Three reasons Trinidad and Tobago is the next Animation hub

Posted by Investt


The creative industry is one of the key sectors which has been targeted to advance the country’s economic growth as well as its cultural identity.

Festivals such as Animae Caribe are enabling development factors which give Trinidad and Tobago the potential to be a leader in the region for creative and cultural industries, as well as making us the next animation hub.

Indisputably, Animae Caribe was the stage for former UTT Animation student Kelsey Noel’s Cyborg Chicken which was selected to be the Caribbean representation at the annual Commonwealth Connections: Animation Talent & Film Programme, in collaboration with the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Currently, Cyborg Chicken  is being screened in the other partner nations of this film festival, thus offering a platform for up-and-coming animation filmmakers from Trinidad and Tobago to aspire toward.

Without a doubt there are 3 reasons why Trinidad and Tobago is the next major animation hub:

1.    Ability to attract international talent

2.    Cost Competitiveness

3.    Availability of Incentive schemes

1: Ability to attract international talent

Animae Caribe, spear headed by Camille Selvon- Abrahams, celebrated 13 years of excellence this year as they hosted the Animation New Media Festival in Trinidad and Tobago from 27th October through 2nd November 2014.  The festival focused on “Gaming and Alternative Digital Platforms for the Caribbean and Global Content”.


It continues to attract some of the world’s leading animation professionals from Disney and DreamWorks, and since its establishment in 2001, it has raised the awareness of animation in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean for young talent.

A major highlight of this year’s festival was the feature address delivered by Emmy nominated writer and animator Richard Pursel, who is known for his most successful stint as the staff writer for Nickelodeon’s Sponge Bob Square Pants. During his visit to Trinidad and Tobago, Pursel discussed his career and his process for creating memorable characters.

2: Cost Competitiveness

Due to the emergence of talent and the wealth of experience that the country has encountered within this industry, the animation sector has the potential to become a significant contributor to the development of the global industry.

According to the Global Animation Industry Report  2014, the major animation markets are the US, Canada, Japan, China, France, Britain, Korea, and Germany. As a result, the animation industry has become a multi-billion dollar industry which was estimated at USD$222 billion in 2013.

However, in today’s extremely competitive market, a 30 minute animation feature costs between USD $200,000 -$400,000 to produce in the US, while the same feature can cost 17% to 35% (estimated USD $70,000.00) of the total or up to  83% less  in Trinidad and Tobago’s thriving animation industry.

This cost saving potential makes the country a prime location for an animation studio. Additionally, it now boasts of specialized programmes in animation both at secondary level and tertiary level educational institutes.

3: Incentive schemes

Once you decide to embark on any projects within the creative industry, the government offers an excellent Production Expenditure Rebate which applies to on-location expenditure incurred in Trinidad and Tobago including the rental of local equipment, location fees, employment of local cast and crew, accommodation, catering and transportation costs.

Regional and international producers stand to benefit from rebates for on-location costs incurred, that fall within the range of USD $100,000 – USD $8,000,000 on a three tier scale of 12.5%, 15% and 35%. Coupled with a 20% rebate on labour costs if nationals of the islands are hired for the production of the film, producers have the opportunity to benefit from a whopping 55% cash rebate.

Added to the attractiveness of this incentive, the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (Film TT) also has in place an efficient administrative structure that provides assistance with securing travel documents for film crews, as well as permits required for the importation of equipment.

Our Commitment

As Trinidad and Tobago continues to be committed to the development of the creative industries by offering attractive incentives to promote the advancement of the industry, we encourage potential investors to contact us to find out about these opportunities.


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