Hybrid event ninth CTIAF reaches global audience

Fun was had at the Comic Con Cape Town pop up event at CTIAF. Photo: Mark Wessels.

In a first time format for the event, the hybrid Cape Town International Animation Festival (CTIAF) held at the weekend, was a resounding success.

Presented by Animation SA, the ninth edition of the Festival took place from 1 to 3 October online and in-person at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock.

In addition to a Covid compliant capacity crowd, almost 350 online delegates participated from countries such as Uganda, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, the UK, South Africa and the USA.

A Comic Con Cape Town Pop-up event, in partnership with the City of Cape Town, also took place at the Festival on Saturday 2 October with the Artist Zone Draw-Off and Drink and Draw fun.

As well as the streaming of the in-person events, delegates had access to pre-recorded video on demand sessions from global industry leaders such as Ariane Suveg of Warner Media, Pixar Director Erica Milsom, Dylan Sisson from Pixar’s RenderMan and Michelle Wong and Lisa Stewart, producer of Sony Pictures Animation and Netflix’s original animated musical Vivo.

Netflix hosted online lounges for portfolio reviews, where local animators and other creatives had the rare opportunity to engage directly with talent recruiters from Netflix.

Netflix also took part in the Festival’s Women Transforming Animation programme featuring Camille Leganza, an Artistic Recruiter at Netflix; Helen Marie Saric, Line Producer at Netflix and Tendayi Nyeke, a development executive for the International-Emmy Award Winning animation firm, Triggerfish Animation Studios which is also the studio behind Netflix’s first African Animation series.

Sponsors hosted online lounges where attendees could engage in intimate discussions and forums with their peers and industry representatives.

The South African animation sector received a major boost thanks to a new partnership between Triggerfish, Africa’s leading animation studio, and the German-funded Employment for Skills and Development in Africa (E4D) Programme, a technical assistance project of the German government. The announcement was made on Friday evening at the Festival.

The ambitious three-year partnership aims to expose 10,000 school leavers to the animation industry; empower 6,000 creatives with enhanced portfolios and market access; and create 200 more jobs.

At CTIAF, the partnership launched a free online course on editing for animation. This is now available on Triggerfish Academy, a free digital learning platform that is opening up access to African animation industry experts.

The course is presented by Kerrin Kokot, animatic editor for a DNEG/ReDefine animation series, who also worked in the editorial department on Triggerfish’s upcoming feature Seal Team and the Oscar-nominated short film Revolting Rhymes.

Kokot also presented an editing for animation workshop at CTIAF, alongside Clea Mallinson, who recently edited Sunrise Productions’ Jungle Beat – The Movie. This was one of four workshops that the Triggerfish-E4D partnership helped bring to CTIAF: Triggerfish producer Kaya Kuhn was part of a producing panel, moderated by Pixar alumnus Esther Pearl; Kay Carmichael presented the making of Troll Girl, her debut short film, produced by her production company Giantslayer Studios and Triggerfish; and Colin Payne, Triggerfish Academy’s CEO, presented a workshop on remote working best practices, reflecting on how Triggerfish shifted to become a remote work studio during the pandemic.

“It’s wonderful to have been able to come together again in a Covid-compliant way to share ideas, meet our colleagues and celebrate our incredible animators and creatives,” says Dianne Makings, Festival Director of CTIAF.

“The level of engagement on our online platforms – both from the streamed events and the online lounges has been phenomenal. Although this aspect of the programme was introduced from a need to find ways to engage during a world-wide pandemic, the avenues this has opened for further exposure and connection have been far-reaching and we will definitely be looking at retaining this part of the programme for future events.”

“Likewise, moving our screenings to GoDrivein has added another dimension to experiencing the world’s best animated films which South Africans would not usually be able to watch.”

In another exciting development, the Festival will now present initiatives throughout the year, including its student awards programme, online sessions and networking events.

Makings said she was inspired by the implementation of CTIAF’s Women Transforming Animation Programme, which presented a number of sessions at the Festival. “The WTA programme hosted some insightful discussions and was a springboard to create valuable networks of support and connections. Thank you to Esther Pearl, Mary Glasser and Yasaman Ford for driving this programme.”

In partnership with Reel Stories / BAVC Media, WTA provides training and upskilling resources during the Festival and throughout the year with lectures, discussions, masterclasses, and networking events all aimed at helping women connect and create new networks with industry veterans and leaders. WTA throws a spotlight on women changing the landscape of the animation industry.

