South African Cultural Observatory

Animation

BY 13.12.23

The South Cultural Observatory (SACO) in partnership with Animation South Africa (ASA), hosted a panel discussion titled "Elevating Animation – how to do it, together?” The objective of the workshop was to spotlight the industry and discuss what can be done to augment it moving forward. Currently, animation and gaming are massive global industries with skilled work for creatives, while being part of a large creative factory. However, in South Africa, the industry needs more support to realise a competitive edge on the global stage.

Amongst the panellists was Dr. Tshepo P. Maaka (Co-founder and Director of Business Development & Medical Animation), Kabelo Maaka (Creative Director of Cabblow Studios), Mocke Jansen van Veuren (Deputy HOD at the Wits Department of Film and Television, Animation SA's Executive Committee on Education), Daleen Fourie (Researcher and Data Analyst) and Nick Cloete (Co-founder and Managing Director of 2D animation studio: Mind’s Eye Creative). Each panellist discussed their insights on the industry from the perspective of their involvement and industry, and elaborated on what they thought were some of the strengths and weaknesses of the industry.

Some prompt questions during the discussion included: “What key insights have you gained from your analysis of the animation industry in South Africa, and how can data-driven strategies contribute to its elevation?” and “how can educational institutions contribute to the growth and development of the animation industry? Are there specific initiatives that have shown promise?"

The audience in attendance was very engaged and interested in what the various experts had to say. One mentioned that what is learned in animation school, is not what is required by studios/the industry. Internships are largely spent unlearning and learning completely different things to be able to participate within a production pipeline. Furthermore, there needs to be an emphasis to explore skills programs in collaboration with Art Centres and Public Schools, with credible content that can build up towards a formal qualification. Overall, the workshop was a success with some important points from the panellists and audience pertaining to the industry.

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