South African and Nigerian animators; Cate Wood Hunter, Sean Steinberg, Sean Braam and Moshood Shades Ridwan, were selected in the Animation du Monde preliminary round at the recent ICON Comic & Games Convention. Some of the most talented African animation creators presented their work both live and through video presentations at the convention, which was held at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg from 20 to 22 April 2019.
These pitches were part of the Animation du Monde preliminary round that was one of three international competitions taking place at ICON CGC this year. Cosplayers dressed as their favourite character, entertainment and panel discussions were the backdrop while the first of five Pan-African preliminary rounds for Animation du Monde 2020 kicked off.
In the end, the three selected projects were Pixel’s Plan by Cate Wood Hunter (South Africa); Into the Odd by Moshood Shades Ridwan (Nigeria); and Flying Lowby Sean Steinberg and Sean Braam (South Africa).
The event also included the regional final for the World Cosplay Summit (WCS) competition, which saw two teams selected to represent South Africa (and by extension Africa) at WCS held in Nagoya, Japan in both 2019 and 2020. Eight teams competed but, in the end, it will be KinNeko Cosplay who will attend the 2019 WCS and Team BakaYama who will attend in 2020.
People from various backgrounds and ages shared their love for pop culture through the various events that took place. These included panel discussions around the business aspects of the pop culture phenomenon, as well as a full and frank unpacking of the challenges that the South African and African industry’s built around this genre are facing.