CTIAF is the largest dedicated African animation festival on the continent. With a combination of programme of talks, workshops, screenings, producer meetings, business-to-business sessions and more, CTIAF provides an opportunity to engage with global industry leaders, shine a spotlight on African talent and create a platform for connections and sharing of knowledge between local animators and their international counterparts. The Festival also provide the chance for South Africans to watch the world’s best animated films which would otherwise note be screened here.

The CTIAF is proudly presented by Animation SA and is made possible thanks to generous support from sponsors the Department of Arts and Culture, the City of Cape Town, Film Cape Town, Netflix, the French Institute of South Africa, the Gauteng Film Commission, Wesgro, Lenovo, Modena Media and Entertainment, Autodesk and The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH.

Visit www.ctiaf.com

Join CTIAF on social media:
Facebook www.facebook.com/CTInternationalAnimationFest
Twitter @CTanimationfest

Comments from our sponsors:

“Cape Town is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of Africa’s biggest digitech and new media hubs. In addition to being one of the world’s most desirable shoot locations, for film, TV and commercial production, our city is also home to a large percentage of South Africa’s animation and design studios. Through Film Cape Town, we seek to empower local animators in our city while also providing them with opportunities to display their talent to the international stage. The City of Cape Town’s partnership with the animation festival is premised on providing platforms as the industry goes through a recovery phase amid the pandemic,” says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith

“We’re excited about this partnership with the Cape Town International Animation Film Festival as part of our ongoing efforts to invest in Africa’s creative industries. We’re especially looking forward to participating in the festival’s virtual programme and meeting South Africa’s incredibly talented animation artists.” Rosalind Murphy, Media and Events Strategist, Outreach & Engagement at Netflix.

‘IFAS is very excited to be back at CTIAF. We have invested in so many great training programs in the last few years, and we want to make sure that every animator and student knows about these opportunities to upskill their game.’ French Institute in South Africa

‘Reel Stories is thrilled to be included in the Cape Town International Animation Festival. Only 20% creatives in animation are women, and Reel Stories aims to change the representation behind the scenes in the animation industry. Partnerships with amazing festivals like CTIAF are vital for us to move the needle towards a more equitable film industry.’ Esther Pearl, Producer and Founder of Reel Stories

‘At Lenovo, we are thrilled to be a sponsor for this year’s Cape Town International Animation Festival. We know that the past few years have not been easy for the creative industry throughout our country and around the world. Sponsoring an event like this, which has the potential to unlock countless opportunities for creatives from all corners of South Africa, strongly lives up to our brand promise of not only providing Smarter Technology for all, but also – driving real meaningful impact through collaboration, networking and creativity. We hope that all attendees will enjoy the rich, in-depth insight and expertise provided by the fantastic lineup of speakers, as well as the preview of how Lenovo’s products can aid them in their creative ambitions.’ Thibault Dousson, General Manager at Lenovo South Africa

Notes to editors


Now in its ninth year, the CTIAF has enjoyed great successes in its goal of creating a platform for the art and business of South African animation. The most recent successes have included:

•             A special screening of CTIAF curated short films representing South African animation were screened at Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2020

•             Post 2019’s event and as a result of discussions at the Festival, both Peter Ramsey and Aron Warner are working with South African studios


Animation South Africa is a non profit industry association which represents the interests of animation professionals by:

▪ Creating new business opportunities by identifying and coordinating export missions to key markets ▪ Conducting and participating in global market research.

▪ Creating knowledge-sharing opportunities to upskill our animation professionals ▪ Consulting with government in an effort to inform a regulatory environment in which the animation industry can thrive.

Christine Skinner
082 855 7277
Cape Town International Animation Festival

Nathan Stanton was one of the speakers at CTIAF 2021. Photo: Mark Wessels.
Nathan Stanton was one of the speakers at CTIAF 2021. Photo: Mark Wessels.
Members of the Kwezi team took part at CTIAF: l-r: Clyde Beech, Loyiso Mkize and Mohale Mashigo. Photo: Mark Wessels.
Members of the Kwezi team took part at CTIAF: l-r: Clyde Beech, Loyiso Mkize and Mohale Mashigo. Photo: Mark Wessels.
An exciting announcement for the animation industry was made at CTIAF: l-r CEO of the Triggerfish Academy, Colin Payne; Martin Weiss, Country Director GIZ South Africa, Lesotho and eSwatini; CTIAF Festival Director, Dianne Makings and Christian Grün, Head of Cooperation for the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. Photo: Mark Wessels.
An exciting announcement for the animation industry was made at CTIAF: l-r CEO of the Triggerfish Academy, Colin Payne; Martin Weiss, Country Director GIZ South Africa, Lesotho and eSwatini; CTIAF Festival Director, Dianne Makings and Christian Grün, Head of Cooperation for the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. Photo: Mark Wessels.