EIGHT local animated projects will be pitched in Miami at a prestigious children’s entertainment event, reported Animae Caribe Animation and Digital Media Festival Founder and Creative Director Camille Selvon Abrahams.
She was speaking Monday at the 2018 Animae Caribe Animation and Digital Media Festival Media Launch held at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Port of Spain. The 17th edition of the festival is being held from 19-24 November.
She said one of the master classes at the festival will be with producer Heather Kenyon who Selvon Abrahams described as a “master pitcher” famous for pitching top series like Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken and Dexter’s Laboratory.
“Some of the top well-known (animated) series on television was pitched by Heather Kenyon. And pitching is one of the areas that we felt we needed to support because we have the idea but we have not been able to successfully pitch those ideas on an international level.”
She said Kenyon will be interacting with the eight projects of the Great 8 (selected at the festival last year to develop local series) and will be taking them to the Miami Kidscreen Summit, renowned as the children’s entertainment industry’s most important annual event, in February 2019.
The eight local projects are: Scraps The Animated Series by Kevin Bhall; Do it Yourself Zoey by Full Circle Animation Studio; Magnificent Maggie by Year BFA Animation Students at UTT; Bim and Bam by Jeunanne Alkins; Banana Boat by Denny Ablack and Navid Lancaster; Celflux Reluctant Heroes by Everard McBain and Dixie Ann Archer; Birds of a Feather by TT Animation Network and Cairi by Mathew Hudson. Also being pitched as a reserve member of the Great 8 is` Gecko The Animated Series by Ramsay McBean from the UK.
Selvon Abrahams said there was a need to start to see content brought to the forefront and Great 8 was the product of an animated boot camp with artists and designers which has been worked on for the past three years. She added if a pitch is taken up in Miami then animators would have to be hired to help create 54 animated episodes.
“If there is continuity with that it means that we have to constantly be creating content. Which means that we constantly employing people. So it’s not just entertainment it’s about empowerment. It’s about getting our stories out there and it is about employing young digital creative people.”
There will also be a four-day workshop on the Toon Boom industry by AJ Cote which Selvon Abrahams says it is utilised by 95 per cent of the animation studios.
“If we are to become part of that outsourcing world we have to utilise that pipeline.”
General Manager FilmTT Nneka Luke said in its 17-year history, Animae Caribe has been one of the key contributors to capacity building in animation and digital media in Trinidad and Tobago, through annual training and information exchange on all aspects of working in the industry.
She said recent internal research at FilmTT shows that as of September 2018, approximately 86 feature-length narrative and documentary films have been produced in Trinidad and Tobago in nearly 50 years; approximately 73 of them are TT films.
“To date, there have been no feature-length T&T animated films, but perhaps in the near future, the Animae Caribe Great 8 Project will be the platform for the development of feature-length animated content that can take not only our stories, but our technical talent, to the world.”
IDB Country Representative Rocio Medina-Bolivar said Selvon Abrahams, through her love for the sector, “continues to be a champion for growth and has invested her all into highlighting what animation and technology could mean to the citizens of TT and the wider Caribean people.”
“Now in its 17th year, Animae Caribe continues to showcase the exciting possibilities out there and shine a light on the pathway to pursuing them.”
For more information on Animae Caribe 2018 you can see their website www.animaecaribe.com.