Back in 2014, we wrote about the embryonic animation scene in Jamaica. The industry was drawing support from the local government and the World Bank, which saw its potential for creating employment among the young.

Seven years on, that initiative is in full swing. Jamaica’s animation production continues to grow, and its profile is rising. A pillar of the industry is Kingstoon Animation Conference and Film Festival, which wrapped up its (virtual) fourth edition on April 25. The event has announced the winners of its competitive section, which are listed below.

The competition is split into two strands, one international, one focusing on emerging talent in the region. Kingstoon aims to showcase and create opportunities for animation artists from Jamaica and the Caribbean, and this goal is reflected in the prizes on offer.

Finalists in the “best concept” category pitched their projects to Sesame Workshop and Nickelodeon. The winners of the “best Caribbean short film” award will get the opportunity to have their film shown on the major network Television Jamaica, and the chance to negotiate broadcasting rights with Hispanic telecommunications titan Movistar. The “best concept” winners will get to negotiate a development, representation, and co-production deal with Africa Animation Network and U.S.-based Baboon Animation Studios.

This year’s event also featured a line-up of talks and other industry events, including a keynote speech by Pixar veteran Matthew Luhn and a panel on the place of black women in the animation world.

Read on for the full list of winners:

Kingstoon Emerging Animated Content Competition
Best Storyboard
  • Mango Man by Andre Rankine — Jamaica (1st place)
  • Mental by Chevon Irving — Jamaica (2nd place)
  • Colours in the Wind by Gabrielle Watts — Jamaica (2nd place)
Best Character Design
  • Doc the National Bird by Gary Plummer — Jamaica (1st place)
  • Row-Row the Throw Pro by Melisa Kerr — Jamaica (1st place)
  • Taegan, The Prosthesis Hero by Renee Ross — Jamaica (2nd place)
Doc the National Bird
Doc the National Bird design by Gary Plummer.
Best Caribbean Short Film
  • TOL by Dylan Attelly, Jérémy Gravinay, Joëllia Rose, Stephen Martingoulet, Matthieu Templet-Nadeau, Anne-Isabelle Zamant, and Tiffani Browne — Martinique (1st place)
  • The Big Catch by Arminda Bailey – Trinidad and Tobago (2nd place)
Best Concept
  • Jellyman Adventures by Shaquille Crosse, Kyle-Andrew Lee, Chevardi Gray, and Dwayne Pottinger — Jamaica (1st place)
  • HOWZATT by Rene Holder and Tracy Hutchings — Trinidad and Tobago (2nd place)
Jellyman Adventures
Kingstoon International Animated Film Competition
Best International Special Effects Film
  • The Quiet by Radheya Jegatheva — Australia (1st place)
  • The Last Mother by Megan de Jong and Garai Vorm — The Netherlands (2nd place)
Best International Student Film
  • The Sugarcane Man by Tina Obo, Leroy Le Roux — South Africa (1st place)
  • Feeling Blues by Astrid Massad, Nicolas Lipari, Marion Morgante, Maria-Louiza Bitsou, Guillaume Clamart-Mezeray — France (2nd place)
Best International Short Film
  • Biji by Kin Lek Chew — Malaysia (1st place)
  • C is for Cars by Warren Brown – Canada (2nd place)
Best International Feature Film
  • The Fixies vs. Crabots by Vasili Bedoshvili, Ivan Pshonkin, and Oleg Uzhinov — Russian Federation (1st place)
  • The Heritage of Sri Sutturu Math by Abdul Kareem – India (2nd place)

Image at top: “HOWZATT” by Rene Holder and Tracy Hutchings