Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, has reiterated the Government’s commitment to implementing the required framework to strengthen the creative industries, including the animation sector.
Speaking at a panel discussion during yesterday’s (June 20) opening of the KingstOOn animation conference and film festival at the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Mona campus, Mr. Hylton said critical to this feat is the re-examination of legislation, policies, and programmes that will bolster industries.
One such policy, he said, is the Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (MSME) and Entrepreneurship Policy, now before Parliament, which is intended to facilitate growth and strengthen the role of entrepreneurs.
Outlining other measures being undertaken, Minister Hylton said that the Factories Corporation of Jamaica (FCJ) is looking at various locations to set up incubators, which will “benefit the creative sector, micro enterprise in general and certainly the animation sector.”
The Minister noted that apart from the framework that the Government will implement, players within the industry need to ensure that their business plans are properly structured in order to access the necessary financing.
World Bank representative to Jamaica, Giorgio Valentini, in noting the potential of the local animation industry said that Jamaicans need to “believe in themselves and market themselves.”
“The World Bank is here to provide Jamaica with supporting mechanisms to stimulate innovation and creativity within the sector,” he pointed out.
Executive Director of Reel Rock GSW Animation, Wayne Sinclair, in his contribution, stated that animation can provide developing nations with a competitive advantage over other countries.
“The key for us is to execute a cohesive approach to the development of the industry,” he said.
The discussion session on the topic: ‘Challenges and Opportunities in the Animation Industry: how should Jamaica position itself?’ was moderated by Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Donna Marie Rowe.
Other panellist included Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Montreal-based ToonBoom Animation, Joan Vogelesang; Managing Director of the Gleaner Company, Christopher Barnes; Director at Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC), Professor Hopeton Dunn, along with other players in the international animation arena.
The two-day conference and film festival, being held at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, is designed to serve as a catalyst for the various efforts to develop the animation industry, and attract investors.
It also seeks to give visibility to the pool of talented young Jamaicans and regional artists; identify key challenges in the industry, and examine feasible solutions, which will allow Jamaica to be part of the global network for outsourcing and creative content.
KingstOOn is organised by the Government in partnership with the World Bank, the Canadian High Commission, and JAMPRO.
By Chris Patterson, JISReporter