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!”
Khumba animators and artists were invited to this year’s Kunjanimation Animation Festival 2013, to share their experiences at the Triggerfish studio with students, industry professionals and the general public in Johannesburg. This is the 3rd edition of the SA animation festival.
After a week of business-related Kunjanimation seminars, the last day appropriately rounded the festival off on a creative note with inspiring art-related discussions and seminars as well as the highly-anticipated Kunjanimation Exhibition – all hosted and catered for at the WITS School of Arts. The line-up included two talks on the making of Khumba.
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/
The new South African animated feature, Khumba (including 3D), went straight to the top of the local box office in its opening weekend (25 to 27 October). Released with 119 prints, it made a huge R1.7m, bumping Hollywood heavyweight, Gravity (including 3D) (67 prints) from top spot.
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.
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.
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.
SA’s favourite quick service restaurant chain Wimpy have partnered with the forthcoming 3D animated movie Khumba which hits cinemas in 3D on October 25th, and launched 5 collectable characters that will be given away with their kids meals during October and November. It’s the first time that Wimpy have partnered with Cape Town based Triggerfish Animation Studios, and the second movie release from Triggerfish following the successful international release of Adventures in Zambezia in 2012.