Sun | Aug 20, 2017

kingstOOn Festival to bOOst local animation

Published:Saturday | January 30, 2016 | 1:00 AM

The second staging of Kingston's premier animation festival, KingstOOn, was recently launched at JAMPRO in New Kingston.

Last year, the two-day festival featured a host of industry bigwigs and animation enthusiasts, and culminated the KingstOOn Animation Competition. KingstOOn is also the first of its kind in Jamaica, and according to Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell, the island is set to stand out as a leader in animation in the Caribbean.

Aside from animation being a billion-dollar business globally, the minister also encouraged youths to join the process since it opens doors for entrepreneurship and personal development.

"It presents a lot of opportunities, not just for our country, but for the Caribbean. As a country, we are putting our people in a position in which they can actualise and generate employment ... . I want to reach out to our young people. Here is an opportunity. Too much of our young people have become a part of the cynical world that we live in, we can no longer afford that luxury. We need to shake up ourselves because there is no way these youngsters cannot aspire to be billionaires," he said.

President of JAMPRO Dianne Edwards said that animation has the potential to become a thriving industry in Jamaica, if the right steps are taken to facilitate the process. She disclosed that JAMPRO has already drafted policies to secure a solid foundation for the growth of animation in Jamaica.

"Our aim is to develop a strong and sustainable local animation industry, as well as to export non-traditional services. We want to create jobs overseas for skilled animators and we want to take our creative product to the world. Jamaica has a large talent pool of artists, designers, and we think there is a great potential for animation in this country based on our work with some of them. We are also capable of becoming the regional hub for animation, and we feel we have the right attributes to establish ourselves as a quality provider," she said.

Edwards also said that JAMPRO would seek to expose local talents to corporate Jamaica as well as to educate the general population about the possibilities which can derive from an animation industry.

KingstOOn Festival will be held from March 12-13 at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing arts. Interested persons may email info@kingstoonfest.com or follow Kingstoonfest on Twitter and Kingstoon on facebook.com for more information.

"We are fully on board ... . We see education as the core or what will drive individuals to evolve. Edna Manley is ready, we are engaged and we hope that as we go forward we will have bigger collaborations ... . We have always seen ourselves as central to animation in Jamaica," Dr Nicholeen DeGrasse-Johnson, principal at Edna Manley told the press.

KingstOOn 2016 is a partnership between the Caribbean Development Bank, the World Bank and the Government of Jamaica.

- Curtis Campbell