ANNECY — Announced on the first day of Annecy Intl. Animation Film Festival, Nickelodeon is launching the “Intergalactic Shorts Program,” aimed at developing the next generation of animation talent from around the globe.
The venture is to be spearheaded by Nickelodeon’s EVP animation production and development Ramsey Naito, along with newly-hired producer Conrad Vernon (“Sausage Party”) who will act as the program’s executive producer, accompanied by Derek Evanick (“Harvey Beaks”) and Diana Lafyatis (“Adventure Time”) who serve as part of the program’s creative braintrust.
The group will be responsible for selecting domestic projects, with international pitches handled by Nina Hahn, SVP international production and development at Nickelodeon.
“Our shorts program is intergalactic because we want to create a universe of new stars ready to make the next big animated hits of the future,” said Naito in a written statement. “Our doors are open to the best ideas out there and around the world, and we can’t wait to get started building this new home for visionary talent.”
In a conversation with Variety in the build-up to this year’s festival, Naito went into detail about the scope of the program, explaining that not only will the call for shorts be global in reach, but that the network is looking for content intended for broader audiences than what Nickelodeon has previously aimed for.
According to the press release, “The target demo for content submitted to the ‘Intergalactic Shorts Program’ is Kids 6-11, with a secondary focus on content appealing to Adults 18-49, as well.”
Accepted shorts will come from directors, writers, artists, designers and more, essentially anyone with an idea strong enough to warrant backing by the network. Once accepted, the creators will be given all the support necessary to execute their vision and deliver a fully-finished animated short.
While no definitive distribution plan has yet been clarified, according to the press release: “These shorts will have opportunities to air on different platforms and be developed for potential long-form animated series.”
Further details will be released by Nick later this summer.