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CREATE Philippines to gather Filipino animators, boost PHL’s contribution to global animation industry

Synergy88, a member of the Animation Council of the Philippines, helped craft some of the essential aspects of The Coalition and Microsoft Studios’ “Gears of War 4.” (Photo: Gears of War – Official Site,

Talented Filipinos have been making their mark in the international animation scene for many years now. Hollywood has been introduced to the artistic minds of Ronnie del Carmen, co-director of Pixar and Disney’s hit 2015 flick, “Inside Out;” Josie Trinidad, co-head of story of Disney’s “Zootopia; Armand Serrano, visual development artist for “Tarzan,” “Lilo and Stitch,” “Hotel Transylvania,” and Maricel Pagulayan, visual effects producer of “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” “The Smurfs,” and “Avatar,” among others.

These individuals are proof that Filipinos are very competitive and can succeed in the global animation industry, which is worth US$244 billion in 2015 with the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Britain, and Germany as the leading animation markets.

North American and European film and television program producers outsource computer animation to Asian countries. Western studios first built and maintained production facilities in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, but have now also forged partnerships in the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Indonesia, and China.

The Filipino animation industry’s expertise is full 2D and 3D animation. In the last 30 years, animators in the Philippines helped the creation of “Dragon Ball Z,” “Tom & Jerry,” “Scooby Doo,” and many other popular cartoon shows.

Now, the government is shining a spotlight on the country’s animation sector come Oct. 20-22 through CREATE Philippines, the first international creative industry trade event in the country organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

CREATE Philippines is where creative professionals gather, connect, and catalyze new business ideas and opportunities. It will highlight fast-growing creative sectors such as Visual Arts & Graphic Design, Communication Design, Advertising Content & Production, Film & Animation, Digital Games & Apps, and Music & Performing Arts.

Among CREATE Philippines’ guests of honor is the Animation Council of the Philippines (ACPI), which will share its strategies and plans to drive the Filipino animation industry into becoming a strong export player. Marlyn Montano, founder of TeamApp and Holy Cow Animation, is representing ACPI as one of the forum speakers in the three-day event happening at CITEM-HallONE and the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) in Pasay City, Metro Manila.

ACPI President Juan Miguel del Rosario thanked CITEM and DTI for initiating CREATE Philippines and recognizing the animation industry as a part of the country’s creative sector. He also expressed his gratitude to BOI for including animation in its investment priority programs for 2017. 

“Finally, animation is getting recognized… Since last year, there has been solid backing from the government,” Mr. del Rosario said. “It is a dream come true… it’s been very heartwarming and I’m going to say thank you for the government support.”

Other government institutions that ACPI is in partnership with are the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), DepEd, CHED, and TESDA, among others. According to ACPI Secretary Ricky Orellana, financing is a huge factor in animation projects. One needs a budget that befits a high-quality animation.

ACPI has a booth at the Marché International des Programmes de Communication (MIPCOM), the world’s entertainment content market attended by industry bigwigs, to be held from October 16 to 19 at Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France. ACPI’s members (Synergy88, Team Apps, TOEI Animation, Neun Farben, Top Peg Animation & Creative Studio, Morph Animation, etc.) are coming to MIPCOM 2017 with support from DTI, and is also open to taking non-members if slots for members aren’t filled.

Orellana said that the country’s Emmy Award-winning studio, Toon City Animation, is participating at MIPCOM, with newcomer Toast & Brew also in the lineup of attendees. These Filipino animators at MIPCOM 2017 will showcase original content and possibly sell them or secure partnerships with international animation and production studios. The event, which has Disney, HBO, and Warner Bros. as some of its major participants, is attended by more than 100 countries, nearly 14,000 participants, over 1,900 exhibiting companies, and almost 5,000 buyers.

Animahenasyon, ACPI’s annual Filipino animation festival to be held on Nov. 9-12, will have five of its titles screened at the Fête du cinéma d'animation in France on Oct. 31. Orellana, who also serves as Animahenasyon’s festival director, said that this is a big honor because this is the first time that a Filipino animation will be shown at the European festival. 

CREATE Philippines is an official trade activity of the ASEAN Summit 2017 under the ASEAN 2017 Committee on Business and Investment Promotions (CBIP) led by DTI Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado. 

For more information about CREATE Philippines, email or visit

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