One of the defining moments of the Accra Animation Film Festival’s encounter in Bristol was the power of effective storytelling done through silent film. Some of the best animated films the team saw had absolutely no dialogue and yet managed to tell beautiful stories that were both moving and chock full of information. The stories were both indigenous to the culture from which they originated but had such strong global appeal, everyone could enjoy them.How were these pulled off? How can Ghanaian storytellers also begin to effectively tell their fascinating stories that people across the world, several cultures removed can immediately relate to and enjoy? The answer to that lies in a series of storytelling masterclasses planned by AAFFia in an effort to build the next generation of storytellers. The absolvants  will tell rich stories that tap into the unique nuances of being Ghanaian but in a way that doesn’t alienate international audiences. Basically, think local, act global.The first of these masterclasses occurred on March 16 at Effect Studios, a partner to the festival. Over the course of two days, six participants across illustration, animation, film and digital marketing went through a specially designed curriculum that explored the psychology of storytelling and building memorable characters, how the link between storytelling and branding works and how to tell great stories for kids.The masterclass was facilitated by Diana Rosu , director of AAFFia with help from Treasure Kids and the Wits School’s Precious Bonsu. Precious, who has a wealth of experience working with children led the masterclass on storytelling for kids, an often overlooked area by most storytellers. Sharing his thoughts on the masterclass,  Emmanuel Dankyi says, “almost everything I do revolves around my ability to tell good stories. With the new information I have, it's definitely going to help me build better stories both for the brands i work with and in my motion pictures”. This was a sentiment shared by all the participants, who generally agreed that they left the masterclass better informed and motivated by their freshly enlightened perspectives on storytelling. AAFFia has more masterclasses planned for the future as part of its mission to support, promotes and offers animators in Africa a platform to showcase their artistic work. The maiden Accra Animation Film Festival is planned for July 26th to August 2nd in Accra.

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