Baboon Animation Africa (BAA) is looking to expand its pipeline by way of a new pitch competition that’s open to African creators.
The Baboon Animation and African Animation Network (AAN) joint venture aims to move upwards of 25 projects into development over the next five years via the Great Big African Animation Pitch program. It launches in early 2022 and will award four to five winning annually with a spot on the BAA development slate.
Great Big African Animation Pitch is open to concepts from African creators and producers who are either based in Africa or elsewhere in the world, as well as co-pros that have at least one partner (studio or individual) located in Africa. All content genres and age targets are welcome, but Baboon Animation Africa is primarily looking for comedy pitches.
Participants should start preparing pitch decks, designs, sample scripts/outlines and a video pitch. More details about how to submit these materials will be available when the studios officially launch the program next year, says AAN founder Nick Wilson. The competition’s ultimate goals are to quickly build up Baboon Animation Africa’s development slate, and discover new talent and producers.
BAA plans to work closely with the winning creators, who will retain a significant ownership stake in their IPs, says creative director Mike de Seve at Baboon Animation.
Known for its service work on projects like Cars and Alvin and the Chipmunks, the New York-based studio has been sizing up Africa as a region for expansion for some time. De Seve teamed up with AAN’s Wilson to launch the JV.
Inspiration for the pitching event stemmed from Cartoon Network Africa’s Creative Lab initiative, which gave its top prize to African creator Ridwan Moshood’s pitch for Garbage Boy and Trash Can (pictured) in 2018. Baboon and African Animation Network later teamed up with Moshood to develop and produce the show, which will premiere on Cartoon Network Africa next year.
Wilson says Baboon Animation Africa also plans to roll out additional programs across the continent, including the launch of an edutainment block on multiple broadcasters in Sub-Saharan Africa. But he adds that its ultimate goal is to launch a linear channel focused on kids animation.
“We want to share the table in Africa, find new talent in the country, and give them real ownership of their ideas and their industry,” says de Seve. “The industry is growing and we want to be a part of that development, helping to find the next [Moshood] in a way that’s profitable for all of us.”