This week, Americans get to meet Khumba when the movie releases in theatres for an Oscar-qualifying run. Ahead of its DVD release Jan 14th, audiences can see the film at a special one-week engagement in the Quad Cinema in NYC and at the Music Hall in LA.
Finweek recently sat down with Triggerfish CEO Stuart Forrest. Read the full conversation here:
He’s the governing force behind the highest-grossing SA-owned film since the Eighties, and his production company just secured the development funding for two films as part of a five film slate, which we reckon makes him one of the most successful producers in the country, if not the entire continent. We spoke to Triggerfish CEO Stuart Forrest about the South African film industry, pitching to venture capital firms (VCs) and the one piece of advice he’ll give to anyone who will listen.
Khumba has been awarded TWICE at the International “Gold Panda” Awards! The film about a zebra from the Karoo who searches for his missing strips took home Best Overseas Animated Feature as well as the Grand Prize in a ceremony held in Chengdu, Sichuan, China on the 15th of November.
Our CEO, Stuart Forrest, was invited this week to speak on a panel at DISCOP Africa. The panel on African Animation was shared with Strika CEO Richard Grenville, and EVCL founder Adamu Waziri, and moderated by Animation SA volunteer,and Khumba Animation Lead!) Daniel Snaddon. The panel explored some of the recent successes and ongoing challenges of animation in Africa. Asked what defined African animation, Forrest replied: “If it’s made in Africa, it’s African.”
The discussion highlighted the success of Zambezia worldwide, emphasising that the Triggerfish film was now the most successful South African owned film in thirty years. “If there is ever going to be a South African film that penetrates the mainstream cinema stage worldwide, it’s highly likely it’s going to be an animated film. Animation has the ability to transcend cultural barriers and overcome many of the challenges that face live-action films.”
Defending the use of Hollywood-based actors, Forrest acknowledged that the choice to go to Hollywood was difficult. “But considering that only 4% of our revenue model comes from Africa, we need to be thinking globally about how to make the product internationally as entertaining as possible. On Zambezia we auditioned 1,000 people from South Africa and 1,000 people from Hollywood, and we chose the voices that best fit the character we were casting for. In most cases, the Hollywood actors extensive experience shone through. “ Besides, South Africans will also be able to watch Khumba in Afrikaans or Zulu and Triggerfish aims to dub their films into more African languages in the future.
In a panel later that day, Copper Monkey director Charlie Frost used Khumba as a great example of a winning brand partnership, citing the Wimpy collaboration where the quick service restuaurant chain launched a highly successful campaign coinciding with the release of Khumba. Copper Monkey secured promotional partnerships for Khumba with Green Cross, Virgin active and Nal’iBali.
After successful screenings at Annecy, Durban and Toronto international festivals earlier this year, Triggerfish animation’s second feature “Khumba” has been selected to screen at a number of other film festivals globally.
Most recently KHUMBA was selected as the family film at Brisbane International Film Festival where it will be screening on Sunday 17th and Saturday 23rd November.