Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition)
Animation fest offers visually active feast
ANIMATION in Africa is in a purple patch with locally produced films garnering success at international awards ceremonies.
This year saw Cape Townbased studio, Triggerfish, collect an Academy Award nomination for their film Revolting Rhymes. Their latest film, The Highway Rat, will soon be screened at the Cape Town International Animation Festival.
Running from March 2 to 4 at the River Club in Observatory, the seventh edition of the only animation film festival in the country will encompass a range of genres and showcase the best local and international animated films.
These include the Japanese-produced Mary and the Witch’s Flower; Pear Cider and Cigarettes which was nominated for a 2017 Academy Award; Robot and Scarecrow and Big Bad Fox & Other Tales, among others.
Festival director Dianne Makings said the showcase was a “must attend” for anyone with a penchant for animation.
“We have a stellar line-up of speakers, featuring some of the best creative and business minds in animation, screenings of the world’s top animated films and a range of free events that are fun for the whole family,” she said.
There will also be a workshop with noted animators, including South African Manga group Umlando Wezithombe, who won the Bronze medal at the 11th Japan International Manga Awards for their Nelson Mandela graphic novel.
Manga is a popular art form in Japan.
The handing over ceremony of the award will take place at the festival.
The festival also aims to get youth interested in animation and participating in the industry – which is key to its development.
However, it remains costly to study animation in South Africa, predominantly at private institutions or public universities that offer courses in animation often only at master’s degree level.
Determined to buck this trend, in 2017 the festival hosted an outreach programme at the Isivivana centre in Khayelitsha, and this year they will repeat the programme with screenings of films, drawing classes with Animate Africa and various workshops to teach the fundamentals of animation to budding animators.
Makings said that there will also be an Artists Alley that will showcase the work of some of the country’s most talented graphic artists, as well as drawing and stop-motion workshops for children aged 7-12 years old.
“(University) students also have the opportunity to bring their portfolio to the Artists Alley for free advice from our industry experts,” she said.
VFX master Hilton Treves has 27 years’ experience in animation. He will be presenting one of the workshops at the festival, where he will show the audience how an animation project is created from start to finish.
“The workshop shows an animated advert and what we’ll be doing is showing you the workflow and technical flow of the project. The people that are in animation schools or are in the business might pick up new techniques from the workshop and for those that are more creative they will get an insight into the technical side of things,” he said.
Treves said that very few people who are in animation in South Africa are trained classically, with most animators using the computer generated 3D method to create visual art. He believes participants will benefit from taking part in the workshops.
“There’s real traditional Disney animation and when you make a film you need to understand how you take an idea like a character and bring it to life so that the story becomes believable for the audience before taking it into 3D – because your audience must believe in you.”
Screenings cost R40, while a full festival pass (valid March 2-4) costs R100 for ASA (Animation South Africa) members, R250 for students and R500 for the general public.
A day pass costs R350 (tickets include all events).
Bookings can be made via www.webtickets.co.za
There will also be a workshop with noted animators, including South African Manga group Umlando Wezithombe