anicompThe African Animation Network (AAN), Nairobi Comic Con (NAICCON), the Association of Animation Artistes Kenya (A3K), My Child TV and Laugh Industry and have partnered to produce East Africa’s first Animation Pitching Competition at #NAICCON2017.

he AAN has been pioneering talent identification and skills development across Africa having successfully hosted the first semi-final of the Annecy - MIFA Pitches Animation du Monde at DISCOP Abidjanin May 2017.  Now the attention is turning to the East African region and#NAICCON2017.

Nick Wilson, Project Manager of the African Animation Network, elaborates; “We strongly believe that we can create and produce Afro-centric content that can be sustained on our home broadcast territory.  Furthermore, we would like to partner with pioneering animation associations, initiatives, studios and talents across the continent to develop content that resonates within their home country, which can travel and which can be monetized for the benefit of the content producers.  We would like to see a plethora of self-sustained animation studios acrossAfrica and we would like to be a part of the skills development,collaboration and co-production that is necessary for that to happen.”

NAICCON is East Africa’s premiere comic convention and will be held from 29th - 30th July at the Sarit Centre Expo Hall in Nairobi, Kenya.  It is an event that promotes and displays local and international comics, gaming, animation & visual arts.  Says Thomas Imboywa, Head ofBusiness Development at NAICCON: “We’re exceptionally excited to be able to host this competition and shine the spotlight on talent in East Africa.  Nothing like this has happened in the region before and we’re honoured thatNAICCON is the platform for this to happen.”

A3K, which is mandated by industry to cater for the growing needs of artists,producers, and fans involved in the animation space in East Africa is also taking a leading role in hosting the competition.  Naftally Muriuki, Vice Chair of A3K, elaborates; “As a registered association since 2008, we’ve jumped many hoops over the years, there is a new found energy within theanimation sector in Kenya and we hope this competition and partnerships are the catalyst for more collaboration and co-production within Kenyaand the greater East Africa region. Moreover Africa is a continent rich in diverse culture we should embrace our uniqueness, dig into our traditions and borrow from our day to day life and tell great stories".

James Kinyanjui, Chair of A3K, continues; "The NAICCON Animation Pitching Competition is a great initiative which will teach many of the participants that animation production is a collaborative process with each individual bringing what they are best at to the table.  It's time practitioners in East Africa and the continent as a whole learn this, if we are to create a self-sustained animation sector."

Laugh Industry is the leading comedy production company in East Africa with their show, the Churchill Show, recorded live each Friday and beamed to over 8 million eyeballs each Sunday evening.  Daniel Ndambuki (aka Churchill), CEO of Laugh Industry, says: “I am excited to be part of this budding animation industry!  As much as I am ready to support them it's also an avenue to learn more about animation and it's enthusiasts.  I have had the opportunity to watch animation movies and I find thecharacterization very creative, from the casting, voicing, scripting, to the character bible.  We, as an industry, are ready to infuse comedy withanimation for local, regional and international consumption. The likes of Eddie Murphy, Kevin Hart and many more have done it and you can tell the difference when comedy is infused with animation.  I am looking forward to a great weekend at NAICCON!”

Laugh Industry will mentor the winner of the NAICCON Animation Pitching Competition in comedy script writing with Churchill voicing a character in a 2 min short based on the winning concept and co-produced with My Child TV.

My Child TV is Africa’s leading animation studio in niche Afro-centric content for mature audiences.  Their self-financed pilot of My Child: Teenage Mutant Azanians is the first half-hour of adult animated comedy to have been produced for- and broadcast to- an African audience.  The pilot was premiered at the Comedy Central International Comedy Festival and broadcast on Comedy Central Africa in late 2015.

My Child TV will mentor the winner in character design,storyboarding and animation whilst also producing the 2 min shortbased on the winning pitch.  The 2 min short will then be included in the up-and-coming web series the  Azanian All Stars which comprises the strongest cast of African comedians ever assembled, including; Richelieu Beaunoir (SA), Nina Hastie (SA), Griff (US), Mpho Popps (SA), Trevor Gumbi (SA), Carl Joshua Ncube (Zimbabwe), Salvado (Uganda),Daliso Chaponda (Malawi), Basketmouth (Nigeria) and Churchill(Kenya).

Nick Wilson, MD of My Child TV, continues; “We’re building a pantheonof African heroes, voiced by our incredible cast of comedians and we’re looking for the best concepts and creators to be part of the origins seriesof The Azanian All Stars.”

Script writers, illustrators, animators, comic book and storyboard artists are invited to submit their concepts by no later than the 21 July 2017 via the online submission form with the finalists notified on 24 July 2017.




Nick Wilson
Project Manager
African Animation Network