Animation company says over 2,000 jobs can be created in Caribbean

More than 2,000 jobs could be created over the next five years as a result of the Caribbean Digital Media Centre (CDMC) which was officially launched last Friday at the Harbour Industrial Estate, Stabroek News reports.

Chief executive officer James Corbin said with the help of global partners Toon Boom Animation Inc. and Bento Box Entertainment, the Caribbean’s largest animation studio would target the offshore animation industry and earn valuable foreign exchange for Barbados.

“We have a staff of 30 and we are highly focused and very passionate about our mission, which is to create world-class animation products which elevate Barbados to a globally recognized centre for animation.

“By successfully executing our mission, we shall elevate not only Barbados but also the entire Caribbean and put this region on the map as a globally recognized centre for animation,” he said.

Corbin noted that the staff was fully trained in Toon Boom Harmony, which is the flagship product of Toon Boom – the number one software animation company in the world.

The team is led by Hungarian Darko Belevski who has worked in the renewed Zagreb and Pannonio Film Studios.

“We shall lead the way in creating clusters of animation companies. Some will come from our current staff who will become entrepreneurs, and other entrepreneurs will enter the sector because they see the success of this company,” Corbin added.

The inventor and entrepreneur also noted that CDMC had begun discussions with the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and Barbados Community College to include animation in the curriculum.

In addition, he said the company would seek a Caribbean Examinations Council examination in animation.

Speaking earlier on Friday during a breakfast session with the media, Toon Boom president and chief executive officer Joan Vogelesang said her company was drawn to the Caribbean because of the success it had achieved in India and Africa.

“We looked at the Caribbean and realized that the same challenges are here, which is a group of young people that are very talented, very educated and creative, and are looking for jobs that take advantage of this very strong left- and right-brain component.

“We see an opportunity here – by having studios set up that will initially do outsource work and ultimately local content – to be able to create very good jobs,” she said.

Vogelesang noted that the global animation market was expected to reach US$100 billion this year, up from US$68 billion in 2008.

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