Record numbers for Cape Town International Animation Festival 2018

VR experiences at the Artists Alley (Image credit: Corrie de Vries)

A record number of people enjoyed the annual Cape Town International Animation Festival (CTIAF) which took place over the weekend (2 to 4 March) at the River Club in Cape Town. Presented by Animation SA the Festival, which is now in its seventh year, saw 2000 people attending the event.

The CTIAF has become a significant fixture on the international festival calendar, presenting  the best of local and international films by award-winning animators, as well as providing a unique platform to engage with global industry leaders in a series of insightful workshops, talks and panel discussions. The CTIAF is a marketplace for the fast-growing and internationally acclaimed African animation industry, with business-to-business sessions, producer events, networking opportunities and government panel discussions in addition to student competitions and an outreach programme.

Almost sixty speakers and industry leaders from South Africa, Canada, Japan the USA and France shared their insights and knowledge with attendees.  Members of the public had free access to catch internationally acclaimed films such as The Highway Rat, Big Bad Fox, Mary and the Witch’s Flower and Pear Cider and Cigarettes. The public also took part in the popular free drawing and stop-motion workshops   as well as visiting the Artists Alley, showcasing the work of forty graphic artists and animation studios, as well as live drawing and virtual reality experiences.

“We have been inspired by the response to this year’s festival and excited by how much this event has grown,” says Festival Director Dianne Makings. “From thirty delegates at the first conference seven years ago, the Festival has grown to welcome 2000 visitors and become the continent’s only dedicated animation festival.

“A number of local studios announced exciting developments this year including Sunrise Productions, whose project Munki and Trunk has been acquired by Nickelodeon. We are thrilled that a meeting between them at the Festival in 2015 was the first step in this process,” says Makings.

“We found incredible stories at the Festival, including thirteen year old Ndita Lesenyeho, who travelled from Johannesburg to join us for the weekend. Ndita started drawing aged nine and after attending workshops with the Digital Canvas Academy at the Animation School, the animation bug bit. When she heard about the Festival, she said she couldn’t not attend and was determined to get to Cape Town.”

The Triggerfish Foundation once again facilitated the CTIAF Outreach Programme at the Isivivana centre in Khayelitsha  including drawing classes with Animate Africa, and various workshops to teach the fundamentals of animation. The Isivivana centre also presented the African premiere of The Highway Rat, which was first screened on BBC 1 in England on Christmas Day and which is produced by Magic Light Pictures and animated at Cape Town based Triggerfish Animation Studios.

“The standard of entries for the CTIAF Student Awards was exceptionally high and we congratulate all our winners, especially Lateesha Gillespie and Liam Barnwell. These two students were awarded the phenomenal prize sponsored by Nickelodeon  to have the opportunity to participate in a two week internship at their Burbank studios in the USA,” says Makings.

This is the third consecutive year that Nickelodeon has sponsored this prize.  In addition to their exceptional talent, the two entrants showcased both vision and leadership in their applications. This competition is indicative of Nickelodeon’s commitment to creating platforms which contribute to and uplift Africa’s youth and society.

The CTIAF is proudly presented by Animation SA and is made possible thanks to generous support from sponsors the Department of Arts and Culture, the City of Cape Town, Wesgro, Nickelodeon, the High Commission of Canada, The Japanese Embassy and Consulate in Cape Town and the French Institute of South Africa.  CTIAF has also partnered with Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Animate Africa.

The Cape Town International Animation Festival 2019 will take place from 1 to 3 March 2019. Visit for the full programme details.


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