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Festivals and Festivities with VWS Studios

Vonley Smith hits up Annecy International Animation Film Festival

In the words of Vonley Smith

Oftentimes, I’m caught up in my own world but when this opportunity came up something deep down told me I had to give it some attention. The trip to Annecy came recommended by two friends of mine, Christina Hall and Leigh Phillips, who let me know about this opportunity that was available through Caribbean Export Development Agency. I applied and was selected to be a part of the Caribbean delegation attending Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Market, which then lead to my receiving support from the National Cultural Foundation for this trip.

The trip was amazingly insightful. It was a major experience in terms of exploring the international market for animation. As we all know COVID-19 hit us all very hard and it was interesting to see the Festival and animation industry bounce back by promoting more collaboration and having more inclusion into this year’s festival.

I also rediscovered my love for animation while there. Before becoming a filmmaker, I started out editing anime and music together to create anime music videos, or AMVs. That passion is what eventually ignited my filmmaking career. So going to one of the biggest film festivals in the world, as well as participating in MIFA, Annecy’s film market, brought me back to the unlimited ways that animation can tell and bring creative stories together. It felt like destiny.

The experience opened my mind to explore new and different ways to expand my business, VWS Studios, by bringing together local talented artists, actors, musicians, and creatives in general, to collaborate with regional and international creators. At VWS Studios, we are looking promote individuality and uniqueness. We believe that artists should speak their truth and help to elevate the positive consciousness of the Earth. Having said that, the Studios will have its first public call for creatives to particulate in this upcoming community-focused project. Look out for that coming soon in October 2022.

MIFA was my second film market, as I also participated in Berlinale’s European Film Market (Germany) earlier in the year. 

I’m currently working on developing my first feature length film, which I was able to pitch during the experience of both film markets.

In the meantime, you can check out my vlogs and short films on my YouTube channel.

Written by Vonley Smith.

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