The global animation industry, currently valued at over 200 billion dollars US, is seeing rapid growth, expanding by over 1 billion dollars per year or around 20 percent each year.
Jamaica will be getting a piece of the action as it grows its animation industry, thanks to a joint project between the Jamaican Government, the Government of Canada, and the World Bank, in motion with Canadian-based Toon Boom Animation Inc.
They brought together international and Jamaican industry leaders, universities, Jamaican businesses Government officials, animation professionals and amateurs, students, and young dreamers at the first ever KingstOOn festival to celebrate Jamaican creativity.
The two day animation conference and festival was held this June at the UWI Mona Visitors’ Lodge & Conference Centre in Kingston, Jamaica. On the first day, industry and university leaders discussed the development of the animation industry in Jamaica, while also offering young Jamaicans the chance to develop basic skills through a series of workshops. On the second day, the workshops continued, followed by a mini festival that showcased Jamaican and Caribbean talents.
In a press briefing, now posted to the Word Bank website, Sophie Sirtaine, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, said “I think what KingstOOn has done and will continue to do is leverage one of the key assets of that you have in Jamaica, which is the pool of very skilled, talented and creative youth with entrepreneurial skills that can allow them to take advantage of the opportunities in the global market to to build something tangible for their own future but themselves, their families and for the country.”
Educational institutions in Jamaica are planning a joining the initiative by ramping up their curriculum to prepare talented youth for a career in animation early on, starting in high school.
The initiative to grow Jamaica’s animation industry is likely to have a spillover effect that could benefit the entire animation eco-system, giving those in sidelining careers more opportunity for growth as well such as agents, casting directors, script writers, and voice actors.