PUBLISHED 6th June 2024

Ellipse Studio, ONO and Kenaz launch the Angoulême Webtoon Academy

Média-Participations’ animation and webtoon company Ellipse Studio and webtoon platform ONO, have just signed a partnership agreement with Kenaz, Korea’s leading independent webtoon production company, to open the Webtoon Academy in Angoulême, a free training course for French-speaking webtoon, comics and animation talents.

Ellipse Studio, ONO and Korean studio Kenaz, a trusted partner of Média-Participations, are launching the first Webtoon Academy outside Asia. The Webtoon Academy is a reference free training program initiated by Kenaz 5 years ago in Seoul, Korea, which expanded to Tokyo, Japan in 2023. This 13-week training program will start in September 2024 at Ellipse Studio in Angoulême with the goal to enable potential talents to get started in this fast-growing format.

The Webtoon Academy is designed to train around a dozen artists every year in the tools and storytelling techniques specific to the webtoon format so they can produce the first episodes of their series. At the end of the program, some of them may be selected by a jury made up of Kenaz, Ellipse Studio, and ONO, to produce their webtoon series at Ellipse Studio in Angoulême, for a release on ONO.

The Angoulême Webtoon Academy is supported by EMCA (École des Métiers du Cinéma d’Animation), Wacom, the world leader in interactive screens and tablets for artists, and Celsys, the most convenient software for webtoon artists by Adobe.

“As the European leader in comic books and manga and a key player in animation, we want to empower a whole new generation of storytellers in the webtoon format. The Angoulême Webtoon Academy is a new step –and a major one– to encourage the emergence and training of new French-speaking authors in this medium.” said Julien Papelier, Média-Participations CEO, Ellipse Studio and ONO’s parent group. “We are delighted to work on this exclusive free training program with our friends at Kenaz, with a shared belief: French webtoons can have a global reach.”, he added.

“France holds a central position on the cultural and artistic scene, and is a major influence in the fields of comics and graphic novels. We couldn’t have wished for a better setting to announce the opening of the Webtoon Academy in France in 2024, in collaboration with ONO and Ellipse Studio,” said Lee Woo-Jae, director of KENAZ.

Webtoon Academy Angoulême at a glance

Who is it for? Talented French-speaking literary and graphic authors of webtoons, comic strips and animation of all ages who want to create their own webtoon series. 10 French profiles and 2 African talents will be selected on the basis of applications submitted in early summer 2024. Applicants can submit their applications on the website from June 5 and to July 5 www.k-webtoonacademy.com

Who is it by? Personalised courses and support, provided by Kenaz trainers with their translators. A unique opportunity to learn from seasoned Korean webtoon producers.

Where and when? After an online introduction in August 2024, the course, which is entirely free of charge (including materials), will be given at Ellipse Studio Angoulême and EMCA (École des Métiers du Cinéma d’Animation) from September to December 2024 for a period of 13 weeks.

Talents will have an opportunity to find out more about the program and meet the Ellipse Studio, ONO and Kenaz teams at the Annecy Animation Festival:

  • Tuesday, June 11, 9:30-11:00am at the Regann Cafe for a presentation of the Webtoon Academy and 1-to-1 talks with the teams (no registration needed)
  • Wednesday, June 12, 11:00am-12:30pm at the Média-Participations booth (G.06) for 1-to-1 talks with the teams (no registration needed)

The Média-Participations group, a leader in publishing, media and entertainment, has been developing in the webtoon industry for several years.

Since 2019 and 2024, its Dupuis and Dargaud imprints have been creating webtoons with European and African authors. In 2023, Média-Participations launched ONO, a webtoon platform. ONO features the very best of Asian series as well as French webtoons, currently over 300 series. Since its launch, the ONO app has been downloaded more than half a million times. Early 2024, the group’s animation studio Ellipse Animation announced it was expanding to webtoon production under the Ellipse Studio brand.

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