The Animation School Wins at the ASA Student Competition

Animation South Africa had its first ever Student Competition Viewing on Saturday, 4 February at The Bioscope Independent cinema in Johannesburg. The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) sponsored the event and the 1st prize is a trip to the world’s biggest animation festival in Annecy, France later this year.

Other prizes included internships, online courses and book prizes contributed by supportive industry players. The aim of the competition is to motivate local schools and in so doing raise the overall standard of animation locally.

The competition was open to all students who are currently registered at a South African animation school, including universities, technical colleges and private tertiary institutions. This year’s eligible schools excluded online courses such as Animation Mentor, but this will most likely be amended next year.

According to Animation SA the competition aims to create an open dialogue between the South African animation industry and the animation educational institutions. Further it hopes to inform students about the local animation industry, their opportunities for employment, and the expectations of potential employers.

The competition was initiated to decrease the gap between the needs of the industry and the skills of graduates and to give exceptional students the motivation and tools to further their skills and careers. Other goals are to create an awareness of local animation overseas and to create public interest in the South African animation at home.

David Hecker, formerly an animation educator at Learn2 and now with Sunrise was one of the judging team. “The judges were very impressed not only by the overall quality of the work entered, but also the diversity of the stories being told. There were a number of pieces that absolutely blew us away in terms of their concept and execution and we were thrilled to see that there was a general understanding of what it takes to make an animated short without relying on stale jokes and half-baked stories”.

“Some of the categories were hotly contested and warranted some lengthy discussion. The general standard of entries was quite good and we all feel that there is some really good talent about to hit the market”.

Shannan Taylor from Monster Studios in Johannesburg also commented on the challenging task of selecting the winner: “It was very inspiring to see that the standard of work submitted for this competition was on such a  level  that our local  animation studios  may have to reconsider  what is required from  entry level  animators!  I would really like to reinforce that as much as  one can predict the words; ‘it was a very close call’… and  ‘there can only be one winner’!”

“I honestly believe there should have  been at least  five  seats on that plane to Annecy!  … Well done to everyone who put in so much of their ‘life  time’ into their submissions ~ keep it up ~ the studios are watching you!”

Winner Jeanelize de Nys from The Animation School with ASA Co-Chair David Whitehouse

1. Short Film

Winner of the grand prize: Jeanelize de Nys (The Animation School)

2nd : Ian van Heerden (The Animation School)

3rd: Kevin Van Der Oever  (Open Window)


2. Character Animation

Winner: Jeanelize de Nys (The Animation School)

2nd: Louis Rossow  (Touch Vision training)

3rd:: Annike Pienaar (Open Window)


3. Outstanding Technical Achievement

Winner by default: Shane Marks (The Animation School)


4. Production Design

Winner: Kevin Van Der Oever (Open Window)

Paul Lombard (The Animation School)

Thapelo Keetile (University of Johannesburg)


5. Best Visual Execution

Winner: Kevin Van Der Oever (Open Window)

2nd: Dumisani Masilela (Touch Vision Training)

3rd: Shane Marks (The Animation School)


No award was given for artistic achievement, due to a lack of entries in alternative mediums.

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