From Passion to Wealth Creation: Animators Receive Business Coaching as Winners Get LIFANIMA 2019 Awards
The third edition of the fast-rising Lagos International Festival of Animation, LIFANIMA 2019 Awards recently held at the Freedom Park, Lagos, precisely, 6th June. The outing beats its own record as the keenly contested award recorded over 460 entries, boasting of an upswing in quality in the history of the three years old award while the faculty for the seminar session which audaciously pointed the delegates in the direction of turning their passion into business success, made the event a show stopper.
Surpassing Previous Editions
Three years is a short time in the life of a dream as Muyiwa Kayode, Festival Director puts it. However, LAFINIMA pace of the growth within this time frame calls for encomiums as the entries did not only cut across 71 countries on the African continent, there were delegates from some of those countries and the United Kingdom.
The theme of the LIFANIMA 2019 Awards, Create the future, and the packaging of the awards reflects a deliberate and strategic journey in making animation the next big thing in Africa.
Animators to Revolutionise the Creative Space
Reflecting on the theme, the Festival Director said in his welcome address, the organisers believe the future creative communications industry is right in hands of animators. “We have what it takes to realise our dreams. We are therefore happy to bring together the brightest and the most talented animators in Africa, in a gathering set to galvanise this pool of talents towards revolutionizing our creative space”, Muyiwa said.
Indeed the quality of the 36 top notch entries that made final screening to the amazement of the audience speaks for itself. They reflect vivid details, authentic African stories and above the average display of technical competence and finishing.
Of the lot, only four works were awarded across the four outlined LIFANIMA 2019 Awards categories of awards. These were “The Greedy Tortoise” by Jimoh Shamsideen which topped the 2D category; Chris Bonani of South Africa’s entry “Undone” emerged winner in the 3D category. Incidentally, Chris, a South African lady was accompanied on the trip by her dad, Mr. Bonani.
“DSTV Step Up” by Richard Oboh of Orange VFX, Nigeria won in the Animation Commercial segment while Kanso Ogbolu’s (Nigeria) GOh.TA.WOH.TA won in the Visual effect category. All were peak of the pack works!
Aside handing out the awards, another high impact aspect of the event was the seminar session. This impressive learning session featured three presentations, all aimed at sharpening delegates business skills in a bid to create the future and a rewarding one for that matter, for the animators.
Animators as the Centre of IP Law
Speaking on Animation and Intellectual Property Rights at the LIFANIMA 2019 Awards, Ngozi Aderibigbe, a Lawyer and IP expert at Jackson Etti & Edu Law firm, told her audience that the law that enables animators to commercially exploit the result of their intellectual creative works is the IP law, therefore she told tthem, “You, animators are the centre of intellectual property laws.
How to Protect your works
“Copyright protects literary works, musical works, films, broadcast, sound recording among others. It makes you thrive from what you initially see as passion. Copyright secures to creators certain exclusive rights”, she said. These according to her cover storyboards, fictional characters, screenplay, drawings, soundtrack/music, comic strip, and films. All are subjects of copyright. Similarly, she revealed that a trademark is also used to protect any sign, name, logo, and the product you create. “It confers exclusivity. Until you register a trademark, you do not have a right over the material in question” she warned, adding that when properly done, “Patented creative outputs can be used exclusively for 20 years”.
Making money from IP
Money is there to be made and can be made from IP, the Lawyer enthused. IP right can be self exploited or through – licensing, (written contract to use part of the IP) securitization (as collateral) assignment (outright sales of the rights). It enables you to get the most value possible by assigning individual parts of the IP to different individuals or parties.
According to her, when ya creative creates a commercial advert, it is important he/she gives a license for the use of the work. “Contracts are a big part of how creators make money from intellectual property”. Dwelling on the import of getting financial returns on intellectual works, Aderibigne counseled, “Your intellectual property is valuable. Deal with it strategically in a bid to create multiple streams of income from every work”.
BOI on Funding but the Collateral gap
Also speaking on funding for Animators and other creative entrepreneurs as individual entrepreneurs or group, Promise George of the Bank of Industry (BOI) representing Uche Nwuka, Group Head, Creative Industry Group, BOI, said BOI took a conscious decision but in strict consultation with the British Council created from ground zero, a N250million BOI Nolly Fund . The fund later hit the 1.2billion mark to support content, production (studios) and distribution infrastructure. “Half of the Yellow Sun, The Film House -14 cinemas were some of the fund’s beneficiaries”, Promise revealed.
According to Mr. George, funds were further approved for about 50 movies, 9 cinemas and other projects at different stages. “Unfortunately, some of the beneficiaries of this 1.2billion initiative were not demonstrating character and also distribution issues” bringing about administrative hiccups. In view of this, the bank is looking at a way of cleaning the books. Meanwhile, a creative who has a project can still access funds but has to be collateralised at least for now.
The good news for Animators
While the Bank is repackaging the Nolly-fund, the cheering news is that while 2011 focused on content and distribution only, the new fund now has about 9 expanded areas of support for the creative industry. “Animation and canning were included just last year”, disclosed Promise. The bank is ready to engage with these sectors to come up with suitable products. “We are inclusive in our funding approach. Funding the expansion of different distribution platforms including mobile media, cinemas, etc” George promised the delegates urging them to feel free to get more information from. www.boi.ng and take full advantage when the fund comes in full swing.
Odugbemi on Creating the future
Speaking on the main theme of the festival: Create the Future – Femi Odugbemi, respected Cinematographer, Director, Producer and Director, Multichoice Talent Factory, stated as a matter of factly, “It really does not matter the channel you deploy to connect with the consumers, it is the story that matters”.
As creators, the biggest misconception is that we know what our audience wants. It’s an incredible fallacy that has taken our young people off their tangents, he declared adding, “Irony of our industry is that we presume a lot about the audience without data. The storyteller shall attain a certain level of understanding, secondly, the audience is keen on fantasy journey”, he noted.
Story telling is the big elephant
Advising the attentive animators and delegates to always “connect through your art and crafts”, Odugbemi impressed that story telling is the big elephant for the country. “The audience wants an experience that takes them away from a everyday reality. Good to be transported to the future but one critical thing for us is that we have to also be transported to the past. “We bloody need heroes”, he emphasised. While raising a poser on how technology can enhance this? he also noted that every story-telling economy must find their reason for being!
Convinced about the viability of the animation business, he said, “The market is there, but needs indoctrination. Practitioners must understand the meeting point between animation and the future.
He warned, “You got to understand that the devices and apps are going to get more assertive. Before the content was king, now data is king. Find an audience and create content for it not the other way round”.
The Onus on the Animators
He encouraged the Animators to do what they have to do because they are in story telling “not looking for validation from anyone”.
In closing his
presentation, Odugbemi gave tribute to Yole Akinawo who he said at 23 or thereabouts, in the mid-90s, was a trailblazer in this specialty. To further strengthen their resolve and impress on the viability of the business, he further revealed that the trailblazer, “Yole had a 30minutes segment in the then-popular Bournvita Saturday morning programme and everyone wanted to watch it because it was a great story”.
For creative guru, animation makes it possible for us to create the future. The onus, he declared, is, however, “on us to win the war, they can’t just hand it over to us”, suggesting there’s enourmous work to be done. These have to be stories that everyone can relate to, but which have their roots in our individual experiences, he asserted to the applause of the capacity filled LIFANIMA 2019 awards audience.