The vigorously developing African animation industry has opened another international avenue with a the latest MIFA Animation du Monde initiative. The program will support “Animation without Borders” with a first-ever pan-African pitching competition, organized by the Annecy International Animated Film Festival & Market, the African Animation Network, and DISCOP.
“For two years now, the MIFA – Animation du Monde program has enabled us to go out and meet young talents. Most of them have been self-taught, yet they are resourceful, motivated and full of energy. Lacking a local structure (animation school and/or industry), it’s difficult for them to progress, or even just simply exist. Highlighting their work during the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Market/MIFA is a way for us to help them get the ball rolling,” said Geraldine Baché, Head of Projects MIFA and coordinator of MIFA – Animation du Monde.
Dubbed “Annecy – MIFA PItches Animation du Monde,” the African initiative will comprise two semi-final rounds, coinciding with DISCOP Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire (May 30-June 1) and DISCOP Johannesburg in South Africa (October 25-27). Both events will turn out six projects, with all 12 competing in the Grand Finale at DISCOP Johannesburg for two finalist spots. The top two project creators will receive automatic entry into Animation du Monde 2018 at Annecy, including accommodation and MIFA accreditations.
Projects can be registered for the first round at DISCOP Abidjan through discopafrica.com through May 9, 2017.
In addition to the pitch competition, Annecy/MIFA, DISCOP and AAN will present a skills development program hosted by international experts at both DISCOP markets, called the Annecy – MIFA Animation du Monde – Skills Programme. These will comprise two tracks for animation fundamentals (writing and storyboarding), a series of workshops exclusively for the pitch semi-finalists, and masterclasses which will be open to all DISCOP attendees.
“Annecy/MIFA represents the absolute pinnacle of our craft. Competing in Animation du Monde is the animation equivalent of participating in the Olympics,” said Nick Wilson, Project Manager for AAN. “In Africa, we’ve long held that we have beautiful and unique stories to tell the rest of the world. This is a tangible opportunity to find the very best African animation projects in development, mentor them, and give them an opportunity to compete against their global counterparts whilst telling the world our stories.”