Celebrating 20 years of anything in the Caribbean is an achievement in itself, but celebrating the birthing of an industry that was not part of the landscape 20 years ago, needs a special place in Caribbean history. For we are a complicated, unsettled force of people who has been trying to find our sense of self forever. In hindsight, of course this is impossible, as we are a hodgepodge of culture, art, music and people, brought to the centre of the world for varying purpose and now COVID19 is causing us to re-interpret our world and embrace our uniqueness, which includes seeing our differences as our strength. Animae Caribe is a movement, a gathering, a way of working collaboratively between creative entities using animation, game design and technology to connect, empower and inform. Under the umbrella of this NGO are several departments that focus on education, training, content creation and distribution.
20 years ago there was little or no history of animation in the Caribbean. This meant that we had little historical paths to follow and masters to call upon. There were some attempts in Jamaica through Disney’s first black animator, Floyd Norman and Leo Sullivan but that fizzled away as our Caribbean construct was more in favor of oil and gas and tourism. Cuba has stood the test of time and with masters like Juan Padron and their unrelenting determination for the arts, it has blossomed into an amazing artform curated through the ICAIC institution for film and animation. In posthumous celebration of Juan Padrons contribution to Caribbean animation, Animae Caribe will be screening his cult classic ‘Vampires of Habana’ on IAM Network.
The future is uncertain but it makes room for innovation and beautiful collaboration.
The Animae Caribe Festival is the heart of the movement, its aim is to distribute the information, the knowledge and the entertainment to the region. Our partners make us whole, as experimenting with the virtual platforms for our 2020 edition and the formation of the AC Digital Cooperative we were able to a lifeline for each other, even though the water divided us during COVIDs reign.
In the pipeline is the creation of a digital solution to connect studios and creatives through the islands, as we collaborated with JAMPRO and the regional animation networks for solutions. We also championed an Arts Biennial called ‘Stalelessness’conducted by the Caribbean Development Bank.
The 20th edition will see the usual screening events, business conferences and Toon Marketplace but this year we aim to show tangible outcomes with the publication of our 5th Animae Caribe Content Catalogue.
Previous series catalogue were shopped globally at Kidscreen Conferences and at The 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum with Caribbean Export.
After a three year break from submissions, we are extremely excited to once again open submissions for animation and game/VR/AR experiences.
The newly conceived I.A.M. Network is a digital platform that will showcase our 20 years of content and will showcase submission for our 2021 call.
So as we enter this shift in new festival platforms and experiences, we hope to see you virtually or in person if COVID19 permits, as our grassroots festival not only showcases films and conferences, but is also about the Caribbean festival tourism experience and nightlife on the island.
We hope we can still welcome you to the island this year, but if not we look forward to meeting you virtually to share our #islandlifebliss