By Oluyinka Soyemi
BLACK NEON from Nigeria has been selected alongside animations around the world by My RØDE Reel, world’s largest short film competition. And here is why?
Although Peace Toba Olatunji (aka Dopay) graduated with a degree in Architecture from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, he is one Nigeria’s finest 2D/3D Animator and professional Storyboard Artist at the moment.
He fell in love with animation at a tender age with influence from a lot of movies from the animation industry giants like Disney, Pixar and Aardman animations. He practiced Architecture for a while in Nigeria and later opted out to pursue his career in Animation in 2019, albeit without technical skills in his desired profession but armed with talent and focus.
Having undergone the rewarding rigour of learning, he currently makes a living as a freelancer working with clients in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Germany and a host of others.
Honing his skills gradually, he became confident enough to make his first film, BLACK NEON, and has also been able to secure internship at Triggerfish Animation Studios, one of the biggest African studio in South Africa in conjunction with Netflix, under the tutelage of Pixar’s Nathan Stanton.
Black Neon is a short animated film set in a dystopian African future which delves into a silent issue like depression in the society and encourages an introspective approach to curing this emotional disease. The 3-minute film was written, directed and animated by Peace in 8 months with voice-over credit to his brother, Joy Olatunji and theme song credit to Okwudini Noah Misan.
The film gained traction within a short period of its publishing with the aim of securing spots at film festivals around the world.
There is no doubt the future holds a big success for him as he looks forward to being a key role player in developing the Animation scene in Nigeria by fostering good relationships with creatives and having his own start-up company that tells African stories and preserve our cultural values for the younger generation.
Although the Nigerian Animation industry is still budding and fresh, he believes there is a lot of potential for creators to tap into in his part of the world.
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