud to offer a platform for thought-provoking discussion and actionable ideas.”

NYICFF 2021 Industry Forum Events
  • April 29 — Behind the Curtain: Making Career Pathways Transparent
  • May 6 — Owning Your Story: BIPOC Creators, featuring Elizabeth Ito (Netflix’s City of Ghosts)
  • May 13 — Beyond Binary Storytelling In Kids’ Media, featuring Lindz Amer (Founder and CEO, Queer Kids Creative) and Ernesto Javier Martínez (author, scholar, and award-winning filmmaker, La Serenata)
  • May 20 — Going Global: Diverse Storytelling in a Diasporic World, co-presented by Cinekid and featuring Eché Janga (NYICFF 2021 feature Buladó) and Nienke Poelsma (Head of Cinekid for Professionals)
  • May 27 — A Solid Foundation: Funding Kids’ Media as a Key Investment in Inclusion, featuring Marie Jamora (director, NYICFF 2018 short Flip the RecordQueen Sugar and founder, Cinema Sala)

“The City of New York is proud to be a founding partner and current supporter of the 2021 New York International Children’s Film Festival and Industry Forum,” said the Commissioner of NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Anne del Castillo. “The annual festival brings together filmmakers, industry leaders and artists to celebrate and honor outstanding work, while also raising awareness about the importance of diverse and dynamic storytelling in children’s programming.”

The Oscar-qualifying film festival held its inaugural industry event in 2020 with Toward an Inclusive Future, a two-day forum featuring panels, presentations of new work, and speakers. Guests included Karen Rupert Toliver (Oscar-winning producer, Hair Love, and SVP Creative, Sony Pictures Animation), Dice Tsutsumi (Oscar-nominated co-director, The Dam Keeper, and founder of Tonko House), and a keynote address from Julie Ann Crommett (VP of Multicultural Audience Engagement at The Walt Disney Studios and Secretary and Co-Chair of the Inclusion Committee of Women in Animation).

Additional speakers and participants to be announced. To register for events and sign up for event updates, visit nyicff.org/industry