WASHINGTON, D.C. CMC – The World Bank says Jamaica has inched closer to positioning itself as a credible player in the global animation industry with the graduation of 45 newly minted animators under the “Animate Jamaica” project.
On Wednesday, the Washington-based financial institution said Jamaica’s Minister of Finance, Dr. Peter Phillips, was “very upbeat” as he delivered the keynote address at the graduation ceremony for the first cohort in the certificate program at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus, in Kingston recently.
Making reference to the billion dollar global animation industry, which up to last year was enjoying an annual growth rate of about 9 percent, Phillips said, “We don’t need to get all of it, not even 10 percent of it, but we can get enough of it to seriously impact our current realities.”
Phillips described the graduation as “a genuinely path-breaking venture, which carries with it so many national hopes and dreams”.
According to the World Bank, the initiative explores the possibilities of positioning Jamaica as one of the global hubs of animation with South Korea, India and the Philippines, “as a means of tapping into the significant creative talent of Jamaican youth and their interest in participating more actively in the global economy.”
“Animate Jamaica” started in June 2013 when the Government of Jamaica, with the support of the World Bank Group and a suite of local and international private sector partners, staged the Caribbean’s first full-fledged animation conference, “KingstOOn”, in Kingston.
The bank said while Jamaica has only a few full animation studios, “international companies are increasingly looking at Jamaica as a country of choice for outsourcing animation production, with a number of new contracts flowing in over the last few months.”
Following KingstOOn, the Washington-based financial institution said UWI-based Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) launched a partnership with local animation studio Reel Rock GSW and Canadian software company ToonBoom to recruit and train 45 young animators over a six-month period in Kingston and the western city of Montego Bay.