The Cinematic Arts Department hosts event to mark 2021 World Animation Day

By Bernard Owuor

Last week, the Department of Cinematic Arts hosted a seminar celebrating the World Animation Day themed “Business, Law and Ethics in Animation”. The International Animation Day is celebrated globally and annually on the October 28 in honor and recognition of the art of animation and animation artists.

This day was first celebrated in Kenya in 2019 with USIU-Africa carrying the mantle and hosting the event in tandem with the introduction of the Bachelor of Arts in Animation program, and has since become part of the Cinematic Arts Department culture. The celebration has also helped expose the program and institution both locally and globally as well as exposing our students to the global industry.
The event brought together Animation artists, industry stake holders, students and faculty among others. This year’s edition included screenings of animation shorts by both our students and industry, short lectures from key guest speakers and topics included internships and job opportunities in animation, monetization of content, content protection and screenings of animation films and reels by local artists in addition to speaking on issues touching on the industry.

Among the panelists was Mr. Wambaa Muiru, The CEO and Founder of Diriba Animation Studio and producer of Kiki and Ella, an award winning animated film during the 2020 Kalasha International Film & TV Awards & Market festival. He discussed tips on how to successfully pitch to potential investors and emphasized on the importance of creating proof of concept as well as establishing YouTube channel for the purpose of showcasing skills and talent.
Also present was Immaculate Juma – an advocate of the high court and founder of Art Law Kenya, who made a presentation on legal and ethical issues affecting animation artistes. She also talked about the importance of developing awareness in areas of copyright, ownership, trademarks and other regulatory issues affecting the industry.

Mr. Dennis Mbuthia, a digital media consultant who also sits on the OSCAR Selection Committee Kenya representing the Kenyan animation industry shared his experience in the animation industry. He made a presentation on how to develop technical skills and networking something that he argued can lead to opportunities.

Speaking at the close of the session, Jotham Micah, the Co-Founder of Movie Jabber and the Marketing Manager East Africa at Century Pictures Ltd made an impressive presentation on commercialization and the industry data and experience in the Eastern Africa region. His insight on how to determine viability of a film through market research was compelling. The presentation included a statistical guide that showed ticket sales data and its significance to domestic productions.

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