ANIMAE CARIBE . . . awe inspiring

The imagination, creativity, skill and drive that produces what we call animation is absolutely awe inspiring, as Randall Sumairsingh writes in this review for T&T’s Guardian. This year’s Animae Caribe (Animation and New Media Festival) opened my eyes to this.

On Halloween night, October 31, I found myself in NAPA (National Academy for Performing Arts) for the first time since its 2009 completion. Animae Caribe? I wasn’t certain of what I should expect, besides, of course, the obvious—animation. What I got, however, was much more than I could have expected. I walked into the theatre just as Carnival by Susan Young was being shown.

I was greeted by whispered “oohs and ahhs” and the occasional chuckle from the audience. All was quiet except for the soft sounds that co-incised with the movements of the dancing lines on film. Not having much of a clue as to what I should be looking for, it finally hit me that exactly what I was looking for—some crudely painted and animated strokes—was exactly what I needed see. The film portrayed Carnival (in the 1980s) perfectly. It gathered the essence of mas and Trinidadian culture and yet, it was nothing more than animated paint strokes.

Expressing one’s creativity is of extreme importance. Some people write songs and poems, others paint and design, fewer make films and some dance. The art of animation, however, can incorporate all of these to produce an amazing work of art. Caribbean people have incredibly innovative minds and a wild imagination. During the opening screening I saw some movie concepts that blew my mind.

A boy unscrewing his head to catch fish? Objects like a computer mouse or a wrench, being brought to life to look like animals and cars? I was quite impressed. The audience showed that they admired the show as much as I did with a hearty round of applause.

Animae Caribe has been around for ten years and has now gone global. This year’s workshops included a star-studded cast of invited animation and film professionals. Actor Tim Reid, visual effects artist James Parris and music man John Welsman, to name a few. Educating the population with knowledge of art and animation, the Animae Caribe festival is one that T&T will welcome with open arms next year.

I am certain that this year’s festival exposed a lot of people to the world of animation and maybe even inspired them to make it a career or hobbie.

For the original report go to

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