Over 1 300 entries have been received by Cape Town-based Triggerfish in response to the animation studio’s call for African stories, which went out in July this year.
Triggerfish is the studio behind animated blockbusters Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba which both did well at the box office, and have subsequently been distributed in over 150 countries and dubbed into 27 languages. After the success of both movies, the Triggerfish Story Lab was established with the help of the Department of Trade and Industry and The Walt Disney Company.
Storytellers and film makers from “30 countries across Africa and its disapora” sent 1 378 entries to Triggerfish in the hopes of having their stories chosen for the studio’s next big animation project, according to an official statement by the studio. Possibilities include stories being made into full-length movies and episodic TV shows.
Just the beginning
Of course, now the real work starts as scripts are evaluated in preparation for the final push towards finding winners.
“When I told people I expected over 1 000 submissions from across Africa, everyone laughed at me. Ha! Now who’s laughing? Oh wait, I have to read all of these…” said Anthony Silverston, head of development at Triggerfish.
Determining winners will involve a number of professionals and experts from the international entertainment industry working closely with Triggerfish and various South African artists and producers.
According to the official release, “…these experts include Peter Lord, the British director of international blockbusters like Chicken Run and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists; Hollywood writer Jonathan Roberts (The Lion King); script consultant Karl Iglesias (Writing For Emotional Impact); and a panel of development executives from The Walt Disney Company, as well as South African storyteller Gcina Mhlope, comedian David Kau and Triggerfish’s development team of Anthony, Wayne Thornley and Raffaella Delle Donne.”
There’s quite a lot at stake, too. Selected storytellers will not only have the chance to see their stories come to life as movies and TV shows, but they’ll also get two weeks of mentoring at Disney’s Burbank, California headquarters and attend workshops in Cape Town with a Hollywood script writer, rather large prizes that have the potential to help them polish their work to new levels.
Comedian David Kau hit the nail on the head: “I’m looking forward to helping unearth new African talent in animation, and telling stories from Africa that will show the world that there’s an Africa beyond the genocide, AIDS, corruption and dictatorship that’s the daily gospel of most news outlets about Africa.”
We totally agree, David, and can’t wait to see African storytelling talent showcased on the world stage even more in the coming years thanks to this initiative.
[Source & Image – Triggerfish]