Two-day animation festival taps into lucrative global industry, forecasts thousands of jobs for young Jamaicans
KINGSTON, Jamaica, June 20, 2013 – Jamaica opened its doors to the global animation industry today through KingstOON, a two-day animation conference and festival (June 20-21) to promote job opportunities among talented youth and to position the island as the next animation hub.
KingstOON, now unfolding at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Visitors' Lodge & Conference Centre, St. Andrew, brings together international and Jamaican industry leaders, universities, businesses, Government officials, animation professionals and amateurs, students, and young dreamers with the aim of showcasing Jamaica’s growing crop of local animators and visual artists.
“Jamaica is perfectly positioned to reap the benefits of the expanding animation industry, which generated more than US$100 billion in revenue globally last year,” said Anthony Hylton, Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce. He cited a number of reasons, including the fact that "we share a common language with the major content producers, the U.S., Canada, and the UK; proximity and time zone which allow for real time collaboration; and rich cultural legacy built on the technical and creative outputs of our young people, who have a natural inclination for the animation industry.”
As animation skills are transportable, any individual with animation skills can service clients globally from anywhere. Entertainment companies such as Disney Animation, Nickelodeon, and Sony Imageworks outsource the production phase of animation to countries such as India, Korea and the Philippines.
According to industry data, to generate a 10-minute clip requires, on average, 120 people. Animation is not just about drawing, it includes a sound-track, voices, script, editing, storyboard development and production management.
The first day of KingstOOn features panel discussions and workshops on available opportunities in the industry. Day two will see local and regional animators displaying their work in the industry and related fields, as well as the announcement of the winners in the KingstOOn Animation Competition in several categories, including Best Script and Storyboard, Best Experimental Animation, Best Character, and Best Final Animation Product.
Some of the global leading companies in animation, including Toon Boom, Bento Box, the Shadow Gang, and A&S Animation, are participating as panelists, competition judges and trainers.
"We are honored to be part of KingstOOn first edition and have the opportunity to reach out to the whole Jamaican creative community. Toon Boom has been closely involved in the emergence of the animation industry in Jamaica, having led delegations to prestigious animation studios in Canada and Hollywood as well as recommended its key players such as GSW Reel Rock for outsource work. We are confident Jamaica holds all the necessary ingredients to become a popular animation destination not only for subcontracting opportunities but also for intellectual property development," stated Joan Vogelesang, President and Chief Executive Officer at Toon Boom Animation Inc.
KingstOOn is also attended by key colleges specialized in animation, including Sheridan College (Canada), Seneca College (Canada), and the Columbus College of Art and Design (US).
A series of sponsors are providing prizes for the competitions -mostly international scholarships, internships, licenses to specialized software, and hardware.
“Jamaica has a huge asset in its talented youth. Through partnerships with educational institutions and the private sector, Jamaica can create the right conditions to tap into the global animation industry and become a new hub, creating thousands of jobs,” said Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in the Latin America and the Caribbean region.
KingstOON is an initiative of the Government of Jamaica, in partnership with the World Bank, the Government of Canada, JAMPRO, and Toon Boom Inc.
The event is also organized in collaboration with leading Jamaican universities and training programs, including The University of Technology (UTECH), UWI, and The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.
KingstOOn is supported by FLOW, the Development Bank of Jamaica, Jamaica National Building Society, the Gleaner Group, LIME, Reel Rock GSW, Institute of Jamaica, Television Jamaica, RJR Jamaica, Creative Production and Training Center, Jamaica Information Service, and UTECH.