Above: The logos of the partner members of TTAN.
The Trinidad and Tobago Animation Network (“TTAN”) welcomes and supports any initiative which seeks to sustainably enable the production and distribution of local content. We along with our membership and animation partners in the sector are therefore looking forward to being a part of the consultation process concerning the transition of the Caribbean New Media Group (“CNMG”) to the Trinidad and Tobago Television Company (“ttt”). We hope to provide feedback on the transition process and to give recommendations on the proposed strategic focus, management and structure of ttt.
The animation sector has grown significantly over the past fifteen years. Some of the major developments include the establishment of small animation studios, an army of freelance animation practitioners and animation-support service providers, animation training programmes across education institutions, the inclusion of Animation and Video Gaming Development studies at the Secondary School level, a nine-year running Diploma in Animation at the University of Trinidad and Tobago, a prestigious Caribbean Animation and New Media Festival hosted in Trinidad and Tobago and an animation stakeholder Association mandated to collaborate and represent the views of its collective.
Add to this, an impressive body of animated short films created by Trinbagonians locally and in the Diaspora.
TTAN represents the collective body of animation industry stakeholders locally and is committed to the creation of a viable animation and film industry in Trinidad and Tobago. In light of the recent announcement by the Ministry of Public Administration and Communications, we believe that any investment by the State focused on promoting more local content in a sustainable way needs to consider many factors including the most effective manner to connect to the widest applicable audience for a greater share of their viewing time.
Any investment by the State towards developing a new broadcast channel for local content must transcend the typical linear (cable) TV structure. Instead such an investment should include a strategy that encompasses significant investment in new animation and film production, equipment that can raise the current standards of local broadcast quality, digital infrastructure for the transfer of this content and legislation in order for the local film, animation and media industry to consistently provide content for a local platform in a sustainable way that allows the industry to grow.
It will also be important to ensure that all the agencies, programmes and organizations currently working in support of the audio-visual sector in Trinidad and Tobago work together with this new television entity. A new local content on television initiative will only make an impact if production support from other similar government agencies and public/private sector grant funding is available to support animation and film content production.
TTAN and the animation sector are encouraged by the initiatives being made in favour of local content and invite all audio-visual distribution platforms including but not limited to cinemas, online content platforms, mobile phone streaming services and other television stations to collaborate with animation stakeholders in pushing the future of local content forward.
A great example of the impact of “the old ttt” television model on the industry, was the value chain reaction within the creative sector which spawned the media careers of many, impacted the local fashion industry, enhanced the careers of local musicians and engaged audiences with local television. We hope that this initiative by the State will apply the fundamental spirit and virtues of what “ttt” stood for, but with a contemporary approach to media and communication.
We look forward to partnering with the Government in ensuring a working content distribution model and successful transition.