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If anything is to be taken away from the Cape Town International Animation Festival, which ran from 18-21 February 2016, at the River Club, Observatory, with screening all over Cape Town, it’s that the South African animation industry has come of age and can compete with international films.
While there’s still some way to go when it comes to matching international budgets, the stories are just as good.
The festival featured an incredible list of renowned animation players from around the world, including the likes of Nedy Acet of Dreamworks Animator, Mark Shapiro of Laika Studios and Shahin Toosi of Senior Lighting Compositor, who has worked on The Dark Knight, Les Miserables and Godzilla.
The event, apart from the various workshops by industry professionals, included student awards, which for students, is perhaps the greatest accolade yet in their aspiring careers. Announcing the awards on Friday afternoon, Dianne Makings, Festival Director, said that the event is keen on supporting animators, both emerging and established. Nick Cloete, Chairman of Animation South Africa, reiterated this, adding that anyone with an idea for an animation short, feature or series should contact the organisation for any assistance.
The awards were handed out the same day on Friday, unbeknown to the students, with exciting and big prices. In addition to the winners, James Mann, a student from the Animation School, won a ten day trip to Japan including a studio tour. Other winners included Timothy Mayers and Luke Berge who won a two week internship at Nickelodeon in the USA.
The list of winners was dominated by The Animation School, in both the group and individual awards: Aurora from the The Animation School won overall best student film, best technical effect and best sound, Paint won best character animation and the best production design went to Arid from The Animation School.
In the individual categories, Blue Moon won best character design, Out of Coffee won best character animation and The Render Games won best solo project, with all the winners coming from The Animation School.