Cape Town International Animation Festival Celebrates Local Creatives on Day 1

by Media Xpose

The first day of the Cape Town International Animation Festival heralds the annual celebration of African creators and local animators who are included in a dynamic programme consisting of panel discussions, workshops, screenings and much more. Co-located with the highly anticipated Comic Con Cape Town at CTICC2, the festival aims to highlight the creatives and the narratives that continue to keep the global spotlight focused on the African continent.

After thousands of fans entered the venue, the festival programme started by inviting guests to listen to a panel discussion aimed at Owning our Stories as African creatives. Presented by Danson Njoka, CEO of Kugali Studios, who focused on the importance of telling authentic stories that have been produced on the continent new and old fans learnt about the Sci-Fi project, Iwaju, that is soon to hit screens on Disney+ later this year, and the computer-animated television series, set in which explores complex themes such as class, going against the status quo and purity.

“We’re so excited at all the people that are coming to the festival and learning about the world of animation. There’s a wonderful energy in the halls and people are really exploring their creativity!”, says CTIAF Director, Dianne Makings.

Directors, Samantha Cutler and Daniel Snaddon offered visitors insight into the making of The Smeds and the Smoos, elaborating on how the production of the project looked like, and what it takes to have maintain a career in animation. Director Jeani Varty and character designer Daniela Del Castello gave a behind the scenes peek into the process of creating their short film; ‘Gale of the Cape’.

Everyone is encouraged to enter the CTIAF Comic Con Zoetrope Animation Competition. Visitors will be able to create an animation by making use of an optical illusion which presents images in quick succession making them look like continuous moving images. Invented in 1834 by William George Horner, the Zoetrope was similar to the early phenakistoscope where viewers could gather around a drum containing a set of images, that was turned quickly to create the illusion of motion.

Returning to the festival, The Road to Annecy Pitching Competition, in partnership with the Tshimologong Digital Precinct, aims to assist producers and directors in bringing their stories to the world by giving them the stage and to pitch their creations to the audience. A panel of local & international judges has given feedback and chose the projects; My Big World created by Amonge Sinxoto, Naledi by Lola Aikins, Bekkra by Tshepo Sefadi and, Azania Rises by Farayi Chinyanga who will represent South Africa at the MIFA 2023 Africa Focus pitch session, bringing the creators one step closer to seeing their ideas become reality.

“Tshimologong has yet again delivered on an incredible Road to Annecy Pitching Competition, and it would have not been possible without our partners at the National Film and Video Foundation, and the French Institute in South Africa, who have supported us since the beginning, and allow us to create a platform and open up markets for the amazing talent in South Africa” says Joy Mawela, head of Digital Content Hub at Tshimologong Digital Precinct , “and congratulations to all the winners”, she concludes.

The second day of the festival will focus on helping local creatives to gain more industry expertise. Annike Pienaar, who’s worked on include Sing 2 and Revolting Rhymes, will host Hindsight: Things I wish I knew before, talking about her career and what she wishes she had known when she first started out.

What Broadcasters Want You to Know will be presented by Ariane Suveg, a content expert with more than 20 years of experience in the TV industry. She launched the first African original productions for Warner Bros Discovery produced entirely on the African continent. She’ll be speaking about what she wants to see in pitches that come across her desk.

Indlela Yokuphila/ The Soul’s Journey is a film that highlights the power of “call-and-response” methodologies in creating stories that are culturally and politically rigorous. Directors Marc Moynihan, Dylan McGarry and writer Mpume Mthombeni will share behind the scenes of the film. Chocolate Tribe’s Tiaan Franken discusses the workflow behind the creation of photo realistic creatures, and Telling stories that matter with mocap will demonstrate how Rooftop Animation is using motion capture to create unique content & drive change.

Fans who are in-the-know as well as new fans are able to immerse themselves in a world like no other at Cape Town International Convention Centre till the 30th of April. For more information on the Cape Town International Animation Festival, the various opportunities in the animation field, the festival programme and to get your tickets, please visit 

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