Animation du Monde 2020 launches across Africa

Animation du Monde 2020 launches across Africa

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!label_animation_monde_okAs 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.

AnimationDuMonde_AFRICA_NildoEssa_DamiSolesi

Nildo Essa (left of Mozambique) and Dami Solesi (right of Nigeria) will represent Africa at the Animation du Monde finals at Annecy 2019.

“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

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for news on when the preliminary rounds will be in your region!

 

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.

DISCOMICS IQEMBU: AFRICA to service GLOBAL animation industry

DISCOMICS IQEMBU: AFRICA to service GLOBAL animation industry

DISCOMICS Joburg


DISCOMICS founders; African Animation Network (AAN) & DISCOP Markets announced at a press conference at the recent DISCOP Joburg event, the official launch of DISCOMICS IQEMBU.

 

DISCOMICS Iqembu Logo

AAN’s core mission is to create a sustainable African animation industry and central to achieving this goal is industry related education. Through its work across the continent over a number of years, AAN has established a Pan-African partner network of national animation associations, animation festivals and pop culture events that now includes (subsequent to an equity investment made by DISCOMICS) the 3 longest-running comic conventions in Africa; Nairobi Comic Con in Kenya, ICON Comic & Games Convention in South Africa and Lagos Comic Con in Nigeria.

DISCOMICS African Footprint


DISCOMICS FOOTPRINT:

Based on this inclusive network and DISCOP’s footprint of markets across the continent, DISCOMICS IQEMBU, with the support of key international industry partners, including; Toonz Media Group, Baboon Animation and Toon Boom Animation; will drive a 3-pronged strategy forward.

The 3-pronged strategy announced last week includes the following:

  1. DISCOMICS FUKAMELAincubate in isiZulu
  2. DISCOMICS SHESHISAaccelerate in isiZulu
  3. DISCOMICS IQEMBUcluster or group in isiZulu

DISCOMICS IQEMBU STRUCTURE


INDUSTRY PARTNERS:

Based in India, Toonz Media Group is a global leader in animation production producing over 10,000 mins of animation per yearBaboon Animation, based in New York, is a world leading animation IP development team having created Emmy Award Winning and Oscar nominated writing, directing, and design for over two decades. Toon Boom Animation, based in Canada, is the leading 2D animation software service provider in the world today.

AAN will co-develop animation production curricula, including a TOONZ ANIMATION FUKAMELA, and a specialised animation writing curriculum, a BABOON ANIMATION FUKAMELA. When the partners are happy with the quality of the work produced, roughly after six months, the TOONZ ANIMATION SHESHISA and BABOON ANIMATION SHESHISA will launch. Both Toonz Media Group and Baboon Animation will supply service work to sustain the talent pool, pipeline and infrastructure.

In partnership with Toon Boom Animation, AAN will co-develop a specialised 2D animation curriculum, a TOON BOOM FUKAMELA. Inclusive of the TOON BOOM FUKAMELA will be training for the creative leads/trainers.  Once these creative leads have finished their training, the TOON BOOM SHESHISA will launch, an internationally accredited TOON BOOM CENTER OF EXCELLENCE.

 

SIGNING OF AGREEMENTS:

CEREMONIAL SIGNING OF AGREEMENTS

CEREMONIAL SIGNING OF AGREEMENTS
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Nick Wilson (Head of Projects & Content AAN & Co-founder DISCOMICS), Rathan Sam George (Director of Operations Toonz Media Group), Tim Mangwedi (Director, DISCOP Africa), Harry Ravelomanantsoa (Toon Boom Representative & Sales agent – Middle East & Africa), Mike de Seve (Creative Director Baboon Animation)


QUOTES FROM THE PARTNERS:

NICK WILSON HEAD OF PROJECTS AND CONTENT AANIndia is arguably the global leader in animation production and we can think of no better partner than Toonz Media Group.“ Nick Wilson, Head of Projects and Content at AAN and co-founder of DISCOMICS, says; “Furthermore, North America, and particularly the US, has been at the forefront of animation IP development since the inception of the animation industry.  The plethora of Emmy Awards and Oscar nominations that the Baboon Animation team has been responsible for clearly illustrates that.  And, having a global leading technology partner like Toon Boom, ensures we work to the highest global standards.  We’re exceptionally proud to have these 3 partners in the DISCOMICS IQEMBU. The long-term future of African animation looks exceedingly healthy.”


MIKE DE SEVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR BABOON ANIMATION

Mike de Seve, Creative Director of Baboon Animation has this to say of the partnership; “Many regions have built thriving animation industries starting with service work– later growing to be true creative voices in the world market. Over the years we’ve watched it happen in Japan, Korea, India and more recently China. African countries can be next: its talent pool is immense, and its vision unique.  Baboon is thrilled and honored to be here at the beginning of this amazing adventure!”


P.JAYAKUMAR CEO TOONZ MEDIA GROUP

Toonz Media Group is excited to start this journey with Africa. As the industry on the continent grows, it will become capable of sustaining itself. Education has been a cornerstone in our strategy in India to grow our own industry. Investing into the local talent pool through developing a curriculum is just as important to developing the African animation industry.“ says P. Jayakumar, CEO of Toonz Media Group.


FRANCOIS_LALONDEToon Boom has, for many years, been looking at opportunities to grow its market share in Africa”, says Francois Lalonde, VP Sales and Marketing, Co-President of Toon Boom Animation Inc.; “We know of the huge creative talent pool on the continent and we’ve been trying to tailor our strategy around the unique requirements of the African animation industry. This partnership with DISCOP, AAN, Toonz Media Group and Baboon Animation is extremely exciting on many levels for Toon Boom as it is directly aligned with our vision in Africa.”


PATRICK ZUCHOWICKI CEO OF DISCOP MARKETS
Patrick Zuchowicki, CEO of DISCOP Markets is equally optimistic about the future of animation on the continent; “AAN and DISCOP have worked tirelessly to bring together global market leaders for its DISCOMICS IQEMBU initiative.  We’ve done extensive research into global trends in animation production and consumption to bring together global leaders in a best-of-breed solution and we are confident of the continued growth of this sector in Africa where over 60% of the population is under the age of 35.  There is an incredible opportunity for significant job creation across the continent through DISCOMICS IQEMBU.”


DISCOMICS IQEMBU: IDEATION TO DISTRIBUTION

For more information:
www.discop.com

https://africananimation.net/

 

The African Animation Network is a pro-profit, talent-driven social enterprise and open network with a core mandate to empower African animation professionals and build a sustainable African animation industry.

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 with a core mandate to empower African animation professionals and 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 with a core mandate to empower African animation professionals and 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 with a core mandate to empower African animation professionals and 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.