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.
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.
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:
- DISCOMICS FUKAMELA – incubate in isiZulu
- DISCOMICS SHESHISA – accelerate in isiZulu
- DISCOMICS IQEMBU – cluster or group in isiZulu
Based in India, Toonz Media Group is a global leader in animation production producing over 10,000 mins of animation per year. Baboon 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:
QUOTES FROM THE PARTNERS:
“India 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 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!”
“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.
“Toon 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 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.”