Attention: Studios – DISCOMICS Joburg

Attention: Studios – DISCOMICS Joburg

African comic book, game development and animation studios are invited to take part in the Johannesburg edition of the DISCOP content, adaptation right and project market slated from 14 to 16 November – and join the DISCOMICS Joburg umbrella.

DISCOMIC Joburg

Taking advantage of Africa’s incredible reservoir of comic books, animation and video-gaming talents, the African Animation Network and the organizers of the DISCOP Markets have recently launched a new initiative, DISCOMICS, to bring these talents under the sight of international buyers and producers.

Twenty creators, graphic artistsgame developers and animators will be offered the possibility to attend DISCOP Johannesburg 2018 and enjoy VIP privileges throughout the 3-day market as well as the following complimentary benefits:

Each DISCOMICS talent will also have the opportunity to:

  1. Make a 5-minute presentation during the DISCOMICS TALENT SHOWCASE to be held in front of key players seeking fresh talent and influencing production and programming decisions.
  2. Have a short form animation included in FUPiTOONS FESTiVAL which will be screening at the Joburg Film Festival and touring Africa in 2019
  3. Have a non-exclusive SVOD license for inclusion in the African Animation Network bouquet on MTN Shortz which is live in South Africa and will be expanding into other African countries in the near future

1500+ delegates driving content acquisition, production and sales business in Sub-Saharan Africa are expected to take part in a market specifically tailored to meet the demand of a rapidly changing audiovisual landscape under the influence of a marked preference for home-grown content, the emergence of local talents, viewers’ migration to mobile screens and faster and cheaper internet.

400+ independent producers and global distributors will also attend the 3-day market with finished content, adaptation rights, works in progress and projects in development, as well as 350+ acquisition executives representing broadcasters, premium cable channels, mobile operators and streaming platforms servicing Sub-Saharan Africa.

Open to up-and-coming talents from all over Africa, the DISCOMICS offer – which aims to identify, grow and support a pipeline of talented creators– is only valid until Friday 12 October. Please respond immediately to info@discop.com for further details and receive our DISCOMICS PROMO CODE and further instructions.

For more information contact:

DISCOP | info@discop.com | TEL + 1 323 782 13 00
African Animation Network | nick@poptheculture.co.za

 

The African Animation Network is a pro-profit, talent-driven social enterprise and open network that endeavors to build a sustainable African animation industry.

Creative Lab DEADLINE Extension

Creative Lab DEADLINE Extension

Hey! There is news about Cartoon Network Africa’s Creative Lab

Creative Lab is looking for the next African talent in animation, don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to submit your project and get a chance to bring it to life with one of the best international kids channels!

The deadline has been extended to September 10th, so take your chance and send them your amazing creative ideas!

Submit your project NOW -> https://www.cartoonnetworkhq.com/CreativeLab

#CNCreativeLab

Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab DEADLINE Extension

Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab DEADLINE Extension

 

The African Animation Network is a pro-profit, talent-driven social enterprise and open network that endeavors to build a sustainable African animation industry.

Asylum 2018 hosts Animation du Monde

Asylum 2018 hosts Animation du Monde

Asylum 2018 hosted the fourth round of the Pan-African Annecy – MIFA Pitches Animation du Monde.

Nini image courtesy of Sharack Munene, 1 of the top 2 projects pitched @ Asylum 2018

Nini image courtesy of Sharack Munene, 1 of the top 2 projects pitched @ Asylum 2018

The shortlisted projects that competed at Asylum 2018 (in no particular order) were:

  • Four.Fiver.One represented by Jackson Onyango Konyango (Kenya)
  • Kara represented by Lydia Mugure (Kenya)
  • Nini represented by Shadrack Munene (Kenya)
  • Relief represented by Mumo Liku (Kenya)
  • Nairopolis represented by Anton Omondi (Kenya)
  • Surface represented by Harto Muhato (Kenya)
  • The Next Rainbow represented by Salim Busuru (Kenya)

After an extremely tight round of competition, the judges’ decision was unanimous and the 2 projects selected to compete in the continental final at DISCOMICS Joburg (in no particular order) are:

  • Nini represented by Shadrack Munene (Kenya)
  • The Next Rainbow represented by Salim Busuru (Kenya)
The Next Rainbow image courtesy of Salim Busuru, 1 of the top 2 projects pitched @ Asylum 2018

The Next Rainbow image courtesy of Salim Busuru, 1 of the top 2 projects pitched @ Asylum 2018

EXPANDED FOOTPRINT:

Asylum 2018 is the largest pop culture event in East Africa– a partnership between Nairobi Comic Con (NAICCON) and Pro Series Gaming (PSG)- and was the fourth of 5 events in Africa that is hosting a regional round of the Annecy – MIFA Pitches Animation du Monde. An expanded footprint of events is made possible through a partnership with DISCOMICS. DISCOMICS is a new enterprise founded by DISCOP Markets and the African Animation Network in partnership with ICON Comic & Gaming Convention (ICON CGC), Lagos Comic Con (LCC) and NAICCON.

