Triggerfish in 2014

26 Dec 2014 | Categories: blog, Feature Film, khumba, SA industry, Stick Man, studio, Studio Updates, Uncategorized, zambezia | Posted by: tfadmin100

2014 was a huge year for the Triggerfish team – thanks to all your support and the fantastic crew here in Cape Town.  Here are just some of the highlights:


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We released Khumba around the world, with our biggest successes being in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Our highest grossing territory is France, with nearly 500,000 admissions. “Koemba” ran in Belgium for an incredible 7 months in theatres, making Zambezia and Khumba the top 2 grossing independent animated films of all time in the Netherlands.   The final major territory will be China, which is set for 31 December.

We also made history by being the first triple simulcast broadcast in South Africa when Khumba was broadcast simultaneously in English, Afrikaans and isiZulu on Heritage Day.


Awards in 2014

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Winner Zanzibar Film Festival for Best Animated Film

Winner Africa Movie Academy Awards – Best Animation 

Winner SAFTA – Best Animation

Winner SAFTA – Best Music Composition in a Feature Film

Finalist Annecy International Animation Festival - Best Feature

Finalist Kyknet SilwerskermFees – Best non-Afrikaans film

Finalist Kyknet SilwerskermFees – Best Music

Winner Premier Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards – Special Recognition Global Reach

Winner Premier Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards – Emerging Business Runner Up

Finalist South Africa Premier Business Awards – Export Category

Finalist Cape Chamber of Commerce – Exporter of the Year

Winner 48 Hour Film Project – 2nd Runner Up Cape Town chapter

Winner 48 Hour Film Project  - Sound Design (plus 6 other Nominations)

Winner PWC Vision to Reality Awards – Runner Up.


Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 12.42.21 PMWME partnership

In February we signed a strategic partnership deal with Beverly Hills super-agency, William Morris Endeavor (WME).  This gives us access to one of the most powerful film networks in the world, and changes the game for how we reach our audience. WME will help us package, finance and sell future films and negotiate deals with celebrity voices.



Overseas visits

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We did quite a bit of traveling this year, with multiple trips to LA, a trip to Annecy,  a trip to San Francisco, Vancouver, New York and Cannes – not to mention several trips to Joburg and Durban. We were also at Bayelsa in Nigeria, Meknes in Morocco, the HFF film school in Berlin, Stockholm, and Anthony was a jury member at Annecy and Stuttgart festivals as well as at Discop and for the SAFTAs and semi-finals of the Emmys.

All of these trips are about developing exciting relationships with partners who share our vision to bring a fresh voice to the entertainment industry.  The highlight was the 30 meetings in Hollywood that WME set up, where we were truly introduced to the “Town”, and we’ve continued to meet with many of them in subsequent trips to LA.


Stick Man17-Stick-Man

We’re super-excited to be working with London-based producers, Magic Light Productions, on the production of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s children’s book, Stick Man. We’ve got a great crew carefully crafting this beautiful book into a beautiful short film, which will be released around Christmas next year.




Nickelodeon and Moosebox

Triggerfish was delighted to partner with creative genius, Mike Scott, on his project MooseBox which was selected by Nickelodeon’s Global Animated Shorts Program. We are glad to be able to be involved in the  next phase of development on this fun property and can’t wait to see the final result!

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Arthur Sheriff

We were thrilled when Arthur Sheriff accepted our offer to become an advisor to Triggerfish, particularly in the PR and marketing role.  Arthur has spent 40 years in the entertainment industry, and the last 25 years as the head of Aardman’s publicity.  There isn’t anyone in the world better qualified to help us navigate the often treacherous waters of international positioning for a non-US company needing to work with Hollywood without being swallowed up by it.



Next year we’re expecting to go into production on our next feature, which we’re hoping to announce shortly.  And watch this space for a number of other exciting developments too!

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Triggerfish gets special recognition award from Premier

Categories: commercial, competition, International Industry, khumba, SA industry, studio, zambezia | Posted by: Triggerfish

The creators of animated feature films, Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba received an unexpected honour when Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, presented the studio with a special recognition award for Global Reach at Thursday night’s Premier Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards held at the CTICC.

