KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr, says Jamaica is well positioned to benefit from the lucrative global animation industry.
According to Charles Jr, the country is ripe for “early stage” investment options.
“While we still have some way to go, Jamaica has been steadily advancing to claim a stake in this US$259-billion industry. By 2020, this is projected to clear US$270 billion,” he noted.
Charles Jr was addressing the launch of the KingstOOn animation festival held at the University of Technology (UTech) campus in Papine, St Andrew today.
He noted that KingstOOn, previously held in 2013 and 2016, “has already started to orient young Jamaican talent towards entering the production pipelines of the global film and animation industries, through a robust national programme of training and exposure to job opportunities”.
He said that the festival has placed Jamaica firmly on the regional and global calendars of animation events to watch.
“In fact, if you Google ‘animation festivals’, KingstOOn is right up there on the list,” he said.
KingstOOn is an international animation conference, marketplace and film festival, organised by the Office of the Prime Minister in partnership with the World Bank. The event is being held from April 5 to 7 at UTech.
KingstOON is envisioned to become the global hub for Afro-descendant and Caribbean content showcasing original material, including stories, to international distributors, producers and buyers.
“It is aimed at catalysing the growth of the animation industry in Jamaica, and to attract the attention of international clients for animation services that can be provided by talented Jamaicans,” the festival website said.
KingstOOn falls within the remit of the World Bank-funded Youth Employment in the Digital and Animation Industries project, which seeks to accelerate the reduction of youth unemployment, which in the third quarter of 2018, stood at 19.4 per cent. This is 10.7 per cent higher than the national rate of 8.7 per cent for the same period.