The pan-African Animation du Monde pitching competition has, in its short history, come to represent a window of opportunity for creators of animation content on the continent. DISCOP Abidjan is gearing up to welcome the best and brightest for the 3rd edition of this prestigious competition. These partnerships and related opportunities are aligned with the African Animation Network’s (AAN) cornerstone principles of creating a sustainable creative industry in Africa by providing producers with market access as well as opportunities to build relationships within the industry that will help turn ideas into content.
“The value of entering a pitch competition like Animation du Monde goes far beyond winning or losing. Through it you build relationships, your confidence to sell your project, and most of all the insight of industry professionals with years of experience with projects from around the world.” says Nick Wilson, Head of Projects & Content at AAN.
Wilfrid Paré, general coordinator of Association Burkinabè du Cinéma d’Animation (ABCA), describes his Animation du Monde experience: “Initiating ABCA’s partnership with AAN in 2017, was one of the most beautiful things that happened to me professionally. I have seen Africa express itself in its diversity and beauty through enthusiastic and creative young people who proudly carry their uniqueness. Uniqueness that they try to communicate to the world at the DISCOP Markets and ultimately, if they are successful, at Annecy. The Regional and Continental phases of Animation du Monde, which I took part in, accelerated my skills development. I met people that are convinced that it is possible to tell beautiful stories on the continent. It moved me and made me aware that another Africa is possible, a creative Africa.”
Animation du Monde’s mission is to give animation projects in developing animation industries from across the world the opportunity to participate at the highest level internationally during the MIFA Pitches. The MIFA Pitches are arguably the biggest animation-focused pitching forum in the world, taking place against the backdrop of the Annecy Int. Animated Film Fest’ & Market/MIFA (Annecy/MIFA).
Africa’s animation industry is still developing. In recognition of the challenges that creators face in being able to reach a market there is a strong focus on animated short film and series this year. These formats have created opportunities in the past for African producers to forge continental and international partnerships to produce their content.
The variety of stories that exist in Africa is a testament to the diversity of its more than 1.2 billion people. Animation du Monde is creating a platform for the world to learn more about this population. The most widely spoken languages across the continent might be English, French, Arabic, and Portuagese, but story is creating a new means to understand who we are as Africans. Something our two African finalists, Nildo Essa (Mozambique) and Dami Solesi (Nigeria) hope to achieve at the Animation du Monde MIFA pitches finale taking place at the Annecy/MIFA 2019.
DISCOP Abidjan is the second of five preliminary rounds of the Pan-African Animation du Monde 2020. Through the DISCOMICS footprint – an initiative run by DISCOP Markets and AAN – and which includes partnerships with three of Africa’s longest running comic conventions, AAN will be hosting four regional prelims in Johannesburg (at ICON CGC), Abidjan (at DISCOP Abidjan), Lagos (at Lagos Comic Con), and Nairobi (at Nairobi Comic Con). Because, the partners are always looking to create new opportunities for creators across Africa, AAN has partnered with the Accra Animation Film Festival (AAFFia) to add a 5th regional prelim.
At the Continental Finals held at DISCOP Johannesburg 2018, all the finalists got to work on their projects with industry heavy hitters who were both judges and mentors. These included names like Alexis Ducord & Arthur de Pins (co-directors of Zombillenium), Mike de Seve (creative director at Baboon Animation), Rathan Sam George (COO of Toonz Media Group), and Géraldine Baché (head of Projects at MIFA). As part of the Annecy – MIFA Animation du Monde – Skills Programme, a programme of workshops, masterclasses, one-on-one project evaluations and pitch practice sessions were run at DISCOP Johannesburg ahead of the continental final. Participants were given valuable insights into both improving their projects and their pitching techniques.