The Kalasha International Film and TV Market is an annual trade fair organized by the Kenya Film Commission with the aim of bringing together film industry stakeholders across the local, regional, and international markets to exchange, collaborate and share stories and insights with the hope of developing new business opportunities. This year’s 3-day trade fair themed “Film Business: The Economics of Content Creation in the Digital Era” kicked off on 10th June 2022 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) Tsavo Ballroom, showcasing both film and animation activities, as well as providing robust interactions through exhibitions, workshops, conferences, networking opportunities, and pitching sessions.
The Association of Animation Artistes had the pleasure of exhibiting a diverse range of animation works from members of the association, at the Animation pavilion. This year, key exhibitors within this pavilion included; Sirnare Animation Studios, Left Eye Studios, Afrikana Digital, The Tsunami Studio, Japheth Mandela, and Victor Mureithi. Andrew Kaggia of Afrikana Digital revealed a teaser of his recently completed 3D Animation Feature Film, which drew in a lot of enthusiasts, being the very first Kenyan animation feature film.
On day one of the market, the Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of ICT Maureen Mbaka visited the animation pavilion accompanied by The CEO of the Kenya Film Commission Mr. Timothy Owase, and their delegation. Naftally Muriuki, the association’s Vice Chairman gave them a snippet into the animation industry highlighting the mandate of the association to facilitate capacity building within the animation community to build a robust production network for the local and global market.
A competitive animation pitching competition was also part of this 3-day event. The three contestants were Khadija Mbesa with a 2D animation called Komesha ndoa za utotoni, Maureen Mureithi with a stop motion animation called Tope, and Michael Mutah with a puppet animation series called Kuhu and Babu.
The Jury at the Animation Pitching Competion to the left and Khadija Mbesa and her colleague pitching Komesha Ndoa za utotoni to the right
Michael Mutal with Kuhu and Babu emerged as the winner. Michael walked away with a prize of Kshs. 300,000, a one-year StarTimes subscription and a connection kit. The association was grateful to have Kelvin Shani and Jimmy Gitonga serve as the first judges of the animation pitching competition for selecting the finalists. Dennis Mbuthia of Africa Digital Media Institute, Nimo Nguyo of Multimedia University, Joy Mwangi of Ada Animation and Ruth Muriithi of Dedan Kimathi University served as the jury on the competition day.
The Kalasha market week hosted a graduation ceremony that was presided by Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs. Nineteen students completed an animation training boot camp at the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in collaboration with USIU-Africa and Daystar University.
A highlight of the Kalasha Market was the Animators’ Mixer cocktail event on Saturday, 11th June 2022. It was filled with games and cheer that sparked conversations and networking. Three attendees won a pair of return aeroplane tickets to any destination serviced by Jambojet with the republic of Kenya. Three other attendees won a pair of tickets to Anga Imax tickets to watch a film of their choice.
There was a panel discussion on Animators and Gamers Opportunities in the Digital Space Conference which was moderated by Dennis Mbuthia of ADMI and the Association of Animation Artistes Kenya. The panellists included Dr Isaac Mutwiri, Dean of Faculty at Multimedia University, Mr David Alex – 3D animator and motion graphic artist at Ada Animation, Andrew Kaggia – 3D animator and Game developer at Africana Digital, Ms Wix Mugatha – Visual Story Teller, Mr Dean Lyon of Splinter Studio and Wilfred Kiumi, Director at ADMI.