KingstOON 2021, taking place virtually April 21-25, will feature as its opening keynote speaker Matthew Luhn, Storyteller Extraordinaire. His story artist credits include the Toy Story films, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, Cars, Monsters University, Ratatouille, Up, and many more. The organizers also announced that Jamaica’s Prime Minister, the Most Honorable Andrew Holness, ON, MP, will deliver the Welcome Address for the show’s opening ceremony.
“It is indeed an honor to have the likes of Matthew Luhn at our KingstOOn opening. This has been made all the more special, with a welcome by the Honourable Prime Minister himself, who has emphatically articulated the importance of the creative industries, and animation in particular, to the generation of employment opportunities for our nation’s youth,” said Margery Newland, Project Manager for the Youth Employment in the Digital and Animation Industries, the host agency for KingstOOn.
Luhn is a writer, story and branding consultant, creative writing instructor and speaker with over 25 years’ experience. He has brought to life stories and characters for Pixar Animation Studios, The Simpsons and several others. Over the years, his clients have also included companies such as Target, Procter & Gamble, Adidas, Sony, Mattel, Facebook, Charles Schwab, Microsoft, Warner Brothers, Google, Salesforce and Disney.
At 19, he was the youngest animator to work on The Simpsons TV series. Today, he trains CEOs, entrepreneurs, marketing teams and directors on how to use the secrets of great storytelling to captivate an audience, sell a product, idea, service, or strengthen a brand.
Prime Minister Holness will be joined at the event’s opening by Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for Caribbean Countries, Latin America and Caribbean Region. The YEDAI Project is funded by a US$20 million World Bank loan to the Government of Jamaica for training young Jamaicans in the digital and animation industries.
Speakers for the 2021 event include industry experts and “animation rock stars” from around the world, including legendary Disney animator Floyd Norman, Hair Love co-director Everett Downing, cartoonist Keith Knight (creator of Woke), director Olivier Lelardoux (Gigantosaurus), Lion Forge Animation’s David Stewart II and Carl Reed, Jay Francis (VP Current Series, Diversity & Inclusion, Disney), Melanie Goolsby (Original Animation Indie Series, Netflix), Camille Eden (VP Recruiting & Talent Development, Nickelodeon), Kimberley Wright (Producer, Sesame Workshop), Taylor K. Shaw (Founder & CEO, BWA Studios), Josh Selig (CEO, China Bridge Content) and Tatianna Kober (President, Bejuba! Ent.) — to name a few!
This year’s KingstOOn will also present a much-anticipated Film Festival featuring an array of diversity-centric animated films from the Caribbean and the rest of the world, a business exchange forum and its signature Pitch Boot Camp and Competition for the five Caribbean-based front-runners in the Best Concept category.
Register for free and learn more about KingstOOn at www.kingstoonfest.com.