Animation festival to show off local talent

Revolting Rhymess Jack and the Beanstalk.

The sixth Cape Town International Animation Festival, presented by Animation SA, takes place from Friday March 3 to Sunday March 5 at the River Club in Observatory.

Animation SA is a non-profit organisation mandated by the industry to develop, promote and represent South African animation.

The annual festival offers South Africans the chance to catch some of the world’s best animated films as well as a range of master classes and workshops with global industry leaders.

It also hosts business-to-business sessions, producer events, networking opportunities and government panel discussions in addition to student competitions, an outreach programme and outdoor screenings.

It is made possible thanks to support from sponsors the National Film and Video Foundation; Wesgro; Animation SA and the French Institute of South Africa and has also partnered with Nickelodeon, South African Airways and Draw for Life.

YoucancatchFarnaz Esnaashari-Charmatz from Nick Animation Studio. While working as a post-production supervisor on Dora The Explorer and Go, Diego, Go!, Ms Esnaashari-Charmatz dreamed of making her own preschool series.

Inspired by her Iranian-American upbringing, she wanted the series to have a strong female hero set against a vibrant multicultural fantasy world. And so her series Shimmer and Shine was born.

A feature of the industry events will be a talk by producer Ivan Rouveure from Les Armateurs, whose work includes Oscar-nominated film The Secret of Kells.

There will also be a talk by Veronique Encrenaz about how to make your pitch and projects stand out from the crowd.

With nearly 30 years’ experience in the industry, Ms Encrenaz is project manager at MIFA (Marché International du Film d’Animation), which is associated with the Annecy Animation Film Festival, one of the the largest animation-focused markets and festivals in the world.

“We are also delighted to announce that Nat Abraham and Craig McGillivray, the president and vice president of distribution, from the Canada-based Breakthrough Entertainment Inc are joining us. They are an award winning producer and distributor of premium content for worldwide audiences,” says festival director Dianne Makings.

This year, in collaboration with Design Indaba, the CTIAF will be presenting the African premiere of Revolting Rhymes, an adaptation of a Roald Dahl / Quentin Blake classic, which premiered on BBC One at Christmas, produced by Magic Light Pictures and animated by Triggerfish Animation Studios. Coinciding with the one hundredth anniversary of Dahl’s birth, the two films combine the classic fairy tales of Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, The Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella, serving them with a mischievous twist.

They’re directed by Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer, both former Annecy winners and Oscar nominees.

There will also be a screening of My Life as a Courgette which recently was announced as an Academy Award Nomination for Best Animated Feature Film and won in the same category at the European Film Awards, as well as Crystal and Public Awards at the Annecy International Film Festival and was Switzerland’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.

This stop-motion feature film is adapted from Gilles Paris’ book about children and the strength of resilience among a group of friends, advocating empathy, comradery, sharing and tolerance.

“We are celebrating the depth of our internationally recognised South African talent while presenting the opportunity for industry players to gain access to global icons in the field,” says Ms Makings.

“We aim to promote and be a gateway for the African industry while connecting animation creators from around the world.”

Other industry events include Vanessa Sinden from Story Lab who will host a workshop on “How to prepare and present your pitch bible”; panel discussions on skills building initiatives and transformation in the industry, and talks about funding and the results of the recent animation survey.

The line up also includes storyboarder and visual development artist Marc Moynihan, who has worked with the likes of Aardman Animation and Simon’s Cat; Mike Buckland, Head of Production at Triggerfish Animation Studios; Autodesk Applications Engineer Dane Chapman, who helps clients build 3D environments and creative director and production designer, Ree Treweek.

“Nick Hall, Glenn Gillisand Pippa Tshabalala are just two of the keynote speakers to address the gaming sector,” says Makings.

“A new addition this year is an exhibition space where animators can get feedback on their portfolios from industry experts.

Visit for the full programme details. Screenings cost from R40. A full festival pass costs from R100 to R500. A day pass costs R350 (both tickets include all events except the master classes). Book through Webtickets.