By Chiamaka Ajeamo
Ahead of 2021 edition of the popular Annecy International Film Festival in France, one winner; Mbuotidem Johnson and Ukpeme Uwakwe, and four finalists; Egbelughe Philip and Stanlee Ohikhuare, Oyikan Odunlami and Temidayo Odunlami, Brian Wilson and Eseme Joseph, Oluwayomi Oluwasegun Samson and Omotunde Akiode have emerged as the top five finalists with the best creative animation projects to represent Nigeria at the festival. Annecy International Film Festival is the world’s top reference for animation films. It gathers every year in the city of Annecy with over 13,000 industry professionals from all around the world in attendance.
With a focus on Africa this year, Annecy, in partnership with Animation Nigeria, and the French Embassy in Nigeria, the previous year, organised a pitching workshop for seven selected Nigerian animation studios to stand a chance to win an all-expense flight and accommodation trip to participate at the international festival while the other finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their project at the event as part of its focus on Nigeria in front of an audience of international professionals.
According to Annecy and the MIFA (Annecy International Animation Market), the focus on supporting creatives within Nigeria is hinged on the growing impact of the animation sector in the job market and the Nigerian economy.
Speaking at the award ceremony in Lagos, Géraldine Baché, a MIFA Judge, said “For several years now, we have been closely following what is happening in the animation sector on the African continent and had noticed the energy that was particularly evident in Nigeria. t of this experience stronger.”
According to the Regional Audiovisual Attaché at the French Embassy in Nigeria, Yoann Talhouarne, “Our support to the Annecy Film Festival and to the Nigerian Animation industry was made possible thanks to a fund for innovative projects, dedicated to the development of cultural and creative industries in Nigeria. It has been entrusted to us for a period of two years by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, and aims at stimulating capacities building”.