Three animation firms score in Global Services Awards

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Above: Left to Right: Jessica Yawching (Animae caribe), Andy Berahazar (Coded Arts) Nicholas Maxwell (Trinidad and Tobago Animation Network) and (foreground) Karisa Phillip (Lagoon Animation). Photo courtesy TTAN.

The Trinidad and Tobago Animation Network wishes to congratulate the Animae Caribe Animation and Digital Media Festival (Animae Caribe), Coded Arts and Lagoon Animation Studios, for being three of only six companies, to have been awarded grant funding for training and development under the Skills for Global Services Initiative.

These three companies cover a cross-section of the animation sector. Animae Caribe has seventeen-years of expertise in running its animation and digital media festival; Coded Arts comprises a dynamic group of award-winning animators and programmers dedicated to becoming the key player in video game development outsourcing in the Caribbean and the collaborative team under Lagoon Animation, a 3D Animation production company in Trinidad and Tobago.

Dubbed ‘a vision 2030 initiative’, Skills for Global Services is a grant of the Ministry of Planning and Development’s Global Services Promotion Programme (GSPP), which will provide the awardees with funding to support training and skills development. The three animation companies will receive a total of approximately 1.5 million dollars in funding.

Skills for Global Services comprised of a competitive and rigorous bidding process, only six of twenty-six applicants, were awarded grants. Companies were required to submit proposals that were not only novel, cost-effective and well-designed but needed to prove their ability to increase exports and create jobs.

The success of Lagoon Animation Studios, Coded Arts and Animae Caribe, therefore, was no small feat and represents a significant milestone as a testament to the animation industry’s economic viability.

“Coded Arts is very thankful to have been awarded the GSPP grant and with this our plans are to begin working with some of the top talent in the US to bring the skills of our local artists to another level,” explained Coded Arts Director, Andy Berahazar.

Coded Arts “This is all to encourage and facilitate the growth in our animation services sector and help foster a thriving digital media outsourcing industry here in Trinidad and Tobago,” he concluded.

According to Carolina González-Velosa, Labor Market and Social Security Specialist of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the awarding of three of six grants to animation companies, demonstrates why animation, is an industry front-runner for the economy of Trinidad and Tobago.

With a mission to cultivate an environment of collaboration and innovation, empowering artists to reach their full creative potential through a holistic educational experience, Founder & Chief Creative Officer Karisa Phillip of Lagoon Animation Studios outlined her company’s future contribution to animation sector development.

“We would like to sincerely thank the Ministry of Planning and Development, and the Global Services Promotion Programme for honouring our organisation with this award, thereby enabling us to fulfil this objective,” she stated.

“With this opportunity, Lagoon is poised to actively participate in the ongoing collective effort to develop the local animation sector, through the execution of our Online 3D Animation Skills training Programme.”

The Ministry of Planning and Development administered programme in partnership with the IDB: Skills for Global Services, also, offered an unconventional but welcomed approach to skills development. The Trinidad and Tobago Animation Network wishes to congratulate and commend the Ministry of Planning and Development for engaging in effective and innovative policymaking.

Its intervention in the animation sector has created a landmark opportunity for sector development, not only in training but also in the structuring how animation products are developed for future distribution and export.

“Animae Caribe is pleased to be an awardee of the GSPP grant,” confirmed Youth and Festival Coordinator, Jessica Yawching.

“With this grant we are able to train the producer talents of Caribbean animated content while also creating a model for the development, marketing and distribution of Intellectual Property to a global audience. This will have a direct impact on the animation industry as it will increase employment opportunities, acknowledge the Caribbean as an international player and raise the standard and amount of local content created.”

By allowing the private sector to take the lead in determining their training and skills development needs and facilitating that process through much-needed funding and technical assistance, we believe it will result in a more impactful programme. We hope that Skills for Global Services will be the first of many initiatives, to be implemented by the Ministry of Planning and Development.

We wish all the best to Animae Caribe, Coded Arts and Lagoon Animation Studios and offer our support in the execution of their projects.

To learn more about the initiatives of the Trinidad and Tobago Animation Network  or email us.