If you have an animation project you have been working on that’s pitch ready, or one that’s been sitting on a hard drive somewhere, it’s time to dust it off. The Pan-African Animation du Monde 2020 preliminary pitch season is kicking into gear!As a Pan-African brand custodian of the Annecy – MIFA Pitches Animation du Monde pitching competition the African Animation Network (AAN) is launching the 3rd annual regional prelims across 5 events, starting with ICON Comics & Games Convention (ICON CGC). ICON CGC is the oldest pop culture event of its kind in Africa.
Animation du Monde’s mission is to give animation projects in developing animation industries from across the world the opportunity to participate at the highest level internationally during the MIFA Pitches. The MIFA Pitches are arguably the biggest animation focused pitching forum in the world and takes place against the backdrop of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival & Market/MIFA in France. A place where animation filmmakers can celebrate the craft while building relationships and a deeper understanding of the industry. During the 2018 Animation du Monde Finals in Annecy; Ingrid Agbo, from Togo, secured an historic pre-sale for her project L’arbre à Palimpseste which is currently in pre-production.
Agbo qualified with her project through the 2017 regional prelims run by AAN at DISCOP Abidjan and thereafter, won one of two places to represent Africa at the 2018 Animation du Monde Finals whilst competing at the continental finals at DISCOP Johannesburg. Through her journey she was able network with other African animation filmmakers who were able to help her refine her project through to the 2018 Animation du Monde Finals in France. Through the relationships she had built she has been able to recruit African talent from across the continent to work on the first season of L’arbre à Palimpseste as she builds partnerships with broadcasters from across the world.
Through its DISCOMICS footprint– an initiative run by DISCOP Markets and AAN– and which includes partnerships with 3 of Africa’s longest running comic conventions, AAN will be hosting 4 regional prelims in Johannesburg (at ICON CGC), Abidjan (DISCOP Abidjan), Lagos (at Lagos Comic Con), and Nairobi (Nairobi Comic Con). Because, the partners are always looking to create new opportunities for creators across Africa, AAN has partnered with the Accra Animation Film Festival (AAFFia) to add a 5th regional prelim.
At the 2018 continental finals held at DISCOP Johannesburg, The Trouble Makers presented by Nildo Essa (of Mozambique) and The Makerbolts presented by Dami Solesi (of Nigeria) won the two places to represent Africa at the 2019 Animation du Monde Finals in Annecy. At the continental finals held at DISCOP Johannesburg, all the finalists got to work on their projects with industry heavy hitters who were both judges and mentors. These included names like Alexis Ducord & Arthur de Pins (Co-directors of Zombillenium), Mike de Seve (Creative Director at Baboon Animation), Rathan Sam George (CCO of Toonz Media Group), and Géraldine Baché (Head of Projects at MIFA). As part of the Annecy – MIFA Animation du Monde – Skills Programme, a programme of workshops, masterclasses, one-on-one project evaluations and pitch practice sessions were run at DISCOP Johannesburg ahead of the continental final. Participants were given valuable insights into both improving their projects and their pitching techniques.
“The value of entering a pitch competition like Animation du Monde goes far beyond winning or losing. Through it you build relationships, your confidence to sell your project, and most importantly the insight of industry professionals with years of experience on projects from around the world.” says Nick Wilson, Head of Projects & Content at AAN. “Animated short films and series have shown great potential for both continental and international partnerships, with a higher possibility to raise funding, get them produced and reach audience. It’s with this in mind that there will be a strong focus on short films and series for this year’s pitching competition“
Garland-Waide Bradford has a career path that has varied from corporate work as a public relations manager in communications strategy to media work as an insert producer for factual television. These were purposeful choices to understand how to integrate creative choices with market requirements in turning content into brands. Growing up in a township meant that these educational opportunities were out of reach due to access and financial constraints. But, having paid his dues through work, Bradford is a dynamic thinker who owns a skills set that is third industrial revolution ready. He completed his BA Honours in Media Studies in 2017. His focus has been on media management and has been studying models of sustainability in the media for several years. He started his journey with the African Animation Network as Head of Communications in 2017 where he hopes to use his skills to empower aspirant animation professionals and member associations to further their global reach.