A total of 23 feature films and 12 televisions series have been shortlisted for the first Triggerfish Story Lab animation program, the South African animation studio has announced.

Triggerfish launched the R42 million program in July this year as a way to find untapped storytelling talent on the continent and create a locally-made world-class animation production. Triggerfish is one of South Africa’s most successful production companies, best known for Khumba and Adventures in Zambezia.

Story Lab is part funded by Disney, and finalists will receive mentorship from the Mouse’s US network of producers.

Over 1 300 entries were received from 30 African countries, the company said. Initially, there was space for 10 films and 10 series, but the quantity and quality of the entrants made enough of an impression on Triggerfish for the studio to expand spaces to cater to more entrants.

“These are stories that have a distinct voice and capture the humour, heart and global appeal that we are looking for,” Anthony Silverston, head of development at Triggerfish, said in a statement.

The shortlist features a mash-up of females and males (40% and 60%, respectively) as well as amateur and established writers.

The shortlisted feature films and their creators are:

The Big Wild (Ian Pugh)

Born Flea (Andrew Phillips)

Bru and Boegie (Mike Scott)

The Caramel Racer (Wanuri Kahui and Nnedi Okorafor)

The Crash (Julia Smuts Louw)

Dropped (Ian Tucker)

Elliot’s Journey (Judy Kibinge)

Fish Out of Water (Matthys Boshoff and Carina Stander)

The Legend of the Rain Queen (Hanneke Schutte)

The Life Factory (Howard Janes Fyvie)

Lighst (Kay Carmichael)

The Little Foove (Alex Latimer)

The Loneliest Satellite (Charlie Human)

Maka Believe Maya (Nimrod Geva)

The Makers (Sheldon Bengston)

Molly and the Quarks (Donovan Marsh)

Mumbo Jumbo Bambinos (Mbuso Thulani Shiburi)

Paris in Africa (Yolanda Makalaza)

Paradox City (Greig Cameron)

True Colous (Bernard Bruwer)

The Wild Waste (Naseem Hoosen)

Witches Way (Jenna Bass and Chinelo Unwualo)

Zahrah the Windseeker (Wanuri Kahui and Nnedi Okorafor)

And the shortlisted ten TV series stories and their creators are:

Chicken Core (Shina Ajulo)

Folklore (Andile Ngcizela)

Gullivan’s Loft (Jenny Verwoerd and Stephen van Wyk)

Herbert Smell Pants (Denzil Lewis)

KC’s Super 4 (Malenga Mulendema)

Matchbox Monsters (Sue-Mari L Sauer)

Ninja Princess (Marc Dey)

Onion Boy (Sarah Scrimgeour)

Sam and Sbu (Lori Reardon and John Reardon)

Sophie the Giantslayer (Kay Carmichael)

Uncanny Valley (Nicholas Rix and Moray Rhoda)

Wormholes (Lucy Heavens)

Starting next month, the entrants will go through workshops in Cape Town with leading Hollywood script consultant Pilar Alessandra and Orion Ross, Vice President of Content Animation, Digital and Acquisitions Disney Channels EMEA.

Afterwwards, they’ll pitch their stories to a panel of local and international expert judges and the finalists will be chosen in December to go on a two-week trip to be mentored be executives at the Disneys headquarters in Burbank, California, in 2016.

Triggerfish will also be hosting a workshop open to the public on the 2nd November at AFDA Cape Town campus, you can get yourself a ticket for R290 from Quicket.