Sharjah Animation Conference invites entries for SAC Awards 2024

The Sharjah Animation Conference (SAC), a premier event celebrating the creative world of animation, has announced its awards programme and call for submissions for 2024. For their second edition of the conference, taking place from May 1st to 5th at the Expo Centre Sharjah, SAC invites animators, creatives, and storytellers to showcase their talent and contribute to the vibrant animation industry through two challenges, the “Pitch the Project Award”, and the “Book Trailer Award”. Submissions are open until April 15th, with the awards ceremony scheduled for the final day of the conference, May 5th.The top three winners in each award will walk away with exciting prizes, as well as the prestigious recognition that comes with being chosen by the Sharjah Animation Conference jury. This recognition can open doors to future opportunities, industry connections, and a chance to showcase their talents on a global stage. The deadline for submissions for both categories will be April 15th, 2024. Pitch the Project Award: A celebration of Middle Eastern animationThe Pitch the Project Award challenges local artists, authors, producers, and creative minds to develop a captivating pitch document for a potential animated series aimed at preschoolers or kids. This series should be themed around the rich cultures and traditions of the Middle East.The pitch document, in PDF format and no longer than 15 slides (20Mb maximum), should present a compelling title, an enthralling series concept, and detailed descriptions of the show's lively characters and immersive settings. Outlining a typical episode's structure with key plot points will give the judges a glimpse into your storytelling flow.While not mandatory, including bonus materials like character sketches, environment designs, or mood boards that capture the series’ overall aesthetic can significantly enhance one’s pitch.The top three finalists will receive fantastic prizes to take their animation dreams a step further. First place walks away with a cash prize of AED 9,000 alongside a Wacom drawing tablet as well as a professional animation software licence for Toonboom Harmony, and second place will receive a cash prize of AED 5,000, and a Wacom tablet and Toonboom’s Storyboard software, while third place takes home a cash prize of AED 3,000 and a Toonboom Harmony licence, giving them the tools to hone their animation skills.This challenge is an opportunity to showcase the depth and beauty of Middle Eastern cultures through animation. The organisers are seeking innovative ideas that translate into beloved children's stories, promoting diversity and cultural understanding through engaging entertainment. Submissions can be made via the following link on the SAC website Trailer Award: Bringing stories to lifeThe Book Trailer Award invites individuals, groups, and creative agencies to create a promotional video for the “Kharareef” book series by Emirati author Dubai Abulhoul, published by Kalimat Publishing Group. Submissions can focus on either a single book or the entire series. The duration of the video must be between 30 and 60 seconds, and the quality must be at least 1080p and 30fps.The award also offers a lucrative prize pool, with the winning submission taking home a cash prize of AED 9,000 alongside a Wacom drawing tablet and a professional animation software licence for Toonboom Harmony. Second place will receive a smaller Wacom tablet, a cash prize of AED 5,000, and a licence for Toonboom’s Storyboard software, while third place will win AED 3,000 as well as a licence Toonboom’s Harmony software, providing fantastic opportunities to further develop their creative talents.This award recognises the art of promotional advertising and its ability to capture the essence of a book. It celebrates artists who use their skills to ignite the reader's imagination and reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, to elevate the importance of books on the global stage. More information about the "Kharareef" book series and submission guidelines can be found on the SAC website at the following link by the bestThe Pitch the Project Award will be evaluated by a distinguished panel of judges including Krist of Serrand, a renowned artist; Kamel Weiss a Business & Content Director at Spacetoon; as well as Andrea Bozzetto producer and director from Studio Bozzetto, and Olivier Dumont President of Hasbro Production. These jury members will also be joined by Pietro Pinetti and Khoula Al Mujaini, the Artistic Director and Executive Director of SAC, respectively.For the Book Trailer Award, the jury comprises artists Kristof Serrand and Sandro Cleuzo; producers, Giorgio Scorza, CEO, Director and Art Director at Movimenti Production and Abdulaziz Othman the Founder and CEO of Zeez Production House, with additional insights from Dubai Abulhoul, author of the “Kharareef” book series, Mariam AlObeidli, Managing Director of Kalimat Group, joined by with Pietro Pinetti, and Khoula Al Mujaini the Artistic Director and Executive Director of SAC, respectively.

Unveiling future of animation: Sharjah hosts Second Animation Conference in May

Sharjah: The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) is set to return with the 2nd edition of the Sharjah Animation Conference (SAC), a first-of-its-kind event that brings the vibrancy and creativity of the animation and publishing industry into the spotlight. From May 1-5, Expo Centre Sharjah will transform into a canvas where the global elite of animation leaders, artists, thinkers, and creators gather to deliberate and sketch the future of this evolving art form.The conference boasts an exceptional lineup featuring experts from industry giants such as Disney, Warner Bros, and Sony. Participants can look forward to an enriching program that includes workshops, dynamic discussion sessions, screenings of acclaimed international films, and diverse exhibitions curated by some of the industry's most accomplished artists and award-winning legends, including Oscar laureates. Aiming to foster a vibrant exchange of knowledge and ideas, SAC seeks to establish itself as an international platform for exploring the latest industry developments and encouraging creative collaborations. The event aims to facilitate the exchange of expertise, review the latest trends in animation, which is considered a universal medium that blends art with technology, and celebrate the rich tapestry of human and cultural diversity.Commenting on the announcement, Khawla Al Mujaini, Executive Director of SAC, said: "As specialists in the publishing sector, we strive to discover opportunities in this vital and influential domain, which plays a crucial role in developing various creative industries. We aim to provide rich and diverse content that these industries can rely on for their growth and to boost interest in them. Specifically, in the animation industry, the publishing sector is the most important content source, fulfilling its needs and aspirations.”For his part, Pietro Pinetti, Artistic Director of SAC, stated: “The conference showcases the wide and varied spectrum of animation styles and technologies worldwide that are rapidly evolving. It offers a unique opportunity to explore this field's latest trends and breakthroughs and gain insights from its pioneers and leading experts. We are committed to delivering a diverse program that meets our audience's expectations and highlights emerging talent in animation, creating opportunities for training and professional development for newcomers and experienced professionals. We expect wide participation in this globally appealing event, especially from young individuals who represent the future of animation.”The Sharjah Animation conference will start on a high note with a concert by the renowned Florence Pop Orchestra, marking the beginning of five days of creativity and inspiration. The conference will feature 32 international speakers, offering 11 workshops and 18 panel discussions. Additionally, there will be a four-day intensive masterclass in collaboration with experts from Aardman Animations, the Bristol-based British studio known for its highly successful stop-motion and clay animation films.