The Highway Rat will be screened at the Cape Town International Animation Festival. Copyright Magic Light Pictures 2017

Animation is a wide-ranging term these days for a range of multi-media animated films. At the beginning of March you can tune into its diverse definitions at the seventh Cape Town International Animation Festival (CTIAF). 

This, as well as providing a platform to engage with overseas and local industry leaders in thought-provoking workshops, talks and panel discussions.

Festival Director Dianne Makings, who has been involved in the fest for four years this year, says there's really something for visitors of all ages.

"There's a massive deficit of animation producers locally as so many take their skills overseas," says Makings. 

She adds, "Last year in three days 1 500 people came through the doors at the festival. A lot of people think of pursuing it as a career. As an art form - absolutely you can have best art tools in the world but you need that creativity.

"So, if you have ever been interested in animation come to the festival - it may spark something. The industry is at a tipping point. It's all about getting word out there. The thing we keep wanting to hammer home is that creativity is where you should be focusing your skills. Our message at the festival is creativity."

"There are some nice things for children and in general we really hope more people will come. Sadly there's the perception that animation is expensive and it's not true.. It's important for people who love or are interested in animation to see the range and the incredible skills," explains makings.

The festival will also host live drawing classes, student competitions and an outreach programme at the Isivivana centre in Khayelitsha.  Various workshops will teach the fundamentals of animation.

* The Cape Town International Animation Festival takes place from March 2 to March 4  at The River Club in Observatory,  Cape Town.Visit www.ctiaf.com for the full programme details.

Bookings  at Webtickets www.webtickets.co.za