Animation du Monde: Opportunities for African Animators as
First Judge & Mentor Announced
During a press conference on Monday, 15 April in Paris, Annecy Int. Animated Film Fest’ & Market/MIFA announced their exciting animation film line-up whilst also welcoming Nora Twomey as MIFA Campus’ first female patron. Twomey, a partner at Cartoon Saloon, directed the critically acclaimed The Breadwinner.
The MIFA Campus is an exciting opportunity for students and professionals from around the world to meet with recruiters, attend various master-classes and discuss initiatives and schemes in the animation industry.
As the custodians of the Animation du Monde brand in Africa, the African Animation Network (AAN) who are proud to be associated with an organisation that places such great importance on empowerment, a cornerstone of AAN’s mandate as a social enterprise.
African animators are therefore invited to take part in the first preliminary round of the Pan-African Animation du Monde pitch season that will take place at ICON Comics & Games Convention (ICON CGC) from the 20th to the 22nd of April at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The pitch competition is part of the build up to the Festival International du Film d’Animation d’Annecy that was created in 1960 and takes place at the beginning of June in the town of Annecy, France. The MIFA Pitches are arguably the biggest animation focused pitching forum in the world and the Pan-African Animation du Monde preliminary pitch season specifically creates opportunities for African animators on a global scale.
Contestants have until the 18th of April 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 ICON CGC however, candidates who are able to attend the event will be given preference. The competition regulations can be viewed HERE.
AAN have also assembled an exciting panel of international judges & mentors for this year’s MIFA Pan-African Final that will take place at DISCOP Johannesburg in November 2019.
The first of the judges & mentors to be announced is Rathan Sam George (Chief Operating Officer Toonz Media Group), who has the following to say of his involvement; “We at Toonz Media Group produce over 10,000 minutes of animation a year and have recently seen the raw potential of African creators. Partnering with AAN has created opportunities for us to share our knowledge, as well as reach out to these creatives in a way that will grow the animation industry locally.”
Previous African Animator Winners
Although this is only the 3rd edition of the competition, it has already created opportunities for African animators and producers that haven’t existed before.
During the Animation du Monde 2018 finals at Annecy Int. Animated Film Fest’ & Market/MIFA, Ingrid Agbo, from Togo, secured a pre-sale for her project L’arbre à Palimpseste which is currently in pre-production. Ingrid qualified with her project through the 2017 regionals run by the African Animation Network (AAN) at DISCOP Abidjan and won one of two places to represent Africa at the Animation du Monde 2017 Continental Finals at DISCOP Johannesburg.
South African producer Isaac Mogojane, winner of the MIFA Pitches Winner 2018 (Disney Prize) shared with us his experiences in pitching at MIFA. “ I have had the privilege of presenting projects at MIFA twice. Last year, our second project, “Junk Pilots” was accepted into the global TV pitches category and this time round, it took home the Disney prize. Presenting your ideas at Annecy and MIFA is a great way to build a profile around your project. Each year, the market gets bigger, more projects are picked up and more deals are concluded in Annecy.”
At the 2017 Animation du Monde Continental Final, South Africa’s Wendy Spinks’ & Clea Mallinson’s short film “Mumue” was also selected to represent Africa at Annecy/MIFA 2018. Although “Mumue” didn’t win during the pitch sessions in 2018, Spinks went on to win the Digital Lab Africa NEF Animation – Nouvelles Ecritures pour le Film d’Animation International Residency with another project “I am Chuma”.
Wendy had the following to share about her experience: “Pitching at Annecy/MIFA has been a personal goal for me for some years and it was a real humbling moment that it would come via “Mumue”, which is a project that really allowed me to bring forward my personal creative and authentic voice and to address a social cause I care deeply about.”
At the most recent 2018 continental finals held at DISCOP Johannesburg, “The Troublemakers” presented by Nildo Essa (of Mozambique) and “The Makerbolts” presented by Dami Solesi (of Nigeria) won the two places to represent Africa at the 2019 Animation du Monde Finals that will take place later this year in Annecy. Nildo shared some insights on his journey thus far: “We wanted to create little heroes that our children could relate to. After some very needed guidance by the event judges and mentors we were one of the winners and now we are going to pitch our series project “Os Pestinhas” or “The Troublemakers” at Animation Du Monde at Annecy this year!”
Through its 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 (DISCOP Abidjan), Lagos (at Lagos Comic Con), and Nairobi (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.