Kingston, JAMAICA February 7, 2016 – Hundreds of professional animators, students and artists from across the Caribbean region and around the world will participate in a two day animation conference and film festival, an initiative of the Government of Jamaica in collaboration with the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank, on March 12 and 13 at the Edna Manley School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston.
“The KingstOOn animation festival represents an opportunity for talented Jamaicans to obtain a breakthrough into an industry that has tremendous potential for earning and development,” said the Honourable Julian Robinson, Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining. “The ability to create and animate is a lucrative skill that takes pride of place in the digital age and is more and more marketable in a world increasingly globalised.”
KingstOOn 2016 will be a grand affair with a programme designed around the themes of Learn, Earn and Display. It will comprise an animation conference, competitions, marketplace to link content producers with buyers, and a film festival. “Animation and digital industries are one of the new and emerging fields through which Jamaica can reap tremendous benefits,” Minister Robinson explained. “As global markets seek talent outside their borders, we must position ourselves and create the avenues through which our people can take advantage of the opportunities that this change brings. KingstOOn is one such preparatory mechanism geared towards exposing our talent and is a great platform on which to chart a course for the future.”
KingstOOn is a part of the Youth Employment in Digital and Animation Industries Project, funded by the World Bank. “For the World Bank, KingstOOn is about economic development and job opportunities for Jamaica’s youth in particular,” saidWorld Bank Country Manager, Galina Sotirova. “For years we have been working on these issues with the Government, private sector, and other key social actors, and we realized the need to think outside the box and look for new solutions. This project focuses on building the necessary skills, facilitating trade promotion and seeking alternative solutions to financing animation production and co-production deals”.
This project builds on successful pilots and the first KingstOOn conference which helped create new startups and position the Caribbean as a potential hub for the tech industry, linking the region’s youth with digital entrepreneurs, angel investors and centres of excellence in the Silicon Valley and across Latin America.
Minister Robinson reiterated the importance of the event saying “KingstOOn is the premiere animation festival of the region that targets a diverse youth population, providing them with an exciting and potentially lucrative career option. KingstOOn creates an opportunity to expose youth who are already interfacing with new technologies to build and develop new skills, and to utilize these for income generation.”