KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
AFTER a continent-wide search, Zambiaâ€™s Malenga Mulendemaâ€™s television series programme KCâ€™s Super 4 has been selected for development at Triggerfish Story Lab by Triggerfish Animation Studios, a Cape Town-based film and entertainment company.
The studio has produced two feature films: Adventures in Zambezia (2012) starring Jeremy Suarez, Abigail Breslin and Samuel L Jackson, and Khumba (2013), starring Jake T Austin, AnnaSophia Robb and Liam Neeson.
Now, the Triggerfish Animation Studios has selected four features and four TV series for development from the inaugural Triggerfish Story Lab, established with the support of The Department of Trade and Industry and The Walt Disney Company, a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise.
The feature films selected into the Story Lab are The Camel Racer (Wanuri Kahiu and Nnedi Okorafor – Kenya/Nigeria), Dropped (Ian Tucker – South Africa), Lights (Kay Carmichael – South Africa) and The Wild Waste (Naseem Hoosen – South Africa).
The TV series are Bru and Boegie (Mike Scott – South Africa), KCâ€™s Super 4 (Malenga – Zambia), Ninja Princess (Marc Dey and Kelly Dillon – South Africa) and Wormholes (Lucy Heavens – South Africa).
â€œFrom misfit Zambian girls who become low-budget superhero-super-spies to a stubborn 12-year-old Kenyan girl, who defies tradition by racing camels, from a young South African scientist, who accidentally turns her annoying little sister into a new source of electricity to a timid lemming who must defy his nature. These are characters we fell in love with,â€ Anthony Silverston, head of development at Triggerfish, said in a statement made available to the Weekend Mail by publicists Joy Sapieka & Associates.
â€œWeâ€™re excited by the range of stories that explore everything from contemporary urban to Afro-futuristic worlds. Weâ€™re looking forward to bringing something fresh to the screen.â€
The selected storytellers include Nnedi Okorafor, a Nigerian-American World Fantasy award-winning novelist; multi-award-winning Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu; South African YouTube phenomenon Mike Scott, whose music videos for Goldfish have over 12 million views; and Lucy Heavens, one of the writers on the breakout South African animation hit Supa Strikas, which is broadcast in 120 countries around the world.
The Story Lab received a whopping 1,378 entries from 30 countries across Africa, of which 23 features and 14 TV series were shortlisted and developed over a two-week intensive workshop in Cape Town in November with Orion Ross, Vice-President of Content – Animation, Digital and Acquisitions Disney Channels EMEA, and leading Hollywood script consultant Pilar Alessandra, author of The Coffee Break Screenwriter.
â€œIt was impressive to see how much all the projects had improved after the workshop,â€ says Orion.
â€œClearly, the Story Lab was doing something right, and it must have been incredibly difficult to pick just a few projects to move forward.â€
The shortlist was then evaluated by an expert panel that included Peter Lord, the British director of international blockbusters like Chicken Run and The Pirates. In an Adventure with Scientists, Hollywood writers Kiel Murray (Cars) and Jonathan Roberts (The Lion King); and a panel of development executives from both the London and Los Angeles offices of The Walt Disney, as well as South African comedian David Kau, screenwriter Paul Ian Johnson, and Triggerfishâ€™s development team.
KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka