Brimming with talented, tech-savvy youngsters, Jamaica is a hub for innovation. And now, the visual arts have the potential to turn this talent into a meaningful and professional career, thanks to a growing demand for locally sourced animation products.
While currently home to just three “pure play” animation studios, the animation industry in Jamaica has the potential to create thousands of jobs. In the past four years, over 2,500 students received 1 or 2 grades for Visual Arts. In other words, in Jamaica today there are well over 2,000 young people aged 16-21 with the basic skills to become world-class animators.
But how to turn this enormous, untapped potential into a fully-fledged, international industry and show young Jamaicans that a career in animation is well within their grasp?
Enter KingstOOn: a 2-day animation film festival and conference, bringing together international industry leaders, local animation companies as well as government and World Bank officials. The aim: to act as a catalyst for Jamaica’s animation industry and position the country as the next animation hub.
“Young Jamaicans have the talent. Through partnerships with educational institutions and the private sector, we can provide the opportunity to put them at use in a growing creative industry," explained Fabio Pittaluga, World Bank Senior Social Development Specialist and the initiative's coordinator.