The first edition of the Accra Animation Film Festival (AAFFia) recently wrapped after shining a spotlight on African animation as well as hosting the third leg of the Pan-African Animation du Monde preliminary rounds.
With each passing round of the competition, creators and animators have delivered higher and higher quality work, and yet only three will progress to the Continental Finals taking place at DISCOP Johannesburg later this year.
The winners from AAFFia, in no particular order are Meet the Igwes by Chekwube Okonkwo (Nigeria), JujuCups by Selorm Dogoe (Ghana) and Message Beats by Natasha Nayo and Lizz Johnson (Ghana).
Kenya and Nigeria are next in the Animation Du Monde program. The fourth round of the Pan-African Animation du Monde will be taking place at Nairobi Comic Con (NAICCON) after entries closed on August 11th.
The Sub-Saharan circuit of Animation du Monde 2020 preliminary rounds will come to a close in Nigeria at Lagos Comic Convention (LCC) from 19 - 21 September 2019. Entries for LCC are currently open and close 5 September 2019 .
Once the Lagos Comic Convention prelim is concluded, the next stop for the prestigious pitching competition is the Continental Finals at DISCOP Johannesburg in November 2019, where the 15 finalists (3 from each of the 5 regional prelims) will compete for the honour of being 1 of the 2 winners selected to represent the continent and compete against their global counterparts at Annecy Int. Animated Film Fest. & Market/MIFA (Annecy/MIFA) in 2020.
On the back of the recent news that Africa will be honoured at Annecy/MIFA 2020 as part of the Africa 2020 Creative Season, this represents arguably the biggest opportunity for African creators to showcase their talent and content on a global stage.
Nigeria is home to the largest comic book market in Africa. The creative industries have been able to leverage the largest population on the continent and the second largest film industry in the world by volume, Nollywood, to build this success. Although animation is fairly new to the region, an event like LCC has shown that there is a hunger for content from the continent. As a sister industry to animation, comics have been able to lay a solid foundation for creatives to work from.
The maiden preliminary round of Animation du Monde hosted at Lagos Comic Convention in 2018, brought some of the best animation talent to the fore. Dami Solesi, one of the Continental Winners of the competition, came through the LCC 2018 prelim to pitch her idea at Annecy/MIFA 2019.
Dami had the following to say about her experience; “Going through the Annecy/MIFA pitches has opened my eyes to a new world of content production and how I can bring my ideas to life. From the onset at the LCC, my project was constantly being refined at each stage. At DISCOP Johannesburg, meeting with each of the experts and the infallible contribution that each expert made towards the project. They even provided opportunities beyond the competition and I’m still in communication with many of them as regards updates on my project. I believe every single creative who has an idea should definitely apply for this because going through the process, whether you win or not your project would be refined.”
Events such as AAFFia and Lagos Comic Convention highlight the importance of audience access to animation, without which the industry will not be able to grow and evolve. Animation du Monde plays an important role in increasing animations’ profile amongst audiences by providing education, networking, and opportunities for creatives to market their ideas. This relationship between audience and creatives is the foundation of the animation industry.
As the Annecy Int. Animated Film Fest’ & Market/MIFA looks towards its 60th year in 2020, where they will be celebrating Africa as a region of honour , it is important to create the platform for creatives to showcase their work. And, next year, show the world what Africa is capable of!
The competition regulations can be viewed HERE . If you have a project that you would like to enter, please click HERE . Who knows, you might represent Africa at the Animation du Monde 2020 Grand Finale in Annecy!