The KingstOOn Animation and Film Festival is gearing up to be the centre of the conversation on Diversity in Animation. Now, in its fourth staging, KingstOOn has already cemented its place as a hub for Afrocentric content and in 2021 is extending its reach to include other areas of diversity such as gender and inclusivity. Scheduled for April 21-25 this year, the event has a rich history of attracting globally renowned talent from across the animation pipeline such as Walt Disney’s development veteran, Jeff Brustrom and Bento Box (Bob’s Burgers) Co-Founder, Joel Kuwahara. In 2019 the event saw over 3000 attendees and close to 2000 competition submissions from over 100 countries.
According to the organizers, this year’s virtual hosting of KingstOOn is on track to surpass these numbers, making use of the digital landscape to reach animators worldwide. In fact, this year’s KingstOOn competitions, which closed on February 22, racked up over 1600 submissions with an estimated 25% of entries still to come in. ListenMi Caribbean, the 2019 local competition winner, went on to secure a coveted contract to create a live-action short film for Sesame Street’s 50th Season celebration that same year.
Kenia Mattis, ListenMi CEO, urges young industry professionals to register for KingstOOn which she described as “a very rewarding experience that I hope other young animators will take advantage of.” This year’s KingstOOn will host an Expo, the much-anticipated Film Festival, a business exchange forum and its signature Pitch Boot Camp and Competition for the five Caribbean based front-runners in the Best Concept category. Stay ‘tooned’ for this year’s exciting speaker line-up which promises to be nothing short of stellar. Go to www.kingstoonfest.com to register.
Kingstoon will be opened by the Honourable Prime Minister himself who has articulated the importance of the creative industries, and animation in particular, to the generation of employment opportunities for our nation’s youth,” says Margery Newland, Project Manager for the Youth Employment in the Digital and Animation Industries, the host agency for KingstOOn.
The Prime Minister Andrew Holness will be joined at the event opening by Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for Caribbean Countries, Latin America and Caribbean Region. The YEDAI Project is funded by a US$20 million World Bank loan to the Government of Jamaica for training young Jamaicans in the digital and animation industries.
This year’s KingstOOn will also have a much-anticipated Film Festival featuring an amazing array of diversity centric animated films from the Caribbean and the rest of the world, a business exchange forum and its signature Pitch Boot Camp and Competition for the five Caribbean-based front-runners in the Best Concept category.