A nearly 90 strong South African delegation, with significant representation from the Western Cape, is en-route to France to take part in the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Market (Mifa) – where over 8000 industry professionals congregate for a week of networking and meetings.
Certain members of the delegation are supported, and all are accompanied by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti); the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF); the Department of Arts and Culture and Animation South Africa (ASA). In addition to this, a number of universities will be represented including the Western Cape’s Stellenbosch University – who have been contributing significantly to the innovation within the value chain of film.
The annual festival is renowned for its fun and friendly atmosphere, providing the perfect opportunity to check out the latest animated gems, find out about current and future trends, connect with film directors and up-and-coming talents as well as track down new associates and partners.
Through the market, MIFA, delegates have access to the animation industry’s foremost showcase of co-producing, purchasing, selling, financing and distributing animation content for all broadcasting platforms.
As part of the preparation to get industry players ‘pitch ready’, exporter advancement programs were run nationally by NFVF and Animation SA and coordinated locally by Wesgro.
Special mention needs to be made of Mumue, the award-winning short film produced by Cape Town’s Zeropoint Studios, who have been invited to pitch at Annecy’s Animation Du Monde – Short Film Category. Mumue is an animated myth for the future; featured around a coming of age African girl from an ancient, lost tribe who unknowingly carries the universe in her heart.
To further develop and finance the short film, Zeropoint signed with Copernicus Studios in Halifax, Canada last November. Following a successful pitch at The African Animation Networks (AAN) pitching competition at DISCOP in Johannesburg – where Mumue won the short film category – the animation was invited to pitch at the invite-only, Animation De Monde.
Further to this, South Africa has been selected as one of Annecy’s showcase territories and has been invited to show a short film on the award ceremony night. Triggerfish Animation Studio’s Belly Flop has been chosen to feature on this final evening of the festival.
The short 5-minute film has proved popular, being selected to screen at 8 international festivals and awarded the Best 3D film and Best in Show at Longwood Animation Film Festival and Children’s Jury Prize at Cinema Budapest Children’s International Film Festival to date.
The Triggerfish ’s team will also be engaging in meetings to scout for potential investment and funding for their 3rd feature film and biggest project yet, Seal Team. The animation story will recount the adventures of Quinn‚ an orphan seal who has been dodging sharks off the coast of South Africa his whole life. When he loses his best friend to a great white shark‚ Quinn forms a ragtag special ops unit and fights back.
Attending the festival is Wesgro’s Head of Film and Media Promotion, Monica Rorvik, who commented: “The partnership between Annecy and the Cape Town International Animation Festival (CTIAF) is seminal to the development of the industry. CTIAF’s Director, Diana Makings, will be at the festival to strengthen this relationship.”
Wishing the delegates a successful trip, Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, commented: “The number of attendance from Cape Town and the Western Cape bears testament to the validation of South African animation. We have a plethora of talent in our province and we wish all attending a successful trip to the market.”