Head Judge & Mentor for Animation du Monde 2020 Announced / DISCOP Abidjan
The Pan-African Animation du Monde pitching competition has, in its short history, come to represent a window of opportunity for creators of animation content on the continent. DISCOP Abidjan is gearing up to welcome the best and brightest for the 3rd edition of this prestigious contest at the market. Both of these partnerships align with the African Animation Network’s (AAN) cornerstones in creating a sustainable creative industry in Africa. Giving producers market access as well as an opportunity to build relationships within the industry that will result in turning ideas into content.
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 take place against the backdrop of the Annecy Int. Animated Film Fest’ & Market/MIFA (Annecy/MIFA).
“The last 3 years of having partnered with AAN to host Animation du Monde Pan-Africa have been really exciting for us at MIFA.” Said, Géraldine Baché, Head of Education & Projects at MIFA. “We have been able to identify and mentor talents that we would ordinarily have never had access to. And this is really at the crux of what we are intending to do with Animation du Monde; firstly, and very importantly, skills development as many of the contestants have never had any formal training but are extremely talented and passionate and, secondly, for the top talents, to give them access to the global animation industry during the MIFA Pitches. I am looking forward to resuming my role as the Head Judge & Mentor at the Continental Finals of Animation du Monde at DISCOP Johannesburg in November and working with more amazing African animation talents!”
Contestants have until the 17th of May to submit their project and can do so by clicking HERE. Video pitches will be accepted for those not able to attend the preliminary regional round at DISCOP Abidjan however, candidates who are able to attend the event will be given preference. The competition regulations can be viewed HERE.
Wilfrid Paré, General coordinator of Association Burkinabè du Cinéma d’Animation (ABCA), describes his Animation du Monde experience: “Initiating ABCA’s partnership with AAN in 2017, was one of the most beautiful things that happened to me professionally. I have seen Africa express itself in its diversity and beauty through enthusiastic and creative young people who proudly carry their uniqueness. Uniqueness that they try to communicate to the world at the DISCOP Markets and ultimately, if they are successful, at Annecy. The Regional and Continental phases of Animation du Monde, which I took part in, accelerated my skills development. I met people that are convinced that it is possible to tell beautiful stories on the continent. It moved me and made me aware that another Africa is possible, a CREATIVE Africa.”
Africa’s animation industry is still developing. In recognition of the challenges that creators face in being able to reach a market there is a strong focus on animated short film and series this year. These formats have created opportunities in the past for African producers to forge continental and international partnerships to produce their content.
The variety of stories that exist in Africa is a testament to the diversity of its more than 1.2 billion people. Animation du Monde is creating a platform for the world to learn more about this population. The most widely spoken languages across the continent might be English, French, Arabic, and Portuagese, but story is creating a new means to understand who we are as Africans. Something our two African finalists, Nildo Essa (Mozambique) and Dami Solesi (Nigeria)hope to achieve at the Animation du Monde MIFA pitches finale taking place at the Annecy/MIFA 2019.
DISCOP Abidjan is the second of 5 preliminary rounds of the Pan-African Animation du Monde 2020. Through the 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 (at DISCOP Abidjan), Lagos (at Lagos Comic Con), and Nairobi (at 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 Continental Finals held at DISCOP Johannesburg 2018, 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 (COO 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 of all the insight of industry professionals with years of experience with projects from around the world.” says Nick Wilson, Head of Projects & Content at AAN.
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.