Photo1As part of a national initiative to raise awareness of gender stereotypes in media, students at Small Factory Productions were invited to create original characters for an animated cartoon short film. Among the contest winners in grades 1-5 were Quinn DeNunzio of Navesink (front row, far right), Paige Jaenicke of Fair Haven (back row, second from left), Stephen Makin of Rumson (front row, second from left), and Isabella Scott of Sea Bright (back row, far right).

Press release from Small Factory Productions 

“Children constantly amaze me…they see the world with a neutral eye,” explains Christopher Dudick. “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.”

As the owner and founder of Small Factory Productions explains, it was only natural for the students of the local animation school to to submit their original drawings and stories into the “If You Can See It, You Can Be It!” contest — a project designed to bring awareness to gender stereotypes in children’s media and entertainment. Small Factory developed the contest in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, sponsored by the Friendship Train Foundation.

Nine winners were selected to participate in a workshop that was held in March at the Small Factory studio in Fair Haven, where they drew and wrote their original animated cartoon short and song. The finished productions will be posted to the websites and social media platforms for Small Factory and for the Geena Davis Institute, the nonprofit founded by the Academy Award winning actor/ advocate (and Olympic semifinalist archer) best known for her roles in Thelma & Louise, Beetlejuice and A League of Their Own.

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It’s the moment most television producers pine for: a trip to the Big Apple, a walk down the red carpet and a chance to go home with a golden-winged woman holding an atom — a coveted Emmy award.

For Fair Haven’s Chris Dudick, this dream has become reality, as he and two local children will suit up for the Emmy Awards for their nomination in the children’s programming category.

Dudick, who runs Small Factory Productions in Fair Haven, and his two local kids — Molly Siciliano of Red Bank and Kylin Lamar-McCastle of Fair Haven — received the nod last month for their Saturday morning cartoon series, Small Factory Flicks.

“It’s a black-tie event,” Dudick said. “We’re going to show up there and, hopefully, win.”

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