KingstOOn Festival and Sesame Workshop announce winning pitch team; UWI animation students, Chevon Irving and Tajha Winkle chosen to animate their ‘11 Robot Reggae Band’ film for iconic show’s Season 52, with local animator George Hay set to mentor and advise.
As part of their recent event, the KingstOOn Animation and Film Festival and Sesame Workshop hosted a call for pitches for animated short films to be considered for Sesame Street’s Season 52. The winning team was announced at the conclusion of the festival, which took place virtually April 21-25; a local production team, including two students enrolled at the University of the West Indies (UWI), was selected to produce their animated short film, 11 Robot Reggae Band, for the 52nd season of the beloved children's series. The animation students, Chevon Irving and Tajha Winkle, will work with local animator and advisor/mentor George Hay.
“We are beyond words,” commented Irving on behalf of the team. “It's truly a great honor for us to be working on a project for Sesame Street. The whole world will be seeing this. It's a very big deal!"
The team was selected from a pool of entrants who responded to a call for pitches from Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street. The call for pitches was open to Jamaican citizens as well as permanent residents enrolled as students. Artists were invited to submit pitches to be reviewed by Sesame Street Film Producer, Kimberly Wright, for animated and mixed-media short films.
"We are so excited to commission 11 Robot Reggae Band for our Season 52 line-up, and to work with Chevon, Tajha, and George,” remarked Wright. “Sesame Street has a long history in Jamaica; first through its partnership with Beaches Resorts and now with KingstOOn. We’re pleased to continue showcasing the invaluable talent of local animators and artists.”
KingstOOn was organized by the Government of Jamaica through the Youth Employment in the Digital and Animation Industries (YEDAI) Project, in collaboration with the World Bank. The objectives of KingstOOn are to provide Jamaican and Caribbean animators with ways to continue learning about the global industry; create opportunities for producers to generate profits from their projects; and to showcase diverse content, including film and animation products from around the world.