Thu | Nov 14, 2019

Local animation studios seek partnerships in France

Published:Thursday | October 17, 2019 | 9:58 AMKimberley Small / Staff Reporter
A participant at Kingstoon Animating Jamaica Creativity held at the Alfred Sangster Auditorium at Utech in April.
Kenia Mattis, multiple award-winning animator at Kingst00n and head of ListenMi Caribbean.
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As part of the Business of Sustainability for Studios (BOSS) programme, the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) and the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), with support from the World Bank, led a second delegation with eight Jamaican animation and film production studios to the Marché International des Programmes de Communication (MIPCOM) content trade show held in Cannes, France. The conference, which started on October 12, serves as a platform to promote animation projects, network with international industry professionals, and seek opportunities for animation features to be produced in Jamaica as outsourcing projects.

The delegation comprises studios from the second cohort of the BOSS programme, a project aimed at supporting youth employment in the digital and animation industries in Jamaica.

MIPCOM kicked off with MIPJunior – two days of the world’s largest children’s TV industry event – and continued for four days of networking, content screenings and conferences. This year, for the first time in Jamaica’s history, 10 Jamaican animation projects have been showcased in the Screenings Library at MIPJunior to attract content buyers and secure co-production deals.

Consistent presence important

Margery Newland, YEDAI Project Manager said the Office of the Prime Minister explained that continuous attendance at industry events was crucial to the growth of the emerging sector. She said, “Consistent presence at events such as this is important in demonstrating to the global animation community that Jamaica is serious about, and has indeed made significant strides in the growth and development of the local industry. We are now working towards securing our place in the international markets.”

The delegation was led by Film Commissioner Renee Robinson - who echoed Newland’s sentiments about sustaining presence. “We cannot underestimate the importance of consistent presence in-market. Every year our companies gain stronger experience and a deeper international networking foothold. Many of the successes and visibility that we are starting to reap in this industry were seeded a few years ago; and believe me, there are even more opportunities being planted now for future fruition,” Robinson said.

Already, national delegations have participated in the 2018 staging of MIPCOMin Cannes, and Kidscreen Summit in Miami, USA in February 2017, 2018, and 2019. This resulted in two international animation productions outsourced to local production companies, including a 44-episode project for a Jamaican animation series with Indian studio, Toonz Media.

ListenMi Caribbean, a member of the first cohort, also secured a deal to produce a live action short film to be aired as part of Sesame Street’s Season 50.

kimberley.small@gleanerjm.com