Local animation festival builds bridges to France and beyond

Kunjanimation Animation Festival

Animation South Africa and The French Institute of South Africa are proud to announce the imminent launch of Kunjanimation 2012, the only national event exclusively dedicated to animation. This event is organized as part of the France - South Africa Season 2012 & 2013 with the support of Wesgro and the NFVF. This initiative aims to showcase and celebrate South Africa's emerging talents, while building bridges with the industry abroad.

Launched with success in 2011 the festival takes its name from the Zulu greeting, kunjani, combined with the word 'animation.' As such, it's all about extending a hand in friendship to other proponents of this ever-changing art-form from across the world, explains festival director, Daniel Snaddon. "In the festival's first year, in Johannesburg, our focus was really on creating a forum for industry professionals, and furthering dialogue between the French and South African industries," he says. "This year, we're casting our net much wider, with film viewings for the general public and learning opportunities for students and professionals at every level, as well as a more goal-directed platform for business."

For its second edition in Cape Town, Kunjanimation will invite the public at large to take part in a celebration of the art of animation, with screenings of an incredible diversity of animated movies and short films at the V&A Waterfront's Cinema Nouveau.

On the business side, Kunjanimation 2012 looks forward to offering a platform for networking and collaboration between African and European animation professionals. The festival board will be collaborating closely with France's most prestigious annual industry event, the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, and its market MIFA, which have been associated with Kunjanimation since its inception in 2011. "Annecy has done much towards forging closer ties between our industries," says Canda Kincses, Cape Town Chairperson for Animation SA. "This is certainly the season for sharing between France and South Africa, and we are sure there is much that our young industry can learn from the great French tradition."

An important new focus for Kunjanimation 2012 is professional education and skill-sharing. To this end, the festival has lined up an impressive array of workshops, talks, and presentations, featuring leading South African studios such as Black Ginger, Triggerfish, Imaginari and Strikas Entertainment. Most excitingly, Kunjanimation 2012 will also be offering a series of master classes on character animation, to be led by Dreamworks animator Alexandre Heboyan and facilitated by world-renowned French animation college Les Gobelins l'Ecole de l'Image, of which Heboyan himself is an alumnus. This is a first for South Africa, and a coup for the young festival. "Gobelins graduates are regularly snapped up by the world's best studios, including Disney and Pixar," says Snaddon. "We are thrilled to welcome their expertise to this forum."

IMPORTANT DATES

On Thursday 11 October, festival proceedings will open with a press conference to be held at Cape Town's Alliance Francaise, 155 Loop Street, together with the opening of an exhibition of animation production artwork (11-20 Oct).

On Wednesday 17 October, the festival's official opening night, a select audience will attend the Cape Town premiere of the award-winning South African feature, "Adventures in Zambezia," courtesy of Triggerfish and Nu Metro distribution.

On Friday 19 October, younger and aspiring animation professionals may wish to attend the 'portfolio review cocktail evening' to be held at Touchvision, a golden opportunity to have their work reviewed by studios and industry veterans.

The workshops and talks will take place at the Pavilion Conference Centre at the V&A Waterfront, and the Animation School in Woodstock.

Kunjanimation 2012 is organized as part of the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013 with the support of Wesgro and the NFVF. The festival proper will run from Wednesday 17 to Sunday 21 October in Cape Town and Friday 26 and Saturday 27 October in Johannesburg.

For a full schedule, please visit www.kunjanimation.org. To register, or for more information, please contact Nadia Samsodien at kunjanimationreg2012@gmail.com

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