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SUCCESS STORIES

THE ANIMATION SCHOOL

Cape Town is home to one of the world’s top animation schools. Led by Nuno Martins (pictured), the state-of-the-art Animation School in Woodstock was ranked the 18th best animation school in the world in 2017.

The school has ranked among the world’s Top 100 animation schools for the last 5 years and has produced some of the industry’s best animators.

“We are incredibly proud,” says Martins. “We have about 50 graduates a year and our success rate in terms of graduates finding employment is never lower than 85%. Our team is committed. I think that we can honestly say that it’s a reliable product. Many other schools will sing the song in marketing, but they won’t actually play the music when you arrive. Where with us, we make sure that we deliver on our promise and that is testament in our students’ work. It’s high-end, quality stuff.”

Headquartered in Cape Town with a second campus in Johannesburg, the Animation School offers a three-year full time Animation Diploma. Since its launch in 2000, the school has established itself as the leading specialist animation training institution in South Africa. Its students consistently win top honours at various award ceremonies and its graduates have been employed by leading studios.

Martins says the school was started to feed the industry with skilled animators. “Our mission is to make sure that our students walk away from here with a set of skills that’s going to make them employable.”

The school has won several international awards over the years, including a Gold Award at the New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards in 2011 for producing the world’s best Short Animation Film, titled “In Sickness”. Since then, the school’s students have won national and international awards almost every year (full list of awards here).

“Seeing our students being employed and working their way through to Triggerfish and other international studios is one of our biggest highlights,” says Martins. “Others include the many awards, expanding to Johannesburg and our international partnerships.”

The school has partnered with a number of international animation schools, including Gobelins in France, currently ranked the best animation school in the world. Relationships have also been forged with schools in Rome, Denmark and New York.

“We have an alumni teacher from Gobelins, a world-class animation director, who comes out every year,” says Martins. “We also have an exchange student programme with them and a teacher exchange with another school in France, Emile Cohl. We send a teacher out to help them with 3D and technical stuff and they send art directors here to help us with visual development.”

The Animation School prides itself on being truly international, says Martins. “We’ve had students from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Nigeria, Ghana, France, Italy, Holland, Germany and currently have one from Miami. Internationals love it here. Cape Town is the perfect destination for students, especially those interested in design and the creative sector. Cape Town is home to the Disney of Africa, Triggerfish. The city is beautiful and really inspires creativity. It’s just amazing.”

About career opportunities in animation, Martins says there is no ceiling. “The entertainment industry is becoming more popular and re-inventing itself with video on demand. Things like Netflix is changing the spectrum,” he says. “Possible careers include television, like TV commercials, visual effects, motion graphics – anything graphics related. They can go on to create feature films like Triggerfish does. They can do games development, XR, VR and AR. Animation is everywhere and becoming more and more popular.”

Martins says his dream is for the school to rank in the Top 5 animation schools in the world.  “We want it to become a household brand worldwide. We have dreams of having a campus overseas. The world is one country from a communications point of view and we want to be a global player.”

For more information, visit The Animation School.

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