Staff and Students of the Department of Communication Design (DeCoDe), (KNUST) recently attended an Animation Festival organized by AnimateGh with sponsorship from the Goethe-Institut in Accra. The festival which run from Monday 28th to Wednesday 30th, October, 2019 brought together some animation agencies, educators, freelance artists and practitioners, members from government agencies as well as enthusiasts and animation lovers. The festival was organized on the theme, “Animating Ghanaian Folklore”.
Opening the Festival, Mr. Samuel Quartey, President of the Animators Association of Ghana (AAgh) welcomed participants to the 3 day event and introduced some dignitaries present. In his keynote address, Mr. Fara Awindor, President of the Ghana Film Academy said such an event comes to energize and encourage us as stakeholders of the animation industry. He further called for collaboration since this field has small interest and yet is a capital intensive career that requires much dedication. Mr. Awindor also spoke about plans and structures to get GAFTA well positioned and encouraged all to join the Animator Association of Ghana which was enacted in 2016 as a Legal body under the National Film Authority.
In attendance were staff and students from the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Department of Communication Design (DeCoDe), KNUST, the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI), African University College of Communication (AUCC), Staff of Goethe Institut, Board members of the National Film Authority and the National Folklore Board of Ghana.
The director of the Goethe-Institut, Heike Friesel graced the event to welcome the participants and to outline the work of the Institut; which seeks to promote the study of German abroad and encourage international cultural exchange.
The first speaker, David Masterville, a writer and a filmmaker spoke about the significance of the Ghanaian Folklore especially in his work as a filmmaker. He further gave a brief background of his life work and the challenges he faces in film productions. David has received International; recognition from various film festivals and his current work, “Gilberte’s World” has been selected in a number of major film festivals around the globe.
Thereafter, the Acting Director of the National Folklore Board (NFB), Nana Adwoa Adobea Asante was present to discuss the role of the board as mandated to protect Ghana’s folklore and to ensure its advocacy among Ghanaians. She outlined the numerous activities the Board is currently engaged in to ensure Ghanaian folklore is kept protected. In a panel discussion, Mr. George Bosumpem touched on the role of the National Film Authority as they work to protect folkloric elements being used in various media. The laws guiding the use of Ghanaian folklore was also discussed amidst questions from participants.
The next day started with a panel discussion on “teaching animation”. Participating educational institutions discussed the processes as well the challenges of teaching animation in their respective training institutions. In this panel included, Mr Kwamena Ansah Aboagye, National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI), Ms Solace Emefa Adzei, University of Education, Winneba, Dr. Ismaila Moro, KNUST and Dr. Sela Kodjo Adjei, National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI). This served as an opportunity to appreciate the work of educators and challenges ahead. Students also joined in to express their concerns as learners of animation through an informal discussion. Participants also gave much meaning contributions to the discourse on surviving as an animation student and as a practitioner in the industry.
The event also witnessed a presentation on “Characterization for Animation” by Mr. Kwabena Kusi-Appouh from DeCoDe, KNUST. He presented on his character designs as an illustrator and also discussed the working processes of his animated feature, “Nyame’s Great Secret”, based on a Ghanaian folktale.
As part of the festival, screening of animated films were held in the evening to have a preview of what animators around the country have been doing.