Cape Town Animation Fest Welcomes the World

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South Africa’s largest animation event will welcome shining personalities and buzzworthy films from around the world this week as the Cape Town International Animation Festival runs February 18 to 21 (ctiaf.com). This year’s global focus reflects director Dianne Makings’ hopes that the event, formerly known as Kunjanimation, will act as a gateway to the continent’s animation industry.

Professional representatives and award-winning films representing Australia, Brazil, France, Ireland and others will complement local experts and films in the four-day program. Highlights include the African premiere of Stick Man, the latest BBC holiday special produced by UK’s Magic Light Pictures (The Gruffalo) and animated by South Africa’s Triggerfish Studios.

Evening screenings will also include award-winning features such as Oscar nominee The Boy and the World and Cartoon Saloon’s acclaimed Song of the Sea — director Tomm Moore is one of the featured speakers, along with DreamWorks animator Nedy Acet, Nickelodeon senior director of international productions Alexi Wheeler, Despicable Me producer Arnauld Boulard, Oscar-winning indie animator Adam Elliot and more.

While Triggerfish has lead the charge in putting South African animation on the map, local studios and the Cape Town festival organizers are striving to cement international relationships and ensure a healthy pipeline of TV and feature production projects to bring local industry to the next level. To this end, CTIAF has established links with key international fests like Annecy, the London International Animation Festival and this year, Italian festival Cartoons on the Bay.

Add to these efforts the growing number of international co-production deals reached through South Africa’s nine co-production treaties, and the country’s toon turnout is set to continue on an upward and outward trajectory.