Jamaica, Animation Hub?

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - June 20, 2013

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Is Jamaica the next great centre for animation?

Jamaica is hosting the two-day KingstOON festival this week, a conference aimed at promoting job opportunities among the country’s youth and positioning the country as “the next animation hub.”

KingstOON, which is being held at the University of the West Indies Mona, is bringing together animators, students and professionals, with a series of panels, discussions and workshops.

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

Animation companies including Toon Boom, Bento Box, the Shadow Gang and A&S Animation are all on hand at the conference, which is being attended by colleges that specialize in animation including Sheridan College, Seneca College and the Columbus College of Art and Design.

“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.”

Another Caribbean country, Grenada, is also looking to capitalize on the animation industry, recently announcing a partnership between Toon Boom and the St George’s University.

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