2 projects will be selected from each event and invited to attend the continental Grand Finale at DISCOMICS Joburg (14-17 November):

  • LCC, Lagos, Nigeria, 15 September (NB: Entries open 24 July & close 31 August: register HERE)

NB: LCC is the final round of competition of the Annecy – MIFA Pitches Animation du Monde and we will be accepting video pitches for those that are unable to attend the event.

GRAND FINALE:

At the Grand Finale at DISCOMICS Joburg 2 projects will be selected to represent Africa and compete against their global counterparts at Annecy/MIFA 2019. A high percentage of projects that are pitched at Annecy/MIFA go on to secure finance and/or co-production partners. Ingrid Agbo’s L’arbre à Palimpseste, the project which represented Africa at Annecy/MIFA 2018, went on to close a pre-sale with Gulli Africa for a series.

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT:

Perhaps the biggest value for entrants who proceed to the Grand Finale at DISCOMICS Joburg is the Annecy MIFA – Animation du Monde – Skills Programme which includes pitching workshops, training sessions and one-on-one meetings with 3 industry experts selected by Annecy/MIFA ahead of the Grand Finale.

 

The African Animation Network is a pro-profit, talent-driven social enterprise and open network that endeavors to build a sustainable African animation industry.

Punch Monkey Studios: Steering their Pilot

Punch Monkey Studios: Steering their Pilot

Andrew Phillips and Howard Fyvie’s interview felt like a class in comedy writing. They riff off ideas for jokes, funny characters, or situations. It’s way too early on a Saturday morning for most adults to have this much energy. But this is the childlike joy that they are injecting into the pilot their studio, Punch Monkey Studios is making.

One of their favourite characters is Punch Monkey. Andrew explains that “Punch Monkey… is literally a punching bag for this villain… who has a lot of anger issues.” When it came time to register a name for their company this punching bag kept popping up. Howard explains, “There is a nice little coincidence to it. When you add jokes to a script you punch it up… which is a service we provide.”

Punch Monkey image courtesy of Punch Monkey Studios

Punch Monkey, image courtesy of Punch Monkey Studios

Perhaps Punch Monkey will make a cameo appearance in Punch Squad which they are developing with Turner Asia Pacific (APAC). “We are basically being paid by Turner to create an 11 minute pilot for our dream project,” Andrew says. Punch Squad is about a group of B grade law enforcers in the form of a cookie, a girl, a unicorn, a cactus, and a strawberry. They protect Rex City with the ultimate goal of becoming a superhero team. There’s just one little problem – they don’t have any superpowers. “When we pitch it to people we say that it is Guardians of the Galaxy meets Doc McStuffins,” Howard explains.

Andrew and Howard herald from Cape Town and have known each other for almost 10 years. But they didn’t see each other as creative partners when they met. “Howard was this serious filmmaker, director guy, and he didn’t see me as a potential filmmaker,” Andrew explains. “And, equally I didn’t see him as a writing partner” Howard explains. Their comic chemistry only started during their individual participation in the animation based competition, StoryLab. They didn’t win, but they immediately got back on the horse and pitched their idea for what would become Punch Squad at the Turner Kids’ Animation Pitching Competition at DISCOP Joburg 2016. This time they walked away with the prize.

Howard James Fyvie of Punch Monkey Studios

Howard James Fyvie of Punch Monkey Studios

Andrew Phillips of Punch Monkey Studios

Andrew Phillips of Punch Monkey Studios

They had won free accreditation to Annecy 2017 and $2000. Their show idea had also caught the eye of Turner Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Getting to the pilot stage wasn’t guaranteed. They took the money they had won to improve their pitch bible. Andrew emailed 85 people, but only 17 responded to his emails and 14 agreed to take meetings with them. “You have to be open to all relationships in the beginning. It’s such a huge, vast abyss that you are diving into when you want to make a show with a network.” Howard explains. They were able to make an impression on Turner Asia Pacific. “When we met with Silas [Hickey, Senior Director, original production, and development APAC] we chatted with him for an hour without mentioning our show. He got to know us. He got to see our energy, our passion, and our humour” Howard says about their fruitful meeting.

