Magic Cellar wins at WorldFest


Magic Cellar, the first animated series to be based on African culture has been awarded the Platinum Remi Award at WorldFest in Houston. A co-production between Canada and South Africa, Magic Cellar is believed to be the first long-form 3D series to come out of Africa.

Present to receive the award were Firdaus Kharas, director and executive producer from Ottawa, Canada and Johannesburg-based South African producer, Adeelah Carrim.

WorldFest is the largest film and video competition in the world, with more than 4 500 total category entries received in 2006. Winners receive Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum Remi awards. Winners came from 33 countries this year. Magic Cellar won in the animation category.

Since 1967, WorldFest, the premiere film and video festival in North America, has discovered some of the top directors and filmmakers in the world today, having presented awards to George Lucas, David Lynch, Spike Lee, Ang Lee, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone, among many others.

Magic Cellar was produced entirely in Maya software and marks the first time that Africa’s children will see themselves reflected in an animated series.

The series celebrates Africa’s culture and traditions while promoting reading as exciting and adventurous. Magic Cellar is based on African folktales, partially collected from interviews conducted with elders in villages across South Africa. Each episode is broken up into three sections: a brief introduction and set-up; the African story; and a wrap-up with the lessens learnt. Each episode is a self-contained, animated short.

Magic Cellar was commissioned by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and is a co-production between Canada’s Chocolate Moose Media Inc. and Morula Pictures of South Africa. It can be seen on SABC2 on Saturdays at 14h15, with a repeat on Sunday mornings at 06h15.

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