The 2021 Durban FilmMart is being held virtually this year from 13-22 August. ADMF was invited to participate in two panels that focused on the animation ecosystem. The two panels were Animation on the Continent: Connecting International Opportunities and Sketching African Animation Development Platforms both hosted by Mary Glasser of Cape Town International Animation Festival. Mukui Mbindyo represented the Foundation on both panels. Other panelists included: Mounia Aram of Mounia Aram Company, David Masanso of Crossroads Animation Studios, Colin Payne of Triggerfish Academy, Jesse Kang’ethe of Heva Fund, Tumelo Selamolela of Digital Canvas Academy, and Kabelo Maaka of Cabblow Studios.
In both conversations, ADMI highlighted the work the Africa Digital Media Group has been doing to grow the sector in East Africa including training through the AFD funded CreaTech Animation and Game Lab where we are skilling 2D animators, and the CreaTech Animation Incubator which is working to mentor animators to take their work to market.
A key point of discussion was the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to the industry which has enabled animators on the continent to connect with producers and buyers in ways that were not previously thought possible. Many panelists noted the pandemic also demonstrated the future-proof nature of the animation industry, as many animators were able to keep working digitally when other creative sectors were interrupted.