African Animation Network and Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau have teamed up to launch a new kid-friendly animated short film event in Africa, FupiToons Festival — “fupi” is the Swahili word for “short” — which will run concurrently with DISCOP Johannesburg 2017. The inaugural festival will take place at the Rosebank Nouveau theater in Joburg from Oct. 27-29, with an Industry Premiere night Oct. 26.
“We’re excited about partnering with AAN for the FupiToons Festival. Cinema Nouveau is constantly looking for new and exciting alternative content for our viewers,” said Lola Gallant, Head of Alternative Content, Ster-Kinekor Theatres. “We’re hoping that this is the start of a prosperous partnership, a celebration of African animation excellence, and a festival which can be expanded across our footprint in Sub-Saharan Africa”.
AAN has recruited a talented and experienced leadership team to manage FupiToons. Award-winning Ghanaian filmmaker Comfort Arthur (The Peculiar Life of a Spider, Imagine, Black Barbie) — most recently the winner of the Best Female Director prize at the BlackStar International Film Festival — has been appointed Content Curator & Assistant Festival Director. Clea Mallinson of South Africa, who has also received international attention for her work and won the Animation Du Monde with her Fairy Wheels pitch in 2015, is Content Curator, Assistant Festival Director and Festival Editor. And Zeropoint Studios’ co-Founder/Head of Development/Creative Producer Wendy Spinks (South Africa) — whose IP Hatch was runner-up in the Turner Kids’ Animation Pitching Competition at DISCOP Joburg last year — is Head of Content Curation and Festival Director.
A call for entries for the first edition of FupiToons Festival is now open to African animated content aimed at audiences ages 2-12. Submissions can be made online here; the entry deadline is October 2, 2017.
“FupiToons Festival is an African first. Owing to financial constraints, the majority of animation in Africa is short form. This format of animation has never had a platform to engage audience in Africa and that makes FupiToons Festival both relevant and necessary,” said Spinks. “This is something I proudly stand behind!”