Animation SA heads to Annecy
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Mon, 08 Jun 2015 14:46
“The Crash,” a 3D feature developed by Julia Smuts Louw

Animation South Africa, with financial assistance from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Gauteng Film Commission (GFC), WESGRO and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), will be taking an impressive 40-strong delegation of local animators, producers, writers and directors to the Annecy International Animation Festival this month.

One of the biggest events on the global animation industry calendar, Annecy provides an excellent opportunity for Animation SA to promote the local industry and network directly with international counterparts.

This year South Africa has every reason to show face: two local projects have been selected, through the prestigious MIFA International Call for Projects, to be pitched to an open room at the festival's market. One is a 2D series titled Anansi; a project about kids with secret ties to African deities developed by Isaac Mogajane (Diprente Films). The other is The Crash, a 3D feature developed by Julia Smuts Louw (Sparks Flew Development Studio) about a de-horned rhino who sets out alone to find his missing daughter in a park fraught with poachers. Following on the heels of Golden Planes' Hillbrow and Triggerfish's Sea Monster, this is the third year in a row in which a South African feature concept has been accepted into the international pitch sessions.

This year also marks the launch of a new category in the MIFA Pitch Sessions, Animation du Monde, which has a special South African focus session. Off the back of this event, one South African director will see his or her project come to life through a six-month residency in France, working with top French studios as well as our own Triggerfish Animation in Cape Town. “This special opportunity is the result of our ongoing dialogue with IFAS, the French Institute of South Africa, who have shown consistent dedication towards creating platforms for our two countries to collaborate,” says Triggerfish partner and Animation SA board member Anthony Silverston. “MIFA's South African pitch session is in large part the result of their efforts.”

This year's competing projects are Waterloo and Trafalgar by Matthew Torode (Tincup), Muzi & Kuku by Tim and Candice Argall (Bugbox Animation) and Kariba by Daniel Clarke (Blue Forest Collective).

Monica Rorvik, manager for film and media promotion at WESGRO, the Tourism Trade and Investment Promotion agency for the Cape, will join the delegation along with representatives from the DTI, the IDC and the NFVF. "MIFA is a seminal event for marketing the industry which has and will continue to pay dividends for the growth of South African animation," she said.

“This is a watershed moment for South African Animation, and not just because of our reception at Annecy,” said recently-elected Animation South Africa chair, Nick Cloete. “We are reaching critical mass as producers of original I.P and content. We've outgrown our beginnings as a commercials-driven service industry and we're showing the world that we're ready to tell our own stories.”

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