Conference “positions” Jamaica as next animation hub – World Bank

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton, said Jamaica is “perfectly positioned to reap the benefits of the expanding animation industry, which generated more than US$100 billion in revenue globally last year”.

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday June 21, 2013 - The World Bank says a major two-day animation conference and festival in Jamaica is aimed at positioning the island as the next animation hub while promoting job opportunities for talented youths.

The Washington-based financial institution said it is partnering with the Government of Jamaica, the Government of Canada, JAMPRO and Toon Boom, Inc. in staging the conference, dubbed “KingstOON” at the University of the West Indies (UWI).

The conference, which opened its doors to the global animation industry on Thursday, is also organized in collaboration with leading Jamaican universities and training programs, including The University of Technology (UTECH), UWI and The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

The World Bank said KingstOON brings together international and Jamaican industry leaders, universities, businesses, government officials, animation professionals and amateurs, students, and young dreamers “with the aim of showcasing Jamaica’s growing crop of local animators and visual artists.

“Jamaica has a huge asset in its talented youth,’ said Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in the Latin America and the Caribbean region.

‘Through partnerships with educational institutions and the private sector, Jamaica can create the right conditions to tap into the global animation industry and become a new hub, creating thousands of jobs,’ he added.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton, said Jamaica is “perfectly positioned to reap the benefits of the expanding animation industry, which generated more than US$100 billion in revenue globally last year”.

He cited a number of reasons, including the fact that “we share a common language with the major content producers, the US, Canada, and the UK; proximity and time zone, which allow for real time collaboration; and rich cultural legacy built on the technical and creative outputs of our young people, who have a natural inclination for the animation industry”.

The World Bank said as animation skills are transportable, any individual with animation skills can service clients globally from anywhere.

It noted that entertainment companies, such as Disney Animation, Nickelodeon, and Sony Imageworks, outsource the production phase of animation to countries, such as India, Korea and the Philippines.

Citing industry data, the World Bank said an average of 120 people is required to generate a 10-minute clip.

“Animation is not just about drawing, it includes a sound-track, voices, script, editing, storyboard development and production management,” it said.

The first day of KingstOOn featured panel discussions and workshops on available opportunities in the industry, the World Bank said.

It said during the conference “we will see local and regional animators displaying their work in the industry and related fields, as well as the announcement of the winners in the KingstOOn Animation Competition in several categories, including Best Script and Storyboard, Best Experimental Animation, Best Character, and Best Final Animation Product.”

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