Punch Squad image courtesy of Punch Monkey Studios

Punch Squad image courtesy of Punch Monkey Studios

Andrew and Howard believe that creators in the animation industry need to enter competitions like Animation du Monde. “We wouldn’t have met Silas at Annecy if we didn’t win at DISCOP 2016,” Andrew explains. The most important part about winning was more invisible according to Howard, “We won a whole bunch of confidence between me and Andrew. People are taking this seriously. Someone from Cartoon Network is giving us notes on this thing. It must be a real thing if people want to help us shape it. So let’s make it better.”  The story has gone through many changes as the pair try to find the right balance. “Sometimes you have to work backwards to find what is the heart of the show. And, then you bury the heart in the middle of the thing you are creating.” Andrew explains.

The pair advise that it is important to be willing to adjust to the input from networks early on in the development process. “A perfectly polished pitch bible will sometimes scare people off. Most of the guys want to get involved very early in the development process. A perfectly polished pitch bible, they are like err, what are we going to add to this? You have already gone very far in the wrong direction.” Andrew says about pitching to potential broadcasters.

Zandi of Punch Squad image courtesy of Punch Monkey Studios

Zandi of Punch Squad image courtesy of Punch Monkey Studios

The pitch process is more about building a relationship than just trying to sell your project. “Sometimes you hear people when they are pitching. They aren’t passionate about their work or themselves. They are monotonous. No one is going to buy into you.” Howard explains. If it sounds like a job interview, it is. “You are going to be in a relationship with these guys for five years.’ Howard continued.  Some networks like Cartoon Network want to work with the creator(s) of a project. “They want to invest in the creator, like more so than the project alone. There are other networks out there who are more interested in the project. So they might get you to develop the project to a certain place and they will say goodbye and give it to other creators to develop.” He explains, “You might not be as good as you need to be. Sometimes they buy into you, but will mentor you till you are good enough to fit into their brand.”

They started the process to create the pilot during Annecy 2017 after Turner APAC’s buy-in. But pilots don’t put food on the table. “We don’t spend a lot of time working on the show. [The time we’ve spent] working on the show comes up to about 2 or 3 months” Howard said. Andrew is a scriptwriter for the Supa Strikas television series. At the moment it is the most successful animated series from South Africa. Howard writes and produces live-action videos.

When they do come together they work hard. Their creative process includes playing a game. The rules limit them to an eclectic mix of characters and situations. “You have all of these pieces, elements, characters together. How can we make each other laugh? So we just bash them together.” Andrew explains. Even as they explain the process they start riffing jokes. It’s effective, very effective. As they talk I couldn’t help but laugh as they come up with one absurd scenario after the other.

Andrew and Howard know that making a pilot doesn’t automatically mean they have a first season in the bag. At Annecy 2018 they had been shopping around for projects at different stages of development. “…you just don’t ever know which one is going to hit…like anything where luck is involved the more you hedge your bets the more opportunities you have to hit on something,” Andrew explains. They are taking everything in their stride and looking to the future with hope.

 

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.

Animation du Monde @ DISCOP Zanzibar

Animation du Monde @ DISCOP Zanzibar

The third round of the Pan-African Annecy – MIFA Pitches Animation du Monde was contested at DISCOP Zanzibar.

Hiraeth image courtesy of Kayla Archer, 1 of the top 2 projects pitched @ DISCOP Zanzibar

Hiraeth image courtesy of Kayla Archer, 1 of the top 2 projects pitched @ DISCOP Zanzibar

The shortlisted projects (in no particular order) were:

  • Broken Wing represented by Riccardo Capecchi (SA)
  • Zamo & The Guppies represented by Warwick Kay (SA)
  • Dimbit represented by Feben Elias (Ethiopia)
  • Unwanted Guests represented by Comfort Arthur (Ghana)
  • My Friendly Tokoloshe represented by Khanye Mfeka (SA)
  • Hiraeth represented by Kayla Archer (SA)
  • Almasi Project represented by Mwara Kung’u (Kenya)

