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Imagination Studios competition goes 100% local

This year's Cartoon Network's Imagination Studios competition will be 100% local, as the channel partners with some of Africa's finest talent across animation, copywriting, post production and audio creation, to inject some local African flavour into the first locally produced animated one-minute shorts.

The Imagination Studios initiative was created to inspire, motivate and celebrate the imagination of children, allowing them to conceptualise and create their own Cartoon Network friendly character duo. The first place competition winners, from each of the four categories, will see their animated creations live on TV on Cartoon Network across Africa.

The EMEA multiplatform initiative, which celebrates and champions creativity amongst the youth, has contracted with the Pan-African animation company MyChild TV, which will act as the executive producer, coordinating all parties involved in the completion of the Imagination Studios shorts.

Authentic, African flair

To write the script for the shorts, Cartoon Network has collaborated with Cape Town-based Punch Money Studios that won the Turner Kids Animation Pitching competition at Discop in 2016 for its Cloud Life project. It has also partnered with Mindseye Creative, a 2D animation studio based in South Africa and Audio Militia, an award winning post-production facility specialising in the original composition of music, sound design and final mix for a variety of media (TV, radio, film, games).

Local comedians and voice over artists, including Nina Hastie, Trevor Gumbi, Richelieu Beaunoir and Alex Radnitz, will add an element of personification by lending their familiar local voices to the project. Together, the creative team will bring the winning drawings to life through motion, style and sound.

“We were so excited about Imagination Studios that we decided to take it a step further this year, by involving some talented, locally selected, third-party professionals. This local alliance will simply take what we have already previously perfected and rejuvenate it by injecting a unique, authentic, African flair, which will not only be engaging but relatable to our audience too,” says a Turner spokesperson.

Localised content

“We have been impressed by the creative energy present within each of the partners and this energy, together with the imaginative entries received in this year’s Imagination Studios competition, has reinforced our investment into localising content and our promise to further mentor the African animation industry.”

Nick Wilson from Animation South Africa adds, “It is cool to see that international brands, such as Cartoon Network, are starting to localise their content fully in order to speak to and engage with their audience on a deeper, richer level. We are honoured and excited to have been selected to work on this project, presenting us with many areas of potential and growth for the African animation industry, ensuring that our creative voices as Africans continue to be heard.”

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