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.
Experience the essence of Afro Optimism when SA is represented at the Absa VUKA Showcase this year in East London. Taste, listen to, and see the talent and creativity streaming out of the borders of this ever-developing country. Over the weekend of Nov 1-3 Triggerfish will be attending the inaugural event as part of the Vision showcase Programme. Producer Mike Buckland will be discussing the making of Zambezia while director Anthony Silverston will talk about Khumba. Animator and Shot Supervisor Kane Croudace will also be on hand to demonstrate the animation software. Says Buckland “Triggerfish is excited to be represented at an event with the positive theme of Awakening Afro Optimism since this aligns with our greater vision to portray a positive vision of Africa and its talent to the world.”
For a full line up of presentations, visit http://absavuka.co.za/
Khumba tells the story of a zebra who is born with only half his stripes. When he is blamed for the lack of rain by the rest of his superstitious herd Khumba embarks on a journey across the Karoo in search of a magical watering hole where legend says the first zebras got their stripes.
Two of the movie’s stars; Khumba the half-striped zebra, and Mama V – the overprotective but bighearted wildebeest visited pre-primary schools in Gauteng and the Western Cape, delighting kids and teachers alike with a 15 minute industrial theatre show, giving the audience a small glimpse into their lives by showcasing the fun they have as friends growing up in the beautiful Karoo.
Khumba, the 3D South African computer-animated adventure comedy film due to be released on 25 October, premiered at Ster-Kinekor’s The Zone in Rosebank, Johannesburg on Wednesday 16 October, and at Tyger Valley in Cape Town on 17 October. Both premieres were family events and were well attended by guests and their children.
“The kids had loads of fun meeting two of the characters from Khumba – Khumba himself and Mama V,” says Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution, which is distributing the film in South Africa.