KingstOOn Animation Festival in Progress at Utech

The KingstOOn animation festival is currently in progress at the University of Technology (UTech), in Kingston.

This is the third staging of the event, which is being undertaken through the Youth Employment in the Digital and Animation Industries (YEDAI). It is open to the public free of charge, and will last until April 7.

Project Manager for the YEDAI, Margery Newland, speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on April 3, said that the project was conceptualised as a result of the “Government of Jamaica and the World Bank collaboratively looking at ways to mitigate youth unemployment in the country”.

“Animation is a new upcoming and potentially lucrative industry, and with so much talent, this project could provide our young people with training and support to allow them to enter this new digital age, and also to express their creativity,” she added.

Mrs. Newland noted that the festival has attracted close to 2,000 submissions this year, from approximately 105 countries, for its competitions.

She also highlighted that Jamaica has fared well against these countries, with five of the six teams advancing to the Pitch Boot Camp competition being Jamaican.

The festival will include closed Pitch Boot Camp sessions April 3 and 4, with an opening session on April 5 at 9:30 a.m.

Attendees will be able to view full animation features, exhibitions, presentations, storyboards, character designs, short films and participate in competitions and workshops.

Additionally, they will be able to partake in the film festival, which will take place over the three days.

Persons may register for the workshops at www.kingstoonfest.com.

World Bank Country Manager for Jamaica, Galina Sotirova, said that with projects such as KingstOOn, Jamaicans will be able to capitalise by being a part of the $242-billion animation industry worldwide.

She pointed out that the YEDAI project is the only animation assignment that the Bank has undertaken.

KingstOOn, which began in 2013, is being held in collaboration with the World Bank, which provided a loan of US$20 million for the YEDAI project over a five-year period, with 50 per cent being dedicated to animation.