Animation in Cyprus

Spurred on by a host of creative individuals and independent studios, the Cypriot animation sector is looking to the international industry for collaboration as it targets a period of growth.

Eager for international activity

The handful of animation studios in Cyprus are having to play catch up with those elsewhere in Europe, hamstrung by a lack of support from the national government and domestic broadcasters showing little interest in investing in local animation. But the ambitions of local producers and creatives are high and original IP currently in development is being targeted at major international players.

The untapped potential of Cyprus’ animation studios is clear. Commercial service work from clients outside of Cyprus is bringing in work for local producers, who provide animation in the educational, corporate and advertising sectors, and look to re-invest the revenue into original IP.

Meanwhile, more secure in-house corporate work is drawing talent away from local studios while working in animation in Cyprus is still not yet seen as a viable long-term profession for many. However, the Cyprus Animation Association (CAA), the local association for animation, motion graphics and visual effects, is acting to change the impression of the sector both at home and internationally.

A key priority is shifting the perspective around animation to highlight how it can provide Cyprus with versatile and international long-term employment for tax paying individuals. Legal support and financial loan subsidies, as well as putting pressure on broadcasters to commission and invest in local stories, are ways in which the government could do more to help foster an environment for studios to thrive.

TV series are being targeted as the preferred format for original IP development, given the potential for a long-running show to provide recurring work for a local producer in comparison to a feature. But local broadcasters need to step up and invest in original work from local talent, which would in turn help grow international confidence in the sector whilst supporting Cypriot culture and industry.

As yet, there are few examples of animation production companies in Cyprus with the infrastructure capable of working on large-scale projects and coproductions. But steps are being taken to make this possible, with financing from the EU’s Creative Europe programme being used to part-finance concept development and grow the international reputation of the Cypriot animation scene.

It is hoped this will then lead to partnerships with the international animation industry, which in turn will provide local companies with expertise and experience working on high-end productions.

Attracting international business

Funding of up to €40,000 is available for animated shorts from the Ministry of Education & Culture. Examples to have been funded this way include Dragon Recipes (Pixel Giants), Parrot Lady (Zedem Media), Rites of Spring (Tsangaris). Steadily, producers are getting to grips with the public funding system whilst also turning to crowdfunding to fund the development of their TV series, such as The Olive Bunch (Pixel Giants).

Cyprus already offers incentives to encourage film production, but there is no tax credit specifically for animation, which could help to significantly grow the local sector.

The Cypriot tax regime is one of the most attractive in Europe for individuals, investors and businesses and an incentive scheme, Invest Cyprus, has been set up to enhance the nation’s investment appeal abroad. It has not yet been used to support animation production, but it is possible and as the scheme evolves there are hopes it could potentially be used to attract international animation business.

The country’s generous corporate tax break is attracting the attention of tech and gaming businesses and start-ups, with companies including Slovakia’s Outfit7, the company behind the Talking Tom app, choosing to have their headquarters in Cyprus. It is not unrealistic to believe, therefore, that the animation industry in Cyprus could feasibly experience revenue growth on a par with the local games industry.

Spurred on by a host of creative individuals and independent studios, the Cypriot animation sector is looking to the international industry for collaboration as it targets a period of growth.

Eager for international activity

The handful of animation studios in Cyprus are having to play catch up with those elsewhere in Europe, hamstrung by a lack of support from the national government and domestic broadcasters showing little interest in investing in local animation. But the ambitions of local producers and creatives are high and original IP currently in development is being targeted at major international players.

The untapped potential of Cyprus’ animation studios is clear. Commercial service work from clients outside of Cyprus is bringing in work for local producers, who provide animation in the educational, corporate and advertising sectors, and look to re-invest the revenue into original IP.

Meanwhile, more secure in-house corporate work is drawing talent away from local studios while working in animation in Cyprus is still not yet seen as a viable long-term profession for many. However, the Cyprus Animation Association (CAA), the local association for animation, motion graphics and visual effects, is acting to change the impression of the sector both at home and internationally.

A key priority is shifting the perspective around animation to highlight how it can provide Cyprus with versatile and international long-term employment for tax paying individuals. Legal support and financial loan subsidies, as well as putting pressure on broadcasters to commission and invest in local stories, are ways in which the government could do more to help foster an environment for studios to thrive.

TV series are being targeted as the preferred format for original IP development, given the potential for a long-running show to provide recurring work for a local producer in comparison to a feature. But local broadcasters need to step up and invest in original work from local talent, which would in turn help grow international confidence in the sector whilst supporting Cypriot culture and industry.

As yet, there are few examples of animation production companies in Cyprus with the infrastructure capable of working on large-scale projects and coproductions. But steps are being taken to make this possible, with financing from the EU’s Creative Europe programme being used to part-finance concept development and grow the international reputation of the Cypriot animation scene.

It is hoped this will then lead to partnerships with the international animation industry, which in turn will provide local companies with expertise and experience working on high-end productions.

 

Attracting international business

Funding of up to €40,000 is available for animated shorts from the Ministry of Education & Culture. Examples to have been funded this way include Dragon Recipes (Pixel Giants), Parrot Lady (Zedem Media), Rites of Spring (Tsangaris). Steadily, producers are getting to grips with the public funding system whilst also turning to crowdfunding to fund the development of their TV series, such as The Olive Bunch (Pixel Giants).

Cyprus already offers incentives to encourage film production, but there is no tax credit specifically for animation, which could help to significantly grow the local sector.

The Cypriot tax regime is one of the most attractive in Europe for individuals, investors and businesses and an incentive scheme, Invest Cyprus, has been set up to enhance the nation’s investment appeal abroad. It has not yet been used to support animation production, but it is possible and as the scheme evolves there are hopes it could potentially be used to attract international animation business.

The country’s generous corporate tax break is attracting the attention of tech and gaming businesses and start-ups, with companies including Slovakia’s Outfit7, the company behind the Talking Tom app, choosing to have their headquarters in Cyprus. It is not unrealistic to believe, therefore, that the animation industry in Cyprus could feasibly experience revenue growth on a par with the local games industry.

CAA

Cyprus Animation Association (CAA) is a local association which aims to represent professionals and artists in the disciplines of animation, motion graphics and visual effects. The association also represents the International Animated Film Association ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation) in Cyprus.

 

President: Andreas Rossides

Vice-president: Constandinos Syrimis