KingstOOn 3 crowns the ambitions of ‘Kam Kam’
Chief Technical Director in the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division, Office of the Prime Minister, Jacqueline Lynch Stewart (third right), presents the first-place award in the KingstOON Concept competition to Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of 'Listen Mi Caribbean' Kenia Mattis. (Photo: Donald De La Haye via JIS).
After sifting through more than 1,800 entries from 105 countries, narrowing down to finalists into several competition categories, each with a total of 8 awards on tap, the Kenia Mattis-led team from ListenMi Caribbean copped the coveted prize for Best Concept in the Emerging Animated Content Competition at the 3rd staging of the KingstOOn Animation Conference and Afro Descendant Film Festival.
The Adventures of Kam Kam – Space Explorer tells the tale of a headstrong little Jamaican girl who wants to become a space explorer and go where no one has ever gone before.
Kam Kam’s “…boundless imagination propels her and Glow Juice – her favourite fishy squishy toy into the most ‘intergalacticosmic’ adventures”, according to the team’s pitch document.
After the event, Mattis admitted that her muse for the character was, in fact, her sister, as their mother Deon Mattis later confirmed.
In her acceptance speech, Kenia pointedly thanked her own mother for empowering her journey, and all parents who allow their children to explore this unconventional career path.
Jamaica's Kenia Matis (Front R) leads her team with a mock pitch to the coaches at KingstOOn 3's PItch boot camp at the Hotel, UTech. Photo conteibuted.
TeamKamKam won a bundle of prizes including a trophy, certificates, hardware and software (from sponsors Wacom, TV Paint and Toon Boom). The top prize was a trip to the world-renowned MIP Junior Animation Festival in France this October to pitch their product and to benefit from networking.
Kam Kam emerged victorious over a strong pool of competitors who spent two intense days in a boot camp on the University of Technology campus being coached by local, regional and international industry heavyweights.
Coordinator Camille Selvon Abrahams (Director, Animae Caribe) was joined by Raquel Benitez (CEO, Comet Entertainment), Carlos Biern (Business Development Consultant - Office of the Prime Minister, Jamaica), D’Oyen Williams Programme Manager, Digital Skills, SlashRoots Foundation and Chara Hunter (Snr. Producer, Big Studios Inc.).
The final drill was a pitch before a live audience under the scrutiny of a panel of international judges. This was one highlight of KingstOOn 3 on Saturday night before the results were revealed in the closing Awards Ceremony on Sunday.
Just before the final ceremony, there was also the final rounds of the Wacom ‘Cintique Showdown” – a contest open to all visitors to the booth of leading hardware manufacturer in the animation industry.
Using the top range Wacom Cintiq Pro, contestants respond to a randomly generated 3-word phrase and use their imaginations to interpret and draw their best representation of that phrase. 16 semi-finalists were selected from which four finalists participated in the playoffs with their artistic representation of the phrase ‘seductively singing siren’.
Topping the field was experienced animator and multi-KingstOOn awardee George Hay, who walked away with his own Wacom Cintiq Pro.
KingstOOn is a collaborative effort between Jamaica and the World Bank in a joint effort to stimulate animation activity to boost youth employment. the event is co-created with leading Jamaican universities and training programs, including the University of Technology Jamaica, University of the West Indies (Mona), Caribbean School of Media and Communication (CARIMAC), Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Media Training Institute (MTI), Excelsior Community College and the Mico University College, HEART Trust -National Training Agency and the Vocational Training and Development Institute (VTDI).