Accra Animation Film Festival 2019: A Triumph for African Animation!

August 14, 20195 min read

What does animation as an expressive medium look like in Accra and Africa? 

That’s what the maiden edition of the Accra Animation Film Festival (AAFFia) answered. Accra came alive and was animated at Basecamp Initiative from July 27th – August 2nd 2019 for a full week of animation and creativity during the festival of animation.

Scores of animation enthusiasts, animators and curious folks trooped to Basecamp Initiative, Accra’s foremost creative co-working hub and major sponsor of the festival to celebrate the beautiful medium that is animation. 

The maiden edition of the AAFFia packed an extensive program of workshops, masterclasses and presentations as well as hours and hours of animation from all over the world! 

The screenings were a combination of the winning films of animation festivals across Europe and Africa, the portfolio of The Line Animation, a London based animation studio, a selection of animated ads and a specially curated program of African animation in response to AAFFia’s call for submissions. 

Accra Animation Film Festival

AAFFia received more than 40 submissions for its animated Africa program, causing the program to be split in two.  The highlight of the Animated Africa program was the first screening of the hotly anticipated Malika, a 3D animation short by Anthill Studios and YouNeek Studios, a comic book company. 

A major highlight of the week-long festival of animation was the Annecy MIFA Pitch competition for the first time in Ghana made possible by the African Animation Network. The pitch competition received 21 projects from across the continent, out of which 12 projects made it to the finals.

After an intensive pitching battle between the finalists (some of whom travelled from Nigeria and Togo for the competition), three projects emerged winners. These were Juju Cups by Selorm Dogoe, Meet the Igwes by Chekwube Okonkow and Message Beats by Natasha Nayo & Lizz Johnson. 

Winners of the Annecy MIFA Pitches at Accra Animation Film Festival 2019

The winning projects will be in South Africa at the finals for a chance to pitch their projects at Annecy 2020 which has made Africa a spotlight territory next year. Each winning project also won a Wacom Intuous M tablet sponsored by Wacom®.

The masterclasses and workshops covered ranged from a variety of topics in animation such as Women in Animation, Illustration for Animators, Crossing International Borders; storytelling such as Writing for Children; and comic book production such as Panels & Chat Bubbles, Enter the Vortex, Leti Arts Masterclass.  

AAFFia pledged to not only bring amazing content to Africa but also help bridge the gap between the continent and the international industry for African creatives, particularly those working in the animation field. AAFFia is proudly on track for that with its continued partnerships with festivals across the world and its projects all year round.

One of such projects is the AAFFia delegation to Encounters where AAFFia will screen a special program of African animation. Another is the AAFFia Network we’re building which will be a platform for connecting animators and animation stakeholders like producers from Africa with studios, animators, and producers from across the globe.

AAFFia is committed to promoting, uplifting and providing more educational content to animators and aspiring animators all over Africa in line with the organisation’s goal to challenge local animation quality to ensure competitive work that showcases stories and talents of the continent.

Check out a video recap of one day of AAFFia by Joshua Cleopas of VOME below.

The Accra Animation Film Festival was sponsored by Basecamp Initiative (Squid Magazine’s official address) and Wacom ®. It was also supported by Squid Magazine, Lime & Honey, Effect Studios, African Animation Network, Silverbird Cinemas, Leti Arts, Vortex Corp, The Wits School, DEX Ghana, Nubian VR, Paintball Gods, yoyo tinz, Writers Project of Ghana, Encounters Film Festival, The Line Animation Studio, KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival, Japan Media Arts, Mirai Mizue, Annecy, African Animation Network, Cape Town International Animation Festival, Fupitoons Festival, Paintball Gods, anim’est, Treasure Kids and the Wits School.

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