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Annecy announces Nigerian winner for international festival

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Annecy Festival International, an internationally renowned animation body, has declared the pair of Mbuotidem Johnson and Ukpeme Uwakwe as the best in the Nigerian animation industry competition.
 
The body also announced the pair of Egbelughe Philip and Stanlee Ohikhuare, Oyinkan Odunlami and Temidayo Odunlami, Brian Wilson and Eseme Joseph, Oluwayomi Oluwasegun Samson and Omotunde Akiode as finalists with the best creative animation projects in Nigeria to pitch their works as part of the Nigerian focus during the 2021 edition of the Annecy International film festival in France. 

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In the training, facilitated by top French animators, the participants were tasked to prepare a short animation TV series with the judges deciding which work best captured best practices in the animation industry.
  
In the wake of its 2021 edition and its focus on Africa, Annecy and the MIFA (Annecy International Animation Market) expressed their interest in Nigeria by offering young talents the opportunity to develop their projects.
  
The Guardian gathered that the focus on supporting creatives within Nigeria was hinged on the growing impact of the animation sector in the job market and the Nigerian economy.
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Speaking at the award ceremony, Regional Audiovisual Attaché at the French Embassy in Nigeria, Yoann Talhouarne, said France’s support to Nigeria was aimed at strengthening the creative and cultural arts in Nigeria and to make for improving the capacity of Nigeria-based animators to meet up with the international standards.
  
Talhouarne, who commended the contestants for their brilliant pieces, said the project, aimed at stimulating capacity building, is for a period of two years and sponsored by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.

A representative of Animation Nigeria, Ms Damilola Solesi, said hosting the Annecy MIFA campus in Nigeria was an opportunity for Nigerian animators to showcase their ideas and constructively develop themselves in their crafts.

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On the impact of the festival to Nigeria, Solesi said it was multiple, adding: “Many of the animators have found ways to better their ideas. They have been refined to see their stories from an international point of view, to articulate their ideas to meet up with the world’s best practices.
  
“So, this opportunity to go to Annecy Festival International would make participants learn, network, and possibly do business which would help the Nigerian economy in the long run.”
 
Speaking with the winner and founder of Basement Animation Studio, Mbuotidem Johnson, he said: “Through this training, we had the opportunity to fine-tune our project, which we have had since 2018 to tell a story that is universal and can go anywhere. It was a good experience.

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