The initiative will encourage African talents: creators, writers, graphic artists, animation students, anyone who loves to develop kids’ content, to explore their creative, animation and production talents and have the chance to produce a short-form animated comedy to make Cartoon Network viewers across Africa laugh out loud.
In this ground-breaking move, the leading network in the kids’ entertainment industry, Cartoon Network, is taking a bold step towards addressing the gap in locally relevant animated content.
“There has been a demand for local content in Africa on kids channels from our studios in the United States and Europe and feel now is the right time to take further steps in the development of the African Animation space whilst responding to the demand for animation that is really relevant to the African audience”, says Ariane Suveg, Senior Programming and Acquisitions Manager for Turner Kids’ Africa. “For us the idea is to first find great local projects and then start the process of the development of the market. We know that there are hidden talents, mainly individuals, who are not linked to any official production companies. We want to have access to meet with these talents, which is why we are bringing this initiative as a way for them to reach us and propose their projects”.
Entries for the Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab opened June 7th 2018 across the continent. African animators, aged 18 and over, or any African-based company, can submit their one to three minutes creative short project which must fall in the comedy genre and fit with Cartoon Network’s values of random, irreverent, smart and contemporary humour to participate. Ayodele Elegba, CEO/MD of Spoof Animation believes, ‘It is a welcome development for the African animation industry as a whole.
The fact that Cartoon Network is looking towards Africa for its content says a lot about where Africa is in terms of delivering quality animation that meets international standards. It shows the regard that a global brand like Cartoon Network has for Africa as a thriving content market.’ Ariane echoes the same sentiment stating that “African content has global appeal, we are really convinced about this from the projects we have seen and from the discussions we are having with local African creators. We are seeing projects that have values about positivity, optimism, empathy and family. African creators are very imaginative, each character has a real background and this background provides a good source for great stories.” She further explained, “the Cartoon Network’s mandate is to have content that is truly local, but which can also travel and become global; the content we are seeing from Africa delivers on this mandate.
Once the submissions close August 31st 2018, ten projects will be short-listed in September, and the local creators will get the opportunity to pitch their work to Cartoon Network Africa’s content programming team.
The winner and two runners-up will then be revealed at DISCOP, Johannesburg taking place from November 14th to 16th, 2018. The winner and runners-up will be given the opportunity to get their project produced as a pilot with Cartoon Network Africa which will then premiere on Cartoon Network Africa and its digital platforms in 2019.
Ariane says, “We are now looking for content that has the potential to be produced locally and are honoured to be supporting local African animation talent through the Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab. We look forward to seeing the entries and hope to see the winners flourish in their career as content creators, following the footsteps of some of Cartoon Network’s greatest talents.”
The Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab initiative is an amazing opportunity to showcase Nigerian creativity, talent and animation to the world. Ariane’s advice to African creators is, “If you are passionate about animation and you know in your heart that your project is a winning project, try to imagine that you are explaining this project to a kid who knows nothing about your project. Try to transmit your passion, explaining as distinctly as you can what the story is about, what the characters are; and make them laugh”
The Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab encourages African talents: creators, writers, graphic artists, and animation students etc., to develop and produce a 1-3 minutes short-form animated comedy piece with an English dialogue.
Editorial guidelines for the competition can be found here.