Nigerian animation house Magic Carpet Studio is working on an animated feature film based on The Passport of Mallam Ilia, a 19th century novel by Nigerian author Cyprian Ekwensi.
The Lagos company is adapting the novel as a 2D animated movie set in Northern Nigeria exploring one man’s unyielding resolve for revenge, love, betrayal and conquest. Primarily taking place in Kano, the story chronicles the journey of a young warrior who spends his life seeking vengeance for the death of his wife.
The project is being billed as Africa’s first 2D feature film by the producers.
Ferdy Ladi Adimefe, Magic Carpet Studios’ producