mifaThirty animation film projects from across Africa were submitted to the Johannesburg semi-finals of the MIFA-Pitches Animation du Monde pitching competition, of which ten have been chosen. Six of these will be selected to go through to a finals clash against six movies selected on a similar basis in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, where twenty projects were submitted.

Two out of those twelve semi-finalists will represent Africa at Animation du Monde 2018, held in the town of Annecy in France, where they will compete against international entries. The two African winners will be announced in Johannesburg on October 27th. This marks the first time that animators from this continent have participated in a Pan-African pitching competition.

The ten projects chosen so far in Johannesburg are:

  • Ayodele Elegba, Cast Away (Nigeria)
  • Wendy Spinks, Breakline (South Africa)
  • Howard James Fyvie, The Spams (South Africa)
  • Steve Rock, Sarika the Storykeeper (South Africa)
  • Clare Louis, Time Sliders (South Africa)
  • Neil Schell, Machismo (Kenya)
  • Nompi Vilakazi, Pulane's Adventures (South Africa)
  • Wendy Spinks, Mumue (South Africa)
  • Sheldon Bengtson, The Makers (South Africa)
  • Andrew Phillips, Pet Planet (South Africa)

Géraldine Baché, Head of Projects at MIFA, said: “Through the evaluation and selection process it is clear that many of applicants are self-taught, yet are resourceful and have a high passion and energy for animation.  Many come from countries lacking a local structure (education and/or industry) and it’s difficult for them to progress. We are excited about meeting, mentoring and assisting these talents to get the ball rolling and follow through on our commitment to support emerging creatives".

Nick Wilson, Project Manager at AAN, said: “Across Africa, we received 50 project submissions, from Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Togo, Tanzania and Egypt. Developing a pitch and the associated documents (pitch bibles, character bibles and style guides), is a significant time and resource investment. Transitioning an animation concept into a pitch is an advanced skillset".

"Even with Africa's rich oral tradition and unique storytelling history, this is a territory not known for its animation development. Thus, to have received 50 submissions for the inaugural Pitches Animation du Monde in Africa is phenomenal, pointing to a groundswell in the African animation sector. This bodes well for the future of the industry. We applaud and thank all of the entrants for their efforts and dedication. To those that did not make the selection this year, we implore you to continue to develop your projects for future competitions".

As part of the animation skills training programme, Géraldine Baché, Head of Special Projects at the MIFA will host the following programme at DISCOP Joburg:

24 October, 4pm - 5pm: Pitch Workshop (for the 6 Abidjan Finalists & 10 Joburg Semi-Finalists at Sandton Convention Centre)

25 October, 8:30am - 10:30am: One-On-One Session with Géraldine Baché (for the 10 Joburg Semi-Finalists and 6 Abidjan Finalists at the AAN Animation Village)

25 October, 12:15pm - 1:00pm: Master Class | Inside Scoops From Animation du Monde (at the main conference venue)

26 October, 8:30am - 10:30am: Pitch Practice Session (for the 6 Abidjan Finalists at the AAN Animation Village)

27 October, 8:30am - 10:30am: Pitch Practice Session (for the 6 Joburg Finalists at the AAN Animation Village)