South Africa's Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct along with the country's National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) have entered into partnership agreements with France-based animation school, Gobelins, and the French Embassy in South Africa. The objective of both of the agreements is to grow the animation industry skills pipeline by offering training, internships and scholarships to animators.

Earlier in 2019 Tshimologong’s Animation Studio opened its doors to 20 interns with hopes to further their understanding of visual development for high-end animation.

“The partnership with Gobelins offers interns strong support from one of the best schools in the world, not only in raising the standard and quality of the work to come out of the Tshimologong Animation Studio, but also to broaden the horizons of all interns,” said Lesego Vorster, Tshimologong Animation Studio Art Director.

Animation internship programme

South Africa already has some notable award winning animation studios. In 2017 Triggerfish Animation Studios scooped three big awards at three different events for working on animating a Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake classic book, Revolting Rhymes. While in 2016, working together again with Magic Light Pictures and producing for BBC, the animation studio worked on Stick Man and also won awards at Shanghai, BANFF, and Annecy.

Co-designed in collaboration with Gobelins, the internship programme is focused on establishing an authentic African aesthetic through appropriate referencing and understanding of design and storytelling fundamentals. Added to that, it forms part of an active role in empowering black youth in a field which was previously relatively inaccessible to them.

The agreement with the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) and the French Embassy in South Africa addresses training needs, scholarships, skills exchange and co-production opportunities. The NFVF will contribute up to EUR16,000 (R268 000) for a scholarship for the Gobelins “Character Animation and animated filmmaking - Master of Arts” qualification. The Animation School (SA) and Campus France will also fund this scholarship. Gobelins, NFVF, the French Institute of South Africa, the Animation School and Campus France have awarded this scholarship to Karien Benz.

“South Africa is a vibrant soil of young creativity. Talents are numerous, young and passionate, promise of a very bright future and the emergence of a powerful African animation.” said Cécile Blondel, Head of International Relations, Gobelins.

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