ACCESS: VFX programme where mentors teach young students animation on computers

Foundry celebrates its continued commitment to ACCESS: VFX mentoring programme

This renewal marks Foundry’s fourth consecutive year providing invaluable support to the programme, that now has a network of more than two thousand creatives worldwide

Foundry, the leading developer of creative software for the media and entertainment industries, today celebrates supporting over 2,293 mentees to VFX industry mentors as part of its two-year collaboration with the ACCESS:VFX mentorship programme for young people in the creative industries.

ACCESS:VFX is a global non-profit organisation focused on driving inclusion and diversity in the VFX, animation and gaming industries.

The e-mentoring programme was created in 2019 and began with 100 mentees looking for routes into the industry. Today, that same initiative has partnered over 2,293 budding creatives aged 13 to 65 with dedicated mentors working in VFX, animation and gaming – an increase of 155% in global sign ups since 2021. The programme has a global reach that matches mentors and mentees in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and recently expanded to mainland Europe with the support of new sponsor, Netflix. Its rapid growth in the number of engaged mentees and mentors from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures is working to help broaden diversity and inclusivity across the industry.

The programme helps those entering, or re-entering the creative industries, allowing mentees to forge valuable connections and support from industry professionals into a vast range of roles. The most desired roles being a 3D animator (32%), 2D animator (18%) and a compositor (16%).

ACCESS: VFX has added brand-new updates to the programme for 2023 that includes a useful Q&A feature. Users fill out their details and can choose to sign up as a mentor or to ask the VFX community a question. The new feature means that those looking for one-off advice from professionals can quickly seek the answers to their questions without becoming a part of the programme.

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Sofi, who joined as a mentee and now works in VFX Production, says, “Prospela has been providing invaluable personalised guidance and support after my recent studies and during my mid-career change. With the help of experienced mentors from the VFX industry, I have been able to learn, grow in confidence and achieve my professional goals.”

Raiyana, who is now flourishing as a VFX Editor at Dupe VFX, comments on being a mentee, “Being connected to a mentor through ACCESS: VFX, has helped me to be more confident with my choices and how to navigate problems whilst sharing each other’s experiences with work.”

“Our mentors’ remarkable work is crucial to help drive change. The VFX, animation and gaming industries are difficult to break into for those just starting out, and even more so for those with underprivileged backgrounds. Thanks to Foundry’s continued support we can keep providing the next generation with the necessary tools and skills for their creative careers, whether that’s nearby or the far corners of the world,” says Simon Devereux, Founder of ACCESS: VFX “Foundry’s collaboration is fundamental to the global growth of the e-mentorship scheme and our goal to diversify and expand the pool of talent across all disciplines.”

“At Foundry, we understand the significance of providing new talent with accessible tools and support to facilitate their job search, be it for students or lifelong learners. As part of our dedication to increasing accessibility for aspiring creatives from diverse backgrounds to grow and thrive in the industry, we are delighted to announce our continued support for the Access VFX mentor programme for the fourth consecutive year.” comments Jen Goldfinch, Senior Director of Marketing at Foundry.

Sign up for ACCESS:VFX’s e-mentoring programme here or make use of the new Q&A feature here.

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