You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Annecy Bows African Animation Contest With AAN and Discop

Africa’s burgeoning animation scene got a boost this week with the announcement of an ambitious new partnership that will pair rising talents from across the continent with one of the world’s most prestigious animation festivals.

The initiative, dubbed Annecy — MIFA Pitches Animation du Monde — will offer a pan-African pitching competition organized by the Annecy Intl. Animated Film Festival and Market, the African Animation Network (AAN), and the Discop content market.

Over the course of two competitions taking place later this year, organizers will select a pair of African animation projects to take part in Annecy’s prestigious Animation du Monde in 2018. A series of workshops and master classes during Discop’s two editions will also bring vital skills development to a continent where formal animation training is still widely lacking.

The partnership, according to AAN project manager Nick Wilson, is an encouraging sign that the acclaimed French fest is “willing to engage more with Africa, and … support and partner on various initiatives” that he says “could be massively transformative for the African animation industry.”

Annecy’s engagement with the continent dates back to 2011, when it partnered with the French Institute and South African industry bodies for the inaugural Kunjanimation toon fest in Cape Town. Since rebranding as the Cape Town Int’l. Animation Festival, the leading showcase for animation from around the continent has also served as an important bridge between African animators and professionals from across the globe.

The collaboration with the AAN, described by Wilson as an “open-network platform” for African animators and industry associations, and Discop, the continent’s largest TV content market, reflects a shared desire to develop an infrastructure that will both identify and nurture African talent, while also offering a high-profile platform to promote their work.

As producers, broadcasters, and media execs from around the world arrive for DISCOP markets in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (May 31–June 1), and Johannesburg, South Africa (Oct. 25-27), animators will have the chance to pitch their projects to industry professionals in the company of some of the biggest names in broadcasting.

“There’s going to be a lot of conversation around African animation [at Discop],” says Wilson. “They’re allowing the African animation industry to market itself to the greater broadcast industry in Africa. That’s a massive spotlight.”

Discop has already put its considerable muscle behind African animators. Last November in Johannesburg, the market hosted a pitching competition sponsored by Turner and South African industry body Animation SA. The interest from the likes of Boomerang and the Cartoon Network underscored what Discop director Patrick Zuchowicki describes as “the phenomenal momentum of the African animation industry.”

For all the material support, though, the stamp of approval from Discop and Annecy could perform an equally important role by recognizing and endorsing the tremendous strides taken by African animators in recent years.

“Having that support allows us to have very high-level conversations with broadcasters, and potentially investors,” says Wilson. “It’s an amazing ecosystem that suddenly develops out of this support and these partnerships.”

More Film

  • Fan Bingbing

    Chinese Celebrities Pay $1.7 Billion in Back Taxes Following Fan Bingbing Scandal

    Chinese film and TV stars have paid some $1.7 billion (RMB11.7 billion) of additional taxes, following the mid-2018 scandal surrounding actress Fan Bingbing. The figure was announced Tuesday by China’s State Tax Administration. Chinese authorities launched a probe into the taxation affairs of the entertainment sector in October. Companies and individuals were asked to examine [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    Film News Roundup: AMC, Regal to Leave 'Roma' Out of Best Picture Showcases

    In today’s film news roundup, “Roma” will not be in the best picture showcases at AMC and Regal, “Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church” gets a release and SAG-AFTRA’s David White has a new appointment. ‘ROMA’ SPURNED AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas are leaving Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” out of their upcoming annual showings of the contenders for [...]

  • First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban

    First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban-Inspired After-Party (EXCLUSIVE)

    Celebrities at this year’s SAG Awards won’t have to go far for some tropical fun. Sunday’s annual post-show gala, hosted by People magazine for the 23rd year, is set to feature a Cuban-themed party space adjacent to the Shrine Auditorium. “We’re kind of going back to more of a thematic element. I have some close [...]

  • Paul DavidsonVariety Big Data Summit Presented

    Listen: The Orchard's Paul Davidson on Surviving Sundance Bidding Wars

    Hollywood heads to Park City, Utah this week in the hopes of finding the next big Sundance Film Festival breakout. Paul Davidson, executive vice president of film and television at The Orchard, plans to be in the thick of it. In today’s edition of Variety‘s “Strictly Business” podcast, Davidson opens up about The Orchard’s strategy [...]

  • Young Tony Soprano in 'Sopranos' Movie:

    James Gandolfini's Son Michael Gandolfini Cast as Tony Soprano in 'Sopranos' Movie

    Michael Gandolfini, son of the late James Gandolfini, will play the young Tony Soprano in “The Many Saints of Newark,” the  prequel movie to the television series “The Sopranos.” “It’s a profound honor to continue my dad’s legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano,” Gandolfini said. “I’m thrilled that I am [...]

  • Bradley Cooper A Star Is Born

    The Message of the Oscar Nominations: You'd Better Have a Social Message

    Each year at the Left Coast crack of dawn, when the Oscar nominations are announced, there’s generally at least one major nomination many pundits were predicting that fails to materialize. When that happens, entertainment media tends to rise up as one and say the s-word: snub. In truth, it’s not usually a snub; it’s just [...]

  • Elton John and Mark Ronson

    Elton John to 'Shallow' Songwriter Mark Ronson: 'You're Going to Win the Oscar'

    Elton John is willing to bet that Mark Ronson will win the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born.” The nominations were announced this morning. The legendary performer spoke to Ronson on the latest episode of his radio show “Elton John’s Rocket Hour” on Apple Music’s Beats 1.  “You’re having a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content