ANIMAE Caribe, an animation and digital media festival, hosted a digital expo at the Carifesta Youth Village to educate and inspire young people on the opportunities for education, training, entrepreneurship and Careers in animation.
For the week of Carifesta, the young and young at heart got to explore the potential an animation degree or diploma from the University of TT (UTT) could provide in the arts. At the expo, at Bishop Anstey High School on Keate Street, Port of Spain, there were UTT information booths, virtual reality (VR) games, sound mixing, student testimonies and more.
Students such as Alanis Ramdeen, 22, were there to talk about their experience. She has just finished her two-year UTT animation diploma programme.
She did a 4.45 minute animation called The Messaging Bottle about a girl, Terre, who sends positive notes out to sea in a bottle. One day Terre gets a note back in a bottle. At first she thinks it's a sailor and the two have a back-and-forth correspondence.
When she finally meets her aquatic pen pal she learns he is a merman named Dubo. Terre is obviously frightened and runs away, but the two resolve their friendship in the end.
Ramdeen is inspired by Japanese anime, Tim Burton and bright colours. She's going to do her degree in fine arts in animation at UTT from September. Her video The Messaging Bottle can be found on free video streaming site Vimeo.
Xiamara Chulhan, 24, also finished her diploma in animation at UTT. Her final-year project is called Crush about Arjun, about a schoolboy who has a crush on his classmate Afia. Her film won the Jury's Choice Award last week Friday at the Animae Caribe Animation Festival Screening.
Chulhan already has a BA in design from the University of the West Indies (UWI), and wants to teach art, but is also looking for a job in animation.
Brian Perry and Andy Berahazar are co-founders of Coded Arts, a game-development studio that makes virtual-reality (VR) content. At the expo, they had a VR simulation of the hypnosis/tea scene in Jordan Peele's 2017 American horror film Get Out.
Perry says the overall goal of Coded Arts is to set up a content creation hub for international and local studios. The Get Out simulator is part of the VR portfolio they are using to sell their product.
Berahazar did the UTT diploma in animation and Perry did the diploma in software engineering. They met as students and their company was founded through the UTT's uStart Business Incubator programme in 2015.
Sisters Emily, 19, and Enya Hudson, 15, were at the expo selling their illustrations. Emily's business is called Bianca Murosaki and Enya's Pop Idle Art. The two are being homeschooled. as the traditional education system dampened their creative abilities. Some of their illustrations are inspired by anime cartoons, Pokémon and Steven Universe.
Their father, Matthew Hudson is making a Caribbean bestiary. He wanted a book on Caribbean folklore characters, but was unable to find one. He asked people from other islands about their folklore characters, and no one seemed to have a book.
So he decided to illustrate and write his own. Hudson has included characters such as the Rollin Calf from Jamaica, Ciguapas from Dominica, Dai Dai from Guyana and Papa Bois from TT. He wants to publish a book, and is looking for funding.
The whole family was at the Alias Entertainment Expo at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya over the weekend.