Fifteen years of animation in Trinidad and Tobago was celebrated in fine style as Animae Caribe pulled out all the stops to host yet another incredible festival. So many aspects of the festival that stood out so in case you missed it, here are 6 of the most memorable experiences….
1.World Class Presenters Leading international animators came to our shores to share their knowledge, discuss opportunities for aspiring and established animators and expose the wider public to the exciting worlds of animation, virtual reality, video game construction and special effects. Among them were:
- Brad Schiff, LAIKA
LAIKA continues to push the boundaries when it comes to stop-motion animation with films like The Boxtrolls, Coraline, ParaNorman and more recently, Kubo and the Two Strings. Animation Supervisor on this new film, Brad Schiff, has not only done work for brands such as NFL on Fox, Nintendo and Samsung but he has also won several awards for his work in animation.
- Rona Lui, Pixar Animation Studios
Known for her work in Finding Dory, Rona’s designs and drawings contributed to making one of the most beautiful, scenic and atmospheric productions of our time. Hearing her share the story of her love of art, its importance to animation and its significance in the future of digital animation and games was one of the biggest highlights of this year’s festival.
- Caiphus Moore, Electronic Arts (EA)
Currently a Senior Artist for Electronic Arts (EA), Caiphus is a Trinidadian-American artist who has spent most of his professional career creating artwork for the video game industry. His passion lies in creating synergies between art, gaming and multimedia and at this year’s festival, Caiphus took participants through the drill of creating a successful world, be it for games or animation.
- Saïdou Bernabé & Yoane Pavadé, Parellel 14
These two gentlemen are the founders of the first Caribbean school with courses in innovative fields such as 3D animation cinema, visual effects and video games. Originally, from Martinique, Saïdou and Yoane have returned home after spending 15 years abroad working as 3D graphic designers for some of the largest international film production studios. At the festival, they shared their knowledge on several key areas including story development, environment design and visual effects.
Caption: Brad Schiff on working on MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch
Caption: Rona Lui describes shading in animation
2. Kubo was Here! So a real-life Kubo wasn’t actually here but the stop-motion character was, and Brad Schiff, Animation Supervisor for Kubo and the Two Strings allowed Festival participants to interact with the figurine to learn more about the ancient art of stop-motion animation. The film was also shown at the Festival’s Opening Night which took place at Digicel IMAX and received a rousing applause from viewers who also got the opportunity to pick Brad’s brain on the effort, resources and motivation that went into producing this masterpiece.
3. Animated Ideas Bootcamp One of the main highlights of the festival is the ‘Animated Ideas’ Bootcamp 2. The Animated Ideas Bootcamp is a collaborative training and development project that encourages group participation for the development of animated series concepts for pitching and production. This year, 4 groups were formed and pitched their ideas to a panel of judges. The winning group, The JK’s, gave a laughter inducing presentation on their animated character Scraps the Cat. For their hard work and attention to detail, the JK’s will be partnered with Caribbean animation studios and funded to create a short trailer a poster and a Production Bible that will be used for marketing and promotion for further funding both in the region, and international bodies. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next!
Caption: The JK’s with their winning presentation on Scraps the Cat
4. Connecting, Collaborating & Crowdfunding! This year, Animae Caribe was excited to announce their collaboration with Spang Makandra and Apura Networks from Suriname in an effort to address some of the funding issues that face the film industry and the animation field. Spang Makandra is a full service interactive media studio which provides internet marketing services and helps companies to communicate through the internet to develop an online identity and campaign. Spang Makandra is responsible for the social media and marketing for the four Animae Caribe projects; Epically Maya, Banana Boat, Bim and Bam and Magnus the Mongoose. Apura Networks is a crowdfunding and networking platform responsible for the crowdfunding site for these five Projects. With crowdfunding, future local animators will have the opportunity to receive funding for their Animae Caribe projects and joining forces with other countries within the region is a good start to building and developing a world of animation and film.
Anyone can donate to the site and help these four projects become a reality: https://apura.org/project/214/realizing_animae_caribe
5. Secondary School Students ‘Expo-sed’ to a Word of Animation Animae Caribe held Expos on the 28th and 29th of October, with the 28th being specifically targeted to school students. The booths were laden with various tools for animation, such as computer programs and robotics. One particular Ape robot rolled along a table while the dinosaur robot begged to be pet and fed. The expo also consisted of screenings and presentations on game construction and Animation 101 for CAPE Teachers. Brad Schiff’s presentation on stop-motion animation was a hit among the students as he showed various clips of his work over the years, reassuring the audience that talent gets better with time and practice.
Caption: Students enjoying themselves at NIHERST’s booth
6. Dark Night – An Awards Night with a Twist Saturday 29th October marked the closing of a successful 15th year for Animae Caribe’s Animation and Digital Media Festival. Many of the supporters attended the awards ceremony at Tzar Nightclub decked out in costumes of various characters or even as themselves. Awards were given to both local and regional winners for the amazing animations submitted this year.
AC supporters dressed for the awards ceremony MOST PROMISING ANIMATOR SAN Surinam Animation Network and GAN Guyana Animation Network and TTAN Trinidad and Tobago Animation Network MOST OUTSTANDING ANIMATION Way of Giants – Alois Di Leo, Brazil Honorable mention – If you Go Away – Ashkan Rahgozar, Iran BEST ART IN ANIMATION Illusions – Dominica Harrison, UK BEST INTERNATIONAL STUDENT FILM The Alan Dimension – Jac Clinch, UK BEST LOCAL STUDENT FILM The Web – Joel Cabrices, Trinidad & Tobago Venezuela MOST OUTSTANDING REGIONAL ANIMATION Way of Giants – Alois Di Leo, Brazil BEST ANIMATED MUSIC VIDEO Weather the Storm – Peter Banyton, UK ANIMAE CARIBE – BOOTCAMP – BEST ANIMATED IDEA 4th Place – Project Mimas 3rd Place – Team Wing It 2nd Place – Saga Networks 1st Place – JK’s