JIS News

Story Highlights

  • This year’s staging of the KingstOOn animation festival promises to be a success, following the two screenings last weekend, which attracted large audiences.
  • She tells JIS News that KingstOOn will be keeping track of the number of persons attending and participating in the workshops as well as persons who get employment directly through connections made at KingstOOn.
  • Mrs. Newland highlights that animation is a growing industry globally, with the potential for 5,000 jobs in the Caribbean.

This year’s staging of  the KingstOOn animation festival promises to be a success, following the two screenings  last weekend, which attracted large audiences.

The screenings, held at the Caribbean Institute for Media and Communication (CARIMAC) and the Creative Production and Training Centre (CPTC) from March 6-7,  were a success.

“The screenings were well attended, and we got a lot of positive feedback,” Animation Specialist in the Digital and Animation Industry Project of the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology, Mr. Robert Reid, tells JIS News.

There will also be screenings of the entries being shown during the festival,  Youth Employment in Digital and Animation Industries Project Manager, Margery Newland, tells JIS News.

The KingstOOn Animation Conference and Film Festival, to be held  from March 12-13 at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts, is being used to develop the animation industry by the Ministry. The festival falls under the project called the Youth employment in the Digital and Animation Industry (YEDAI).

The project, which aims to train 2,500 animators over a five-year period, is being undertaken through a loan of USD$20 million over five years from the World Bank.

“KingstOOn Animation Festival will provide opportunities for persons in the industry, or who are interested in becoming a part of the industry, to get some exposure as to the intricacies of the business and the technical side of animation,” Mrs. Newland says.

“There will also be opportunities to meet some very important global players in the industry,” she adds.

Entrants in the KingstOOn Animation Festival will also win cash prizes, as well as a scholarship from a University in Canada.

There will be panel discussions at the festival, which will focus on how to find funding for projects, educational opportunities (how to get training in animation), as well as the business side of animation.

“The festival will provide an opportunity for people to get exposed and get information, hence the theme, ‘learn, earn and display’, as there will be learning opportunities, earning opportunities, particularly for the persons who have entered the competition, and display opportunities for those who have submitted their work,” Mrs. Newland explains.

The festival received over 900 entries for the competition.

She explains that the potential of the industry is so wide and varied that “one individual may get a job to create a character, or a job to do a five-minute or five-second snippet, so what you see as a final animation feature is broken down into a lot of bits and pieces that are put together, which are the jobs that are contracted out.”

“So, persons need to be aware of this practice, so that they can hone their skills and be able to get these opportunities when they become available,” Mrs. Newland says.

She tells JIS News that KingstOOn will be keeping track of the number of persons attending and participating in the workshops as well as persons who get employment directly through connections made at KingstOOn.

Mrs. Newland points out  that for this year, the YEDAI project is focusing on the training of trainers, and has thus far completed a module with 21 persons who are currently teaching in the five institutions that offer animation courses.

The organisation offered them a one month intense training programme in the summer, in the methodologies of teaching 2D and 3D animation. This, she says, is the first module of a three-part training programme, adding that the other parts should be implemented in the upcoming financial year.

Additionally, the Project Manager says they are looking at post-secondary students to begin with a new training cohort, which should be approximately 50 persons to be trained over an eight-month period.

She adds that the project will be undertaking an  islandwide sensitization programme that will train persons in the procedures to get online jobs. Each training session will be one day.

“We are hoping to do this in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, through the National Youth Service,” Mrs. Newland says.

The Project Manager says they hope to undertake this programme in June and July of this year, where they will spend a few days in each parish.  “The aim is to reach as many persons as possible,” she adds.

Mrs. Newland  highlights that animation is a growing industry globally, with the potential for 5,000 jobs in the Caribbean.

“It is a multi-billion dollar industry globally, with countries growing their industries annually and outsourcing talent. Korea and India are two countries that are now outsourcing for animators,”  she says, adding that the industry globally is worth approximately US$20 billion with a gap of approximately 30,000 animators who could benefit from outsourcing opportunities.

With this in mind, she is encouraging persons to attend the festival, as it will be an educational and fun experience.