Eight teams of Caribbean animators and gaming practitioners pitched their animation concepts to international content buyers on the final day of the Animation and Gaming Accelerator training. The E-IDCOT Tobago Project with their Tobago Trekkers game won the top prize of $10,000 USD provided by the Caribbean Development Bank via the Cultural Industries Innovative Fund (CIIF). Caribbean animation content has now been positioned to secure 200 hours of Caribbean content to be shown on US networks.
The pitch sessions were held on the final day of the Animation and Gaming Accelerator training at the Government Plaza Complex on Friday 16th August 2019, hosted by Animae Caribe in collaboration with the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the University of Trinidad and Tobago, CARICOM, CARIFESTA, FilmTT and the Global Services Promotion Programme.
The panel of judges that included industry content buyers, investors and producers saw eight pitches which were scored on their strength of concept, experience and the game or series ability to succeed on the international platform.
The winning animation pitched was Tobago Trekkers delivered by the three-person team of the Eco-Industrial Development Company of Tobago (E-IDCOT) Ltd. The team which included Oshun Oya Trim, Terrence Murray and Carlton Lindow showed how their Tobago Trekkers concept had the scalability to develop into other areas such as merchandising and tourism.
Speaking about his experience judge Stephen Hodge – Managing Director of Toon Googles, a premier on-demand entertainment destination for children shared “I’ve been delightfully enlightened by the quality of animation and concepts and projects that I’ve seen out here. And I definitely feel that quite a few of these have quite a bit of potential in the global market, so I’m excited to see how this further develops”
As part of the implementation of the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) Caribbean Export has been supporting the export services and the creative industry. Animation has been identified for its huge potential for both the talent within the region in terms of content creation and the outsourcing of animation services to international production studios.
“We have seen that the region has the talent and the skills to develop a buoyant animation industry and so for us it’s about providing the opportunities or the platforms for this talent to be seen” informed Allyson Francis – Services Specialist at Caribbean Export. “What has been encouraging to see is how each concept that was pitched included some level of cultural reference to the Caribbean be it folklore, mythical creatures for example”.
Kim Wright content buyer for Sesame Street Workshop and also a judge expressed that “It’s been great. I’ve met some very talented animators here and it’s a very rewarding experience being of Jamaican descent, and to see the wealth of talented yet young animators in general from across the Caribbean is always refreshing and rewarding experience for me, especially students. I find that really great to meet students and to let them know that these opportunities exist to pitch to companies like Sesame Street Workshop and have their work seen internationally”.
Following the pitch sessions Ty Richardson, serial entrepreneur and investor announced that discussions had started to secure 200 hours of Caribbean content on US based Beacon TV. Working with Camille Selvon Abrahams – Founder and Creative Director for Animae Caribe Festival, Richardson would be able to source Caribbean content to be aired on the US television network.
“We definitely have some exciting stuff. I’m excited to distribute, I’m excited to present. The story lines ranged from far and wide, I love the direction some of these kids are going in and I love the fact we can even do a pilot channel with pilot, after pilot, after pilot. We don’t have to have fully developed series or content and it gives everybody an opportunity to see their stuff on a screen and enjoy that moment in the sunlight”.
The Agency supported seven animators from Grenada, Saint Lucia, Barbados and Guyana and will continue to support the animation industry at the upcoming 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum scheduled for September 26-28th September in Germany.