Age of Action

Stories for Everyone

Considering the under-representation or negative portrayal of certain identities such as race and gender, we ask ourselves: what steps does the industry need to take in order to bridge the gap and make sure that every child feels represented? In the first session, we talk about gender in film and series. Are we well on our way or is there still a lot to change and improve? In the second session, we tap into the need for cultural diversification – both on and off-screen. The roundtable talk will highlight experiences and solutions in supporting stories representing the world as it is. 


16:30 – 17: 10 | Gender Representation
Diana Sno & Thorn Roos de Vries

17:20 – 18:00 | Beyond Inclusion; Making Space for More Perspectives
Wa’qaar A Mirza, Sandhya Nankani & Jillian Emanuels

Diana Sno
A screenwriter, actress and presenter! In 1994 she graduated in acting from the HKU/ Faculty of Theater and played various roles in series and plays. Diana is well known for her role of Mathilde Carillo (1997-2000) in the Dutch soap series Goede tijden, slechte tijden. In addition to her acting, she presented and reported for RTL Nieuws, School TV Weekjournaal (Teleac/NOT) and Taalspel (NTR). Diana also presented her radio program SnoTime! for NCRV on Radio2 on the weekend mornings. She began working behind the scenes at various radio and television productions and discovered a new passion: writing! She is now a screenwriter for tv-series and films such as SpangaS, Misfit and Remy & Juliyat. She is also a freelance literary editor at publishing house Luitingh-Sijthoff. 
 
Recently, as a screenwriter for SpangaS de Campus and having a non-binary kid herself, she introduced the non-binary character Lesly, played by Thorn Roos de Vries – also non-binary. It sparked a storm of responses on the internet. Together with Thorn, she will discuss how important representation of diverse identities in the media is for children. 

Thorn Roos de Vries
Thorn Roos de Vries is an actor, performer and non-binary activist. As Drag King Thorn Vineyard, Thorn has performed on the biggest stages in the Netherlands, from the Paradiso to the main stage of Pride Amsterdam. Thorn also has its own party in Club NYX: Kingsize. After working as a video editor for 5 years, Thorn made the step from behind the scenes to in front of the camera and can now be seen as Lesley in the daily series SpangaS de Campus. As an activist, Thorn is committed to increasing the visibility of non-binary people, both by volunteering for the classroom, and as maker of the podcast Couplegoals, together with partner Mandy, showing that love is just love.
Thorn Roos de Vries is an actor, performer and non-binary activist. As Drag King Thorn Vineyard, Thorn has performed on the biggest stages in the Netherlands, from the Paradiso to the main stage of Pride Amsterdam. Thorn also has its own party in Club NYX: Kingsize. After working as a video editor for 5 years, Thorn made the step from behind the scenes to in front of the camera and can now be seen as Lesley in the daily series SpangaS de Campus. As an activist, Thorn is committed to increasing the visibility of non-binary people, both by volunteering for the classroom, and as maker of the podcast Couplegoals, together with partner Mandy, showing that love is just love.

Wa'qaar A Mirza
Wa'qaar A Mirza is co-founder and global CEO of Safi Ideas and Safi Productions. He is an accomplished British entrepreneur, author, speaker, producer and director with over 30 years’ experience in direct response marketing strategy. Much of his work has been in cultural and religious production with a focus on content working towards greater equality and visibility for marginalised groups. Mirza has produced programmes for National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. In 2020 Safi Productions launched Zayn and Zayna’s Little Farm, a pre-school animated show dedicated to seeding inclusive ideas and teachable moments in kindness, mindfulness, family, and community within all children.
Wa'qaar advocates that broadcasters should not play it safe; children should see programs that offer a diverse range of human characters in real-world scenarios to help them identify with the diverse communities around them through communication and creativity. Preschool programming still falls short of that.


Mirza will talk about how we need to move past tokenism, the lack of diversity in children’s programming and the importance of showing broad representation in media to young children.

Sandhya Nankani 
Sandhya is the founder of Literary Safari, a studio based in New York City that has been creating inclusive kids' media and curricula since 2008 for clients in the education and entertainment space. An award-winning producer, she is also the creator and executive producer of The Story Seeds Podcast, the hit kids and family show that empowers young people's creativity and voices, and the literacy app HangArt which was selected within the Best of 2016 EdTech by Common Sense Media. Born and raised in Ghana, as well as India and the US, Sandhya holds an undergraduate degree in History and a Masters in International and Public Affairs from Columbia University. She is a member of the Education Committee of the Museum of Arts and Design and a founding member of KIDMAP (Kids' Inclusive and Diverse Media Action Project), an interdisciplinary group that has developed best practice toolkits for children’s media producers, in an effort to make products that are more equitable, diverse and inclusive. Her writing has been published by The Lily (Washington Post), The New York Times, Quartz, Ms. Magazine, Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and Toca Boca Magazine, and she has presented at conferences organised by Google EdFoo, Games for Change Festival, OMEP (World Organisation for Early Childhood Education and Care) World Conference, and a UNESCO Forum on Global Citizenship Education. 
She will talk about what media- and filmmakers can do to shape children’s worldview and self-perception.

Jillian Emanuels
Jillian is a mother, an educational consultant, a project coordinator and a trainer. She is an applied psychologist, who specializes in training and coaching children and families. Her expertise lies in developing interventions for this specific target group, and activities in the form of programs, learning modules and workshops. Through her experience of working in youth welfare organisations, schools and families, Jillian came to the realisation that changing one’s behaviour starts with changing one’s mindset. For the last 13 years, Jillian has sought to deepen her knowledge about anti-racism. Over this period  she has organized dialogue evenings and lectures with the New Urban Collective, an organisation that stands for inclusivity within professional education for students from a migrant background. 

She recently developed training for parents and teachers to provide them with the tools to address the topic of racism with children. The training promotes mindset awareness of the widespread prejudices that exist about people from different cultural backgrounds.