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Top 2 independent animated films in the Netherlands

Categories: Animation, Feature Film, International Industry, khumba, zambezia | Posted by: Triggerfish

According to our distributors in the Netherlands, Zambezia and Koemba are now the two most successful independent animated films of all time in that territory. We think that’s pretty cool. They even outperformed DreamWorks’ Rise Of The Guardians, Sony’s Hotel Transylvania,  and Disney’s Gnomeo & JulietMuppets Most Wanted and right on the heels of Planes 2.

The films were released in across Belgium and Holland by Canadian owned distributor, Entertainment One, who managed to keep both shows in the theatres for nearly 5 months!  Heel hartelijk bedankt!

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Triggerfish Hooks Aardman’s Arthur Sheriff

Categories: jobs, Stick Man, Studio Updates, zambezia | Posted by: Triggerfish

Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation has appointed Arthur Sheriff as an advisor to the company. London-based Sheriff has worked for many years in the film industry as a Marketing and Publicity strategist specializing in the Animation sector. He is probably best known as Aardman’s Head of Communications, a post he will relinquish after 25 years.

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The 2014 Annecy Report

Categories: Animation, Feature Film, Festival, International Industry, khumba, presentation, SA industry, zambezia | Posted by: Triggerfish

 Annecy 2014 was truly a hotbox of animation this year as producers, animators and student scurried about in the sweltering heat of the French summer sun in the hopes of securing the right deal, finding the right job or simply getting their work up on the big screen for the adoration of their peers.

Anthony Silverston and Mike Buckland from Triggerfish were among the enthusiastic participants this year and it was a great opportunity to build on the relationships that were established last year when Khumba premiered in competition at the festival.

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Triggerfish at Annecy Animation Festival

Categories: Feature Film, Festival, International Industry, khumba, SA industry, zambezia | Posted by: Triggerfish

For the next week, over 7000 animators from across the world descend on the picturesque French town of Annecy to get their yearly fill of everything animation. This includes Triggerfish partners Anthony Silverston and Mike Buckland who will be attending the Annecy International Animation Festival and attached industry market (MIFA) which runs 9-14th of June. Silverston is a guest of the festival as one of 3 jury members for TV films and Commissioned films after his film “Khumba” screened  in competition at the 2013 festival.  Last month, he was also a jury member for Stuttgart International Animation Festival. Triggerfish’s first film “Adventures in Zambezia” was selected out of competition at Annecy in 2012. This will be the second year that South Africa will have a stand at MIFA with over 20 South African delegates attending.

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South Africa’s Triggerfish Animation Studios Signs With WME

Categories: Animation, Feature Film, International Industry, khumba, online article, SA industry, sea monster, studio, zambezia | Posted by: Triggerfish

The ‎company, which has been dubbed “the Pixar of South Africa,” will work with the agency as it plans to produce five new feature film projects that it plans to produce over the next seven years.

LONDON – Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios has signed with WME for representation in all areas.

The Hollywood agency will work with the independent studio, known as “the Pixar of South Africa,” which plans to produce five new feature film projects over the next seven years.

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In conversation with Stuart Forrest

Categories: Animation, Feature Film, International Industry, jobs, khumba, SA industry, studio, Studio Updates, zambezia | Posted by: Triggerfish

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.

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Triggerfish Celebrates Children’s Day

Categories: Feature Film, khumba, kids, studio, zambezia | Posted by: Triggerfish

Triggerfish Celebrates Children’s Day

Triggerfish celebrated Children’s Day by inviting thirty young fans for a studio visit.  The morning kicked off with a screening of the trailers for Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba, then a couple behind-the-scenes videos with a clip showing the animators acting out some of the comedy scenes proving to be a real hit.

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Cape Town studio Triggerfish secures development funding

Categories: Feature Film, khumba, SA industry, zambezia | Posted by: Triggerfish

Riding on the success of their first two features, Adventures in Zambezia (Sony International Acquisitions) and Khumba (Millennium Entertainment), Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation has secured funding for the first phase of development for what aims to be a 5-film slate. The company continues to explore additional financing options and the possible sale of a stake to a strategic partner. Two of the films announced to go into development include Here be Monsters and Seal Team (working titles).

“We have a number of exciting properties in the pipeline,” says head of development Anthony Silverston, “But we’re particularly excited by these two highly original and exciting high concept stories. And although both stories have an ocean setting, they couldn’t be more different!”

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