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CARIMAC to graduate first group of animators

Friday, January 31, 2014    

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JAMAICA and the Caribbean's largest group of trained cartoon animators will graduate next month from a six-month intensive animation course offered by the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Kingston.

Some 43 trained animators will receive their certificates in two graduation ceremonies to be held respectively at UWI's Mona Campus in Kingston and the university's western Jamaica Campus in Montego Bay, during the second week of February.

"I am delighted that so many young Jamaicans from all walks of life have been able to realise their goals of formal training in animation. I am also pleased that we will be graduating 43 out of an initial group of 45 students enrolled at the two campuses, with only two students withdrawing from the programme overall," said Professor Hopeton Dunn, director of CARIMAC.

The graduation ceremony at UWI's Mona campus is scheduled for Saturday, February 8 at 3:00 pm and a similar ceremony will be held at UWI's Montego Bay-based campus on Wednesday, February 12 at 6:00 pm.

The events will be held in association with the local animation company GSW, with whom CARIMAC and the UWI have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) addressing training, employment and animation industry development in Jamaica.

Professor Dunn said that although there were entry requirements related to information technology competencies and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate subjects, the majority of the entrants to the training programme were admitted without any prior formal knowledge of digital media arts or animation.

"This was a deliberate effort to be inclusive and to provide an avenue for the creative development and employment of creative young people, without erecting major barriers to entry," he said, in a recently issued media release.

"It has been reassuring that these students have fully embraced the opportunity and stayed the course towards graduation. They displayed the inherent creativity, adaptability, enthusiasm and diligence required to excel in animation studies and in other areas of the creative industries," he said.

It is expected that from this initial batch of students, the majority of qualified applicants will be employed to GSW Animation.

Several students, according to CARIMAC, have also indicated an interest in setting up their own freelance businesses and others are likely to pursue further studies in animation, motion graphics, film production, digital media production and game development.

According to principal of the Mona campus Professor Archibald McDonald, "These initiatives form part of an overall programme of curriculum expansion and reform now underway at CARIMAC in the areas of Digital Media and Advanced Communications, with studios at both the Mona Kingston campus and in western Jamaica."

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