If you want to learn more about editing for animation, you are at the right place! The South African animation sector is set for a major boost from a new partnership between Triggerfish, one of Africa’s leading animation studios, and the German-funded Employment for Skills and Development in Africa (E4D) Programme, a technical assistance project of the German government.
Announced at this weekend’s Cape Town International Animation Festival (CTIAF), this ambitious three-year partnership aims to expose 10 000 school leavers to the animation industry, empower 6 000 creatives with enhanced portfolios and market access, and create 200 more jobs.
At CTIAF, the partnership launched a free online course on editing for animation. This is now available on Triggerfish Academy, a free digital learning platform that is opening up access to African animation industry experts.
The course is presented by Kerrin Kokot, animatic editor for a DNEG/ReDefine animation series, who also worked in the editorial department on Triggerfish’s upcoming feature Seal Team and the Oscar-nominated short film Revolting Rhymes.
Kokot also presented an editing for animation workshop alongside Clea Mallinson, who recently edited Sunrise Productions’ Jungle Beat – The Movie. This was one of four workshops that the partnership helped bring to CTIAF.
The partnership also announced a ten-second animation competition for 18 to 35-year-olds which is open until 14 November 2021.
“While so many businesses have been taking strain during the pandemic, the animation industry in Africa has been exploding,” says Triggerfish Foundation director Carina Lücke. “Among other recent breakthroughs for the African animation industry, Disney has ordered Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire, Kiya, Iwájú, and Kiff; Netflix is in production on Mama K’s Team 4; Cartoon Network is airing My Cartoon Friend and has greenlit Garbage Boy and Trash Can, and YouTube has renewed Super Sema for a second season. So despite everything, there’s never been a better time to be an animator in Africa.”
Gavin Watson, the team leader for E4D, says they’ve identified animation as an industry sector that is attractive to young people and is growing fast. He adds that the opportunities for animation extend outside the traditional film industry, within fields like advertising, app and web design, architecture, engineering, gaming, industrial design, medicine, and the motor industry, not to mention growth sectors like augmented reality and virtual reality.
The 2021 Annecy International Animation Festival awarded Triggerfish the Mifa Animation Industry Award for “the pioneering role that the company has played in animation in South Africa, and Africa most widely,” according to Véronique Encrenaz, head of Mifa.
At Annecy, Triggerfish was announced as the lead producer on the Disney+ Original animated anthology, Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire, which brings together a new wave of animation stars to take you on a wildly entertaining ride into Africa’s future. Oscar-winning director Peter Ramsey (Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse), who first appeared in South Africa at CTIAF in 2019, will serve as executive producer for the anthology, which features directors from Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Triggerfish also announced a pan-African Story Artist Lab supported by Netflix. This is giving 20 story artists three months of paid skills development with international industry experts, overseen by Nathan Stanton, a story artist on Oscar-winning features like Brave, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc.
The partnership will be capturing the learnings from both Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire and the Story Artist Lab. These will shape future modules on the free Triggerfish Academy digital learning platform, among other initiatives.
“We want to remove the gap between animation training and the animation industry so that our training is by industry experts and aimed at skills gaps identified by industry,” says Payne. “In the past animation had a high barrier to entry, but through free online training we are opening up both access to skills development and to the industry itself. We want to help build a diverse industry to tell their stories to the world.”
The partnership is one of a number of Triggerfish initiatives to train and diversify the next generation of African animators.