Aardman Animation co-founder David Sproxton has opened a public animation school in South Africa in a township outside the city of Cape Town, reports The Guardian.
The school at False Bay Good Hope College is located in Khayelitsha, a poor community where many households struggle to eat one meal a day.
The academy will be headed by Gary Kachelhoffer, who previously taught animation in central Cape Town. “Most of the skilled people in the South African film industry are white. That is because the colleges that train them are in the centre of town and you need money to pay tuition fees and to get there,’ he told The Guardian. “So we decided it would be a good idea to set up a course in a township.”
The first class is comprised of 120 students who will take a one-year course in which they will produce a one-minute reel in their third term. Many students are receiving support from the government to pay for the study course.
Because of the lack of computer equipment and internet connections, Kachelhoffer says students will be taught 2D animation and will work on the computers located on the campus.
With a worldwide shortage of animators, Kachelhoffer told the newspaper he expects jobs will be available for most students by the time they graduate. “We now need the industry to come to the party and I expect they will, simply because they need staff,” he said.