In the end the judges decision was unanimous and the 2 projects selected to compete in the continental final at DISCOMICS Joburg (in no particular order) are:

  • My Friendly Tokoloshe represented by Khanye Mfeka (SA)
  • Hiraeth represented by Kayla Archer (SA)
My Friendly Tokoloshe image courtesy of Khanisa Mfeka, 1 of the top 2 projects pitched @ DISCOP Zanzibar

My Friendly Tokoloshe image courtesy of Khanisa Mfeka, 1 of the top 2 projects pitched @ DISCOP Zanzibar

EXPANDED FOOTPRINT:

DISCOP Zanzibar, aligned with the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) which has been described as the largest cultural event in East Africa, was the third of 5 events in Africa that is hosting a regional round of the Annecy – MIFA Pitches Animation du Monde.  An expanded footprint of events is made possible through a partnership with DISCOMICS.  DISCOMICS is a new enterprise founded by DISCOP Markets and AAN in partnership with ICON CGC, Lagos Comic Con (LCC) and Nairobi Comic Con (NAICCON).

2 projects will be selected from each event and invited to attend the continental Grand Finale at DISCOMICS Joburg (14-17 November):

  • NAICCON, Nairobi, Kenya, 11 August – 12 August (NB: Entries open 04 July & close 3 August: register HERE)
  • LCC, Lagos, Nigeria, 15 September (NB: Entries open 24 July & close 31 August: register HERE)

At the Grand Finale at DISCOMICS Joburg 2 projects will be selected to represent Africa and compete against their global counterparts at Annecy/MIFA 2019.  A high percentage of projects that are pitched at Annecy/MIFA go on to secure finance and/or co-production partners.  Ingrid Agbo’s L’arbre à Palimpseste the project which represented Africa at Annecy/MIFA 2018, went on to close a pre-sale with Gulli Africa for a series.

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT:

Perhaps the biggest value for entrants who proceed to the Grand Finale at DISCOMICS Joburg is the Annecy MIFA – Animation du Monde – Skills Programme which includes pitching workshops, training sessions and one-on-one meetings with 3 industry experts selected by Annecy/MIFA ahead of the Grand Finale.

 

The African Animation Network is a pro-profit, talent-driven social enterprise and open network that endeavors to build a sustainable African animation industry.

FUPiTOONS adds 6th date FFAA Partnership

FUPiTOONS adds 6th date FFAA Partnership

FUPiTOONS FESTiVAL, the first “Made in Africa for Kids” animated short film festival, adds a 6th date to its Pan-African Tour via a partnership with Association Ivoirienne du Film d’Animation (AIFA) and the Festival du Film d’Animation d’Abidjan (FFAA)

The inaugural FFAA, organised by AIFA, kicks off this weekend (6 – 8 July 2018).  The festival’s intention is to reveal the importance of animation socially and culturally in developing countries.  It endeavours to be an important cultural event that will offer its participants a vision of animation and its leading role in the employment and development of emerging countries in the world for years to come. For one weekend every year, Abidjan will become the capital of African animation.  Like festivals such as the Annecy International Animated Film Festival & Market/MIFA in France or the African Animation Film Festival (CANIMAF) in Cameroon, FFAA wants to be international and unifying around a common passion for animation.

FUPiTOONS @ Festival du Film d'Animation d'Abidjan

FUPiTOONS @ Festival du Film d’Animation d’Abidjan

Created on December 13, 2014, AIFA, has set several global objectives to promote animation in Côte d’Ivoire and Africa.  These include:

  • improving the visibility of animation professionals
  • revealing the benefits of producing animation
  • stressing the importance of animation in developing countries
  • making the field of animation accessible

The scope of activities of AIFA, which for the moment is limited to the city of Abidjan will expand to reach the rest of Côte d’Ivoire and Africa.  AIFA is an ambitious young organization that still has many things to accomplish, but above all the many challenges that they need to overcome, the most important is the organization of its first animation festival.

According to Abel Kouame, President of AIFA; “The primary goal of FFAA is to promote animated film in Africa whilst simultaneously demonstrating to the public, local and national government the benefit derived by Côte d’Ivoire hosting an event of this kind.  We’re welcoming the African and global animation industry to Abidjan!  This is why we’re excited to be partnering with the African Animation Network (AAN) and being part of their FUPiTOONS Pan-African Tour.”

Nick Wilson, Head of Projects of AAN, continues; “We’ve been working on the ground with AIFA for over a year now supporting each others initiatives.  It is an honour to partner with the inaugural FFAA and have FUPiTOONS screened at this event.  Core to touring FUPiTOONS is audience development for African animation which is aligned with the goals of AIFA and FFAA.  We’re looking forward to this being the first of many editions of FFAA!”

FFAA however, is not only about audience development it also encompasses a skills development programme which includes a series of workshops, conferences, meetings and networking events.  With a collection of local and international speakers and partners, FFAA, is building an event which is both relevant and has global appeal.  Those in the area over the weekend are encouraged to go and support!

The next screening of FUPiTOONS will be at DISCOP Zanzibar on 13 July 2018 all attendees of the market are invited.  Animation producers are reminded to join the AAN newsletter and keep abreast of news and calls HERE.


 

FUPiTOONS FESTiVAL, le premier festival de courts métrages d’animation “Made in Africa for Kids”, ajoute à la 6ème date de son tour panafricain via un partenariat avec l’Association Ivoirienne du Film d’Animation (AIFA) et le Festival du Film d’Animation d’Abidjan (FFAA)

L’inauguration du FFAA, organisée par l’AIFA, débute ce week-end (6-8 juillet 2018). L’intention du festival est de révéler l’importance de l’animation socialement et culturellement dans les pays en voie de développement. Il s’efforce d’être un événement culturel important qui offrira à ses participants une vision de l’animation et son rôle de leader dans l’emploi et le développement des pays émergents dans le monde pour les années à venir. Pour un week-end chaque année, Abidjan deviendra la capitale de l’animation africaine. A l’instar des festivals du Festival international du film d’animation d’Annecy et du Marché / MIFA en France ou du Festival africain du film d’animation (CANIMAF) au Cameroun, le FFAA veut être internationale et fédérer une passion commune pour l’animation.

Créé le 13 décembre 2014, l’AIFA a fixé plusieurs objectifs globaux pour promouvoir l’animation en Côte d’Ivoire et en Afrique. Ceux-ci inclus:

  • améliorer la visibilité des professionnels de l’animation
  • révélant les avantages de la production d’animation
  • soulignant l’importance de l’animation dans les pays en voie de développement
  • rendre le domaine de l’animation accessible

La portée des activités de l’AIFA, limitée pour le moment à la ville d’Abidjan, s’élargira pour atteindre le reste de la Côte d’Ivoire et l’Afrique. L’AIFA est une jeune organisation ambitieuse qui a encore beaucoup de choses à accomplir, mais surtout de nombreux défis à relever, le plus important étant l’organisation de son premier festival d’animation.

Selon Abel Kouame, Président de l’AIFA : “L’objectif principal de la FFAA est de promouvoir le cinéma d’animation en Afrique, tout en démontrant simultanément au public, aux autorités locales et nationales, de l’intérêt que présente la Côte d’Ivoire à accueillir un événement de ce genre. ” C’est pourquoi nous sommes ravis de travailler en partenariat avec African Animation Network (AAN) et faisant partie de leurs tournée panafricaine FUPiTOONS.”

Nick Wilson, chef de projets de AAN, continue : “Nous travaillons sur le terrain avec l’AIFA depuis plus d’un an en soutenant les initiatives de chacun.” C’est un honneur de s’associer à l’inauguration de la FFAA et d’avoir des films FUPiTOONS projeté à cet événement.  Le noyau de fonctionnement de FUPiTOONS est le développement d’audience pour l’animation africaine qui est aligné avec les objectifs de l’AIFA et FFAA. Nous attendons avec impatience que ce soit la première des nombreuses éditions de la FFAA! “

FFAA, cependant, ne concerne pas seulement le développement d’audience, mais aussi les programmes de développement des compétences qui comprennent une série d’ateliers, de conférences, de réunions et d’événements de réseautage. Avec une collection de conférenciers et de partenaires locaux et internationaux, FFAA est en train de construire un événement à la fois pertinent et d’envergure mondiale. Ceux dans la région pendant le week-end sont encouragés à aller et soutenir!

La prochaine projection de FUPiTOONS sera au DISCOP Zanzibar le 13 juillet 2018 tous les invités du marché sont invités.  Les producteurs d’animation sont invités à se joindre au bulletin de l’AAN et à se tenir au courant des nouvelles et des appels ICI.

 

The African Animation Network is a pro-profit, talent-driven social enterprise and open network that endeavors to build a sustainable African animation industry.