AfroAnimation Summit Honors Independent Filmmakers

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Burbank, CA, April 8, 2024 – Today, AfroAnimation, the biggest annual event for diverse and BIPOC animators and creators, shared the names of this year’s first AfroAnimation Summit Icon Awards honorees and the films in the running for the FWRD Awards. This fourth AfroAnimation Summit is happening from April 10 to 12, 2024, in Burbank—known as the Media Capital of the World.

Kemp Powers, Camille Eden, Bruce Smith, and Jermaine Turner will be recognized during a special lunch on April 10th. AfroAnimation isn’t just a summit; it’s a movement bringing together the biggest group of industry leaders, pioneers, animation studio executives, artists, and creative talents. This movement aims to boost representation and inclusion across the entertainment world.

Kemp Powers, the director behind Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, will lead the summit’s first panel on April 10, titled ‘Developing Original Stories and the Art of Diverse Storytelling.’ Additonally, Camille Eden, Vice President of recruitment, talent development, and outreach at Nickelodeon will take part in the ‘Unveiling the Untold Narratives of Women in Entertainment: Triumphs, Challenges, & Journeys’ panel on April 11. Other panels will cover a wide range of topics from “Star Wars and Beyond” to the insider perspective on Pixar’s latest Sparkshorts, the making of “Invincible Fight Girl,” and an in-depth discussion about being Black in the animation industry with several industry veterans.

At this year’s Icon Awards, AfroAnimation will also honor Bruce Smith, the mind behind Disney+’s “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder,” and Jermaine Turner, director of adult genre animation at Netflix, as pioneering figures. Smith has been a vital part of the animation world for over thirty years and was one of the directors of the Oscar-winning short “Hair Love.” Turner at Netflix has contributed to creating popular adult animated shows such as Cyberpunk: Edgerunners and Arcane. The summit, hosted at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel, will celebrate the art of diverse storytelling with the FRWD Awards Dinner on April 11. Award semifinalists span categories from Best Series to Best Animation Director, highlighting notable works and talents.

“I founded the AfroAnimation Summit to drive a surge in diversity—both in the talent pool and the stories we tell across the creative industry,” Keith White, founder and CEO of AfroAnimation, said. “I’m proud of our impact over the last three years, uniting over 6,000 creative professionals with varied, compelling stories that resonate with broad audiences. I’m looking forward to celebrating our achievements with industry professionals and summit attendees at this year’s FWRD Awards Dinner and the Icon and Pioneer Awards luncheon.”

This summit also emphasizes gender representation and introduces panels related to gaming, sync licensing, scriptwriting, voice acting, and starting an animation production company. A new Exposition Hall will provide immersive experiences, and an Intern Hall offers a space for newcomers to network and explore industry opportunities. High school and college students are expected in large numbers, with recruitment and networking sessions planned with representatives from major Hollywood animation studios. Notably, the summit will feature Alain Bidard, an acclaimed director from Martinique known for his work that blends Afro-Caribbean and global cultural themes in animation. Annual attendees include a global community of artists, creators, animators, producers, storytellers, character designers, writers, voice talents, VFX artists, and film/TV executives. Sponsors for this year’s summit feature big names like DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, and Netflix Animation, to mention a few.

“We are also excited to launch an innovative mobile app platform that enables creatives to swipe right to discover career and freelance jobs in the entertainment industry at this year’s event,” White added.

For more information and updates on the event, visit

About AfroAnimation 

AfroAnimation stands as a beacon for creative empowerment, paving avenues for employment, and championing increased diversity and female representation within the animation sector. Our mission revolves around fostering connections between global creators of color and leading entities in film and television, facilitating annual gatherings that serve as a platform for discussions on pertinent industry issues, insight exchange, recruitment opportunities, indie film screenings, networking, and celebration of achievements through awards.

About Burbank

Dubbed the “Media Capital of the World,” Burbank stands as a gem in the crown of Los Angeles’ travel hotspots, nestled right beside the glitz of Hollywood. This city is the proud home of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood and lies in close proximity to Universal Studios Hollywood, enriching the local scene with entertainment magic. With a selection of 19 hotels catering to various budgets, visitors are spoilt for choice. The city buzzes with activity, offering unique experiences such as live TV show tapings, horseback riding excursions to the Hollywood Sign, helicopter tours taking off from Hollywood Burbank Airport, and treks through the Hollywood Hills. Beyond its status as a central hub for entertainment production, Burbank entices with vibrant commercial districts boasting an extensive variety of shops and eateries. For more details on Burbank’s attractions and amenities, visit

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