KingstOOn Virtual Event Sees Submissions Increase


KingstOOn has hosted its first-ever virtual event with over 3,500 registered participants and festival submissions increasing from 300 received in 2013 to 2,100 from 105 countries this year.

During the opening ceremony, Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness commended the organizers of the event and noted that the animation industry is an increasingly growing sector of employment for young Jamaicans.

“Youth unemployment in Jamaica has declined over the period 2014–2020 from 34 percent to 23 percent. This is significant; and this can, in part, be attributed to the increased numbers of youth trained and now employed in the digitization and animation industries,” he said.

He also shared that the creative industry is a lucrative field and has contributed positively to the growth of the economy, and encouraged young Jamaicans to consider it as a possible career. “Film contributed J$225M to national GDP in the 20-21 fiscal year and created 785 jobs for local professionals on 44 registered productions. Among these productions are Sprinter, written and directed by our own Mr. Storm Saulter, one of the featured speakers in the festival; and of course James Bond B25.”

During a keynote, Matthew Luhn shared stories about his career in the animation industry. Luhn has created stories and characters at Pixar Animation Studios, The Simpsons and several others. Over the years, his clients have also included companies such as Target, Procter and Gamble, Adidas, Sony, Mattel, Facebook, Charles Schwab, Microsoft, Warner Brothers, Google, Salesforce and Disney.

The event was hosted by local media personality Debbie Bissoon and an animated robot, Caleb, who was created by Jamaican animator Coretta Singer. Caleb is a character originally from one of Singer’s first 3D animated shorts entitled Voyajah.

KingstOOn also featured a keynote address from Olivier Lelardoux, senior VP of animation and associate producer of Cyber Group Studios, delving into the latest use of state-of-the-art virtual production tools, using hybrid magnetic or optical motion capture while simplifying the production process.