Diep River woman wins animation award

Anelissa Nkanyuza says the #AnimateCT Challenge gave her an opportunity to show her animation and storytelling skills. Picture: supplied.

A Diep River woman has won an award in an animation competition.

Anelissa Nkanyuza, 25, won the “jury favourite” award, including a handmade leather laptop bag, worth R2000, and a mentorship session with established South African animators, in the inaugural #AnimateCT challenge, which was held in the run-up to the Cape Town International Animation Festival at the Cape Town International Convention Centre at the end of April.

Other award categories were “public favourite”, “best use of Cape Town backdrops” and “best use of animation principles”.

The competition called on animators of all ages and varying degrees of experience to create an animated video based on one of 10 Cape Town landmarks.

The entrance to the Castle of Good Hope, Camps Bay’s tidal pools, Battery Park and the Sea Point Pavilion were among the sites that were picked.

Submissions opened at the end of February and winners were announced at the Cape Town International Animation Festival, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Friday April 28.

The idea was to get more eyes on South African creativity, said Daisy Ions, the founder of the competition.

“There is some phenomenal talent out there, and by juxtaposing it with locations we recognise, we make a big head start in engagement. Our plan is for this to be just the first step in a small revolution for the creative industries.”

Ms Nkanyuza said the seagulls along the Sea Point Pavilion had inspired her submission, Unexpected.

“I like to think of absurd characters and put them in weird scenarios – that’s where the fun lies! Seagulls are always screaming, stealing food straight from the hands of children – it resonated with me. I thought of the weirdest concept I could apply to that scenario and, lo and behold, I came up with a snail-seagull hybrid. But it still looked cute.

“When I first found out about the challenge, I saw it as an opportunity to practise my animation and storytelling skills. The characters are actually from a web series I’m developing, and so I thought it would be cool to try them out for this animation.

“The software I used was Adobe After Effects and Premiere. It took about a week, on and off, and even though I looked at the animation almost every day, it still made me chuckle. And that reaffirmed to me that this is what I’m meant to do – make people laugh with animations.”

The minute-long animation also led to Ms Nkayuza being offered a mentorship with Tim Argall, the animation director of Triggerfish Animation Studios and owner of Bugbox Animation, and animation producer Isaac Mogajane.

Ms Nkayuza said, “I hope to gain insight on the South African animation industry as a whole. I want to know what local projects are being produced, what channels are animators/studios using to showcase their work, and just to get some creative feedback on my own personal animation projects. I feel that South Africa can start consuming local content because it’s delicious.”