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HKDEA's "Future Animation - AI-Assisted Animation Production Pilot Scheme" Presents original animations at Annecy International Animation Film Festival and MIFA

PRNewswire Friday 14 June 2024

HONG KONG, June 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Organised by the Hong Kong Digital Entertainment Association (HKDEA) and sponsored by Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) of the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the "Future Animation - AI-Assisted Animation Production Pilot Scheme" ("Future Animation" Scheme) provides funding and expert guidance to six selected Hong Kong animation companies for them to create original animated works with the assistance of AI, with a view to exploring the full potential of AI application to Hong Kong's animation sector. To showcase these AI-assisted original animations, HKDEA will set up a Hong Kong Pavilion at the "Annecy International Animation Film Festival and MIFA" from 11th to 14th June 2024, bringing the six selected Hong Kong companies to international arena for exploring business opportunities.

The opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Pavilion by the “Future Animation” Scheme was successfully held at the “Annecy International Animation Film Festival and MIFA”
The opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Pavilion by the “Future Animation” Scheme was successfully held at the “Annecy International Animation Film Festival and MIFA”

The opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Pavilion by the "Future Animation" Scheme was successfully held on 11th June 2024 at the "Annecy International Animation Film Festival and MIFA". Besides the presence of Mr. Gabriel Pang, Chairman of HKDEA and Mr. Pedro Leung, representative of CreateHK, other guests officiating at the ceremony include Ms. Grace Li, Deputy Representative of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels, and Mr. Chris Lo, representative of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council in France, Spain and Portugal. During the Festival, the six companies of the "Future Animation" Scheme will join the Festival's "Partner Pitches" on 12th June 2024. They will use the occasion to promote their animation works to industry professionals and investors from around the world, seeking collaboration and investment opportunities. This event is on top of the exchanges and interactions between these six selected companies and the outstanding animation enterprises from all over the world during the four-day exhibition. It is anticipated that such activities can help the six selected companies foster more business opportunities internationally while showcasing the creativity and strength of Hong Kong animation companies to the international market.

One of the oldest and largest international animation festivals, the "Annecy International Animation Film Festival and MIFA" has been highly regarded by the global industry concerned. A series of activities will take place this year in Annecy, France from 9th to 15th June 2024, including four-day MIFA which is a significant annual trade fair for the animation industry from 11th to 14th June 2024. The Hong Kong Pavilion to be set up under the "Future Animation" Scheme at MIFA aims to explore more business opportunities for Hong Kong's animation industry.

Details of the Hong Kong Pavilion's Exhibition and the "Hong Kong Partners Pitches" at the "Annecy International Animation Film Festival and MIFA" 2024 are as follows:

Exhibition at Hong Kong Pavilion
Date: 11th to 14th June 2024
Opening Hours: 9:00am7:00pm
Venue: Stand C.39, MIFA, Annecy Festival

Hong Kong Partners Pitches
Date: 12th June 2024 (Wednesday)
Time: 1:45pm3:00pm
Venue: Salon Haendel, 5/F, Impérial Palace 

For more information about the Hong Kong Pavilion at the "Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Market" 2024, please visit the website:
https://programme.annecyfestival.com/en/program/event/100001504699

"Future Animation - AI-Assisted Animation Production Pilot Scheme" ("Future Animation" Scheme)

The "Future Animation" Scheme received enthusiastic responses with close to 30 applications. The judging committee conducted evaluations of the applications and interviews based on the criteria including the applying animations'  creativity and originality, design and artistic quality, storytelling ability/visual impact, as well as the companies' track record, capability of producing the proposed work, technical capability of mastering AI on production and the commitment to the programme, to select six Hong Kong animation companies and their works to receive the funding.

The "Future Animation" Scheme provides comprehensive support to the six selected Hong Kong animation companies to specifically enhance their animation production capabilities and develop their expertise in applying AI. The support that helps each selected company to create an AI-assisted animation of 15-20 minutes ranges from a maximum subsidy of HK$850,000, mentoring support from industry experts, two free interns from relevant institutes, various activities of Hong Kong pavilion at the "Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Market" 2024, to experience sharing seminar in July or August 2024 which will share the learning and creative experience of AI-assisted animation so as to promote the further application of AI in Hong Kong's original animations.

List of six selected companies of "Future Animation - AI-Assisted Animation Production Pilot Scheme" (arranged in alphabetical order by company name)

Company Names

Work Title

Animation Synopsis

Animazu Studios

The 2nd Block

The story is about a young protagonist who wakes up and prepares to go to school, but cannot find her mother at home. As she steps out onto the street, she notices that the entire neighbourhood appears deserted, as if everyone has vanished. Furthermore, she encounters strange and unidentified creatures that seem to be approaching her. The only reliable item she has is her cell phone, but to her dismay the contact list in it has disappeared, except for the name of one friend. Determined to establish contact with this friend and meet up with him…

Intoxic Studio Limited

Blacky The Iron Arm Cat

The story is about an animal-dominated ancient martial arts world; martial arts have been the dominant force governing the world. However, everything changed with the arrival of extraterrestrial beings.

The protagonists, Blacky and Whitney, both aspire to become the finest martial artists. One day Whitney is attached by the Dog Gang. Blacky appears and saves Whitney and takes her under the tutelage of the Crane Immortal and becomes her master.

However, Whitney is tempted by Grey Monkey and betrays her master, the Crane Immortal. Lucky Jasmine, the mechanic enthusiast, takes care of the severely injured Blacky and equips him with an Iron arm. After recovering, Blacky continues to train his martial arts skills and attempts to integrate martial arts with technology, with the goal of launching his revenge plan.

Nikopicto Limited

Planet Foodies

The story is about a cosmic saga of a quirky team of Dim Sum in their bamboo steamer spaceship lost in a galaxy with all kinds of food and dishes from around the world.

It's a space comedy full of action and emotion, with a mix of cultural elements and pop references.

Pop Culture Studies & Artistry Discovery Lab Limited

Go For A Walk

The story is about the reporters came to the area near the Cha Chaan Teng to conduct street interviews, looking for the footprints of the urban legend "The Master of Walking". The errand boy accompanied by the fairy cate Money Meow, took the reporters on "The walking moment"; they travelled from Hong Kong to various cities via a magic portal to deliver takeaways.

Simage Animation & Media Ltd

Moon Vokzal

The story is about the world is the golden age of space technology, Nikita is the sort of young man who dedicates his prime to his country's space institute. He thinks he can risk anything to be selected as the next cosmonaut, both for the glory and his own ambition.

This is when he meets Anya, and soon he finds himself spending the best times with her. Nikita gets selected among the air force as a cosmonaut trainee.

The failure of the last space mission costs shadows to the future of the lovers. Nikita is determined to fly the spaceship, and it is also too late to withdraw when his own nation looks onto his success. Anya believes there is bound to be a way-out, where it might require the two of them to risk their lives to reach this ending.

Vision Desire Limited

deTour

The story is about a young space adventurer K crash-lands on an unfamiliar planet. Lucky to be saved by an enigmatic local girl.

Choosing to join forces, they embarked on a journey across the planet, teaming with strange creatures and energy elements. They plan to gather the resources to mend the portal that can bring K back to his home planet.

Amidst the strangeness of this new world, K and H form a deep bond, supporting each other through various challenges. Yet, their poignant friendship, while brief, is tested by the harsh realities of fate, culminating in a bittersweet ending that underscores the fleeting beauty of the present.

For details about "Future Animation - AI-Assisted Animation Production Pilot Scheme", please visit our website: https://futureanimation.com.hk/.

About Hong Kong Digital Entertainment Association (HKDEA)

Established in 1999, HKDEA is a non-profit organisation aiming to promote digital entertainment development in Hong Kong. Its mission points toward the achievement of the following goals - boosting prosperity of the digital entertainment industry by fostering cooperation among local developers; opening up and development of digital market; enhancement of local technology so as to raise the competitiveness of Hong Kong production; promoting communication between digital entertainment industry and other related industries such as toys, entertainment and visual games; building a favourable image for digital entertainment; and protection of intellectual property rights and scrapping counterfeit products.

For more information, please visit HKDEA's website at www.hkdea.org

About Create Hong Kong

Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) is a dedicated agency set up by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in June 2009 to spearhead the development of creative industries in Hong Kong. From 1 July 2022 onwards, it is under the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau. Its strategic foci are nurturing talent and facilitating start-ups, exploring markets, and promoting Hong Kong as Asia's creative capital and fostering a creative atmosphere in the community. CreateHK sponsors the Hong Kong Digital Entertainment Association to organise "Future Animation - AI-Assisted Animation Production Pilot Scheme" and other projects to promote the development of digital entertainment industry in Hong Kong.

For more information, please visit CreateHK's website at www.createhk.gov.hk 

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