First Regional Afro Descent Film Festival and Animation ‘Oscars’ to Open its Doors
Kingston, Jamaica – Hundreds of professional animators and artists from across the globe and the Caribbean region – including executives from Cartoon Network and South Africa’s most successful animation studio Triggerfish – are gathering this weekend in Kingston for an international animation conference and the first Afro film festival in the region.
This initiative is led by the Government of Jamaica in collaboration with the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank, and will take place on March 12 and 13 at the Edna Manley School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston.
Incoming Minister of Energy, Science and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley said “Jamaica’s animation industry is maturing and there is scope for more members of our population, and especially our youth, to capitalize on the potentials within the sector. Under this new administration, our commitment is not only for job creation but for the development of the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector and to ensure that an increasing number of youths will be able to find gainful employment in this area and to begin creating their own jobs, while maximizing the growing opportunities that are being generated locally and internationally.”
Under the themes of Learn, Earn and Display, KingstOOn 2016 will comprise of an animation conference, a competition for Caribbean artists, a marketplace to link content producers with buyers, and an International Film Festival.
A record number of 938 entries from 93 countries were received and entrants will compete for awards in the categories of Storyboard, Character Design, Short Film and Concept in the Regional Competition, and the categories of International Student Film, International Short Film and International Feature Film in the International Film Festival.
KingstOOn is a part of the Youth Employment in Digital and Animation Industries Project, funded by the World Bank. “KingstOOn is about economic development and job opportunities for Caribbean’s youth in particular,” said World Bank Country Director, Sophie Sirtaine. “For years we have been working on these issues with Governments, private sector, and other key social actors in the region, and we realized the need to think outside the box and look for new solutions to the regions crippling youth unemployment”.
This project builds on successful pilots and the first KingstOOn conference which helped create new startups and position the Caribbean as a potential hub for the animation and tech industry. Caribbean countries that will be represented at KingstOOn are Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, St. Kitts & Nevis, Martinique and Jamaica. Other countries to be represented are Algeria, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Spain, Nigeria, Switzerland, Slovakia, South Africa and Tanzania.
Shortlisted finalists are currently being reviewed by a panel of international and local judges, including executives from Bento Box, Triggerfish Studios and Cartoon Network Latin America and the Caribbean; Oscar nominee Studio Manager from Guatemala; and renowned VFX artists and lead animators.
“At Cartoon Network Latin America, we support the Latin American animation industry. We are always on the lookout for new talent that can be a great fit for what we do. That is why we are attending KingstOOn: it provides the right setting for us to get a feel of the industry, while at the same time giving us the opportunity to make a contribution to it”, said Hernan LaGreca, Senior Director of Original Productions for Cartoon Network Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Awards will be announced Sunday, March 13th, at KingstOOn 2016 Awards Ceremony. Following the event, all winners from the Regional Competition will be offered the opportunity to enter the selection process for a full scholarship at Capilano University Summer Programme, and the opportunity to negotiate distribution rights with Global Over The Top Content Distributors.