Western Cape is France bound for Annecy

A nearly 90  strong South African delegation, with significant representation from the  Western Cape, are en-route to France to take part in the Annecy International  Animated Film Festival and Market (Mifa) – where over 8000 industry professionals  congregate for a week of networking and meetings.

Certain  members of the delegation are supported, and all are accompanied by: the  Department of Trade and Industry (dti); the National Film and Video Foundation  (NFVF); the Department of Arts and Culture and Animation South Africa (ASA). In  addition to this, a number of universities will be represented including the  Western Cape’s Stellenbosch University – who have been contributing  significantly to the innovation within the value chain of film.

The annual  festival is renowned for its fun and friendly atmosphere, providing the perfect  opportunity to check out the latest animated gems, find out about current and  future trends, connect with film directors and up-and-coming talents as well as  track down new associates and partners.

Through the  market, MIFA, delegates have access to the animation industry’s foremost  showcase of co-producing, purchasing, selling, financing and distributing  animation content for all broadcasting platforms.

As part of the preparation to get industry players ‘pitch ready’, exporter advancement programs were run nationally by NFVF and Animation SA and co-ordinated locally by Wesgro.

Special  mention needs to be made of Mumue, the  award winning short film produced by Cape Town’s Zeropoint Studios, who have  been invited to pitch at Annecy’s Animation Du Monde – Short Film Category. Mumue is an animated myth for the future;  featured around a coming of age African girl from an ancient, lost tribe who unknowingly carries the universe in her heart.

To further  develop and finance the short film, Zeropoint signed with Copernicus Studios in  Halifax, Canada last November. Following a successful pitch at The African  Animation Networks (AAN) pitching competition at DISCOP in Johannesburg – where  Mumue won the short film category – the  animation was invited to pitch at the invite only, Animation De Monde.

Further to  this, South Africa has been selected as one of Annecy’s showcase territories  and has been invited to show a short film on the award ceremony night. Triggerfish  Animation Studio’s Belly Flop has  been chosen to feature on this final evening of the festival.

The short 5  minute film has proved popular, being selected to screen at 8 international  festivals and awarded the Best 3D film and Best in Show at Longwood Animation  Film Festival and Children’s Jury Prize at Cinema Budapest Children’s  International Film Festival to date.

The Triggerfish’s  team will also be engaging in meetings to scout for potential investment and  funding for their 3rd feature film and biggest project yet, Seal Team. The animation  story will recount the adventures of Quinn‚ an orphan seal who has been dodging sharks off the coast of South Africa his whole life. When he loses his best  friend to a great white shark‚ Quinn forms a ragtag special ops unit and fights  back.

Attending  the festival is Wesgro’s Head of Film and Media Promotion, Monica Rorvik, who  commented: “The partnership between Annecy and the Cape Town International Animation  Festival (CTIAF) is seminal to the development of the industry. CTIAF’s  Director, Diana Makings, will be at the festival to strengthen this  relationship.”

Wishing the  delegates a successful trip, Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, commented: “The number of  attendance from Cape Town and the Western Cape bears testament to the  validation of South African animation. We have a plethora of talent in our province  and we wish all attending a successful trip to market.”