T&T's growing animation industry is attracting young people with creative ideas and the means to make these dreams into reality. The Animae Caribe Animation and Digital Media Festival aims to encourage and foster these young talents. To this end, this year the festival organisers held a four-day animation boot camp where all participants, from musicians, generalists, animators to artists were given an opportunity to work with each other.
From October 27-30, at One Woodbrook Place, Port-of-Spain, participants from T&T, Jamaica, Barbados, St Lucia and Suriname formed groups to develop and pitch a project to receive grant funding. The groups were mentored by animators speaking at the festival, including Omz Velasco, Caiphus Moore, Gordon Durity, Alain Bidard, Derek Iverson, Ian Royer, Jamil Agard and Emma Allen.
The group Focus 5 presented a project known as First Responders, an adventure series for children to teach them about the services offered by the police, fire services, air guard, coast guard and medical services. The members were mentored by Gordon Durity, executive audio director at EA Sports.
Bat Borg, a project presented by the group Coal Pot, mentored by director of Battledream Chronicle, Alain Bidard, told the story of a robot who loses his memory after escaping from the laboratory where he was made, joins a cricket team on the island where he washes up, and goes on adventures.
The group Mani-Arc, a series presented by the Folk project, mentored by Ian Royer, vice-president of marketing and strategy at Mas2TV, told the story of a young human man who has to fight against the Folk, which comprises legendary creatures from T&T folklore.
Azuri was the story of a young boy who has to master the ancient art of stick fighting to fight the forces of Papa Bois, who is threatening the forest in which he lives. The group, Team Azuri, was mentored by Caiphus Moore, a lead artist at EA Games.
Group Couple 6, mentored by Movie and Game Creature Modeler OMZ Velasco, presented a videogame called the Loup-Garou, based on Caribbean history and folklore.
Par 5, mentored by acting general manager of FilmTT Jamil Agard, presented a children's adventure book set on a Caribbean island. The five children go on adventures and fight against bullies along the way.
The final group, Dem People, presented an animated series called Banana Boat, about a group of adventuring animals who sail from island to island in the Caribbean learning about Caribbean culture. The group was mentored by animation writer Derek Iversen and bodypaint animator Emma Allen.
At the end, with judging done by Gayle Gallop from Caribbean Export, Lisa Harding from the Caribbean Development Bank and Animae Caribe founder Camille Selvon-Abrahams, Par 5 was selected as winners of the Animation Bootcamp 2015. Their winnings include the preparation of a production bible–a document that lays out all the essential information about the characters, plot and other elements of a media project–for the further production of the idea and the opportunity to pitch at Caribbean Tales Film Festival in Canada in September.
Second place went to Dem People and third place went to Coal Pot. A special award was given to Couple 6 of Barbados who each paid their airfare to and accommodation in Trinidad just so they could attend.