One of the African continent’s premiere animation events, Cape Town International Animation Festival (CTIAF), has announced an enviable lineup of guest speakers for its eighth edition taking place March 8 to 10 in the coastal South African city. Among the speakers, two major standouts are veteran animation producer Aron Warner and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse co-director Peter Ramsey.

Warner produced all four installments of DreamWorks’ highly successful Shrek franchise, and afterward produced Jorge Gutierrez’s The Book of Life for Reel FX. He is currently developing multiple projects for Sony Pictures Animation.

Peter Ramsey, as one of three directors in charge of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, has received numerous accolades for his work in recent months from guilds and critics groups across the United States. Ramsey, who began his career as a storyboard artist for live-action feature films, including Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Boyz n the Hood, Minority Report, Being John Malkovich, Fight Club, and Ang Lee’s Hulk, also directed Dreamworks’ Rise of the Guardians (2012).

“The festival is committed to promoting and celebrating transformation in the animation sector,” festival director Dianne Makings said in a statement. “Peter, who was the first African American director of an animated feature film for a major studio with Rise of the Guardians, and the first African American director to be nominated or an Oscar in the Best Animated Feature category, will be exploring the topic of diversity in the industry in his talks.”

Presented by the organization Animation SA, the Cape Town event has also announced dozens of other speakers from both the international and local animation industries. Among the international guests are David Prescott (svp creative production at Skydance Animation), Archita Ghosh (executive producer at E.d. Films), John Paul Giancarlo (Brown Bag Films’ 3d r&d & vfx technical director), and Moïra Marguin (head of animation at Gobelins).

Besides talks, workshops, and masterclasses, CTIAF also hosts business-to-business sessions, producer events, networking opportunities, and government panel discussions, in addition to student competitions, a family film program, and an outreach initiative.

Onscreen this year, the program includes African premieres of two Japanese gems: Mamoru Hosoda’s Mirai and Makoto Shinkai’s global phenomenon Your Name. Max Lang and Daniel Snaddon’s Zog, a half-hour film that debuted on BCC One over the holidays, will also screen at the fetival. The film was produced at Cape Town’s own Triggerfish Animation.

For details on attending, visit the event’s website.

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