After six months of mentoring and coaching from experts in Nigeria and the UK animation industries, 10 young and emerging animators have been awarded £2000 grant each to help develop their businesses.
A project of Basement Animation studio and the British Council Creative Enterprise Support Programme for Animation in partnership with Kate O’Connor consulting, UK, 30 participants who got into a two-weeks intensive animation business training worked in six groups of five to create short films on the theme ‘Body and Soul’.
At the end, a live animation pitch and showcase event, which held in Lagos, announced top ten participants based on their individual business plan and collaborative effort during their short film production.
The winners are: Oghenefejiro Itimi of Iruo animation studio, Samuel Gbadebo of G-d Streamz studio; Olukayode Aliyu, Kod3d studios; Mathew Isikhuemen, The Albastic; Iorver Daniel, Trident media; Oluwaseyi Fajimi, Folktail studios; Gabriella Opara, Echiche animation school; Abdulmumin Muslim Idris, Ocean Tide studios; Somtochukwu Onubogu, Schucks media and Peace Toba Olatunji of Dopay studio.
According to the co-founder, Basement Animation studio, Johnson Mbuotidem noted that experts drawn from across continents on the business of animation mentored the participants. “The structure of the programme was based on the business of animation because there has been so much technical trainings in the industry and less of business. We have not had business-minded people in this industry and that is why the industry has been struggling because no one has taken the time to turn it into a business.
“So the two weeks programme was about the business of the industry both in the local and the international market. We want them to see their brand as international which they can sell anywhere. Also, we focused on content development so that they are aware on how well to package their content, hence they were made to do pitch document as a part of their project.”
Mbuotidem noted that the whole programme was done virtually and with mentors and coaches who put them through their business plan and film production, “all of these team work was done remotely from their various locations across the country, without participants having to meet themselves.”
He said that the essence of the programme is to build the spirit of collaboration, and create business structure they can thrive in.
For Head of Arts, (Nigeria) British Council, Brenda Fashugba, she noted that they are passionate about the business of animation, hence engaged experts to help develop and stimulate the sector. “Through our implementing partners, participants were involved in trainings over a period and at the end, we can see their business plan, basic processes. We are able to keep very small brands relevant and help accelerate their businesses by giving them small grants.”
She noted that while this is the first of its kind, in the animation field in Nigeria, the British Council looks forward to impacting the sector. “All awardees are alumni of the British Council and we will be supporting them by helping to make the right connections internationally and give them access to markets.”
One of the top participants, Fajimi who is elated to have participated in his directorial debut during the short film said, “working with people I have never met before was worthwhile. This grant will help me increase my capacity and one important lesson I have learnt is collaboration, which brought me this far.”