Students in grades 1 – 5 called to create and submit characters that will star in an animated cartoon short to raise awareness of gender stereotypes in media.
Fair Haven, NJ – Small Factory Productions invites students in grades 1 – 5 to enter their original drawings and stories in the "If You Can See It, You Can Be It!" contest. Small Factory developed the contest in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and its sponsor, the Friendship Train Foundation, to bring awareness to gender stereotypes in children's media and entertainment.
Children's programming is one of the most imbalanced genres in prime time television, with less than a third of all on screen speaking characters coded as girls or women. Stereotypes can affect many of the choices and opinions children make in their lives. Organizers hope this project and the work of the children who enter open hearts and minds to the different characters that make up our real and imaginary worlds.
Contest entries are due by February 20. Entries should no larger than 8.5" x 11" and accepted in all forms of media: pencil, crayon, paint, marker, and computer-generated. Please include the following information with entry: child's name, name of school, age, grade level, teacher’s name, parent/guardian name, parent/guardian email, telephone number, and submission description. Download the entry form at www.mysmallfactory.com.
Ten winners will be selected from contest submissions to create a cartoon at Small Factory Productions, a television and music production studio located at 560 River Road, Suite C in Fair Haven, NJ. Participants will develop their characters, backgrounds, props, scripts and music for the cartoon. Small Factory and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media will produce and post the final cartoon on their websites.
"Children constantly amaze me. They see the world with a neutral eye," said Christopher Dudick, Owner, Small Factory Productions. "Superheroes come in wheelchairs. Girls explore the universe in rocket ships. The shy boy stands up to the bully. These are the characters our young artists dream up. It was natural for us to partner with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to run this contest. There is a big disconnect with how our children see the word and how the media is marketing to them. The children's work will, hopefully, awaken some people to the need for change."
“We're thrilled to inspire children and the next generation of content creators to develop these animated videos with Small Factory’s support,” said Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. "Our Institute is committed to eliminating harmful gender stereotypes in our media, and these videos are an important new tool for educating children and their families. The stark gender inequality in media aimed at little children is significant, as television and movies wield enormous influence on them as they develop a sense of their role in the world. And because young kids tend to watch the same television shows and movies repeatedly, negative stereotypes get imprinted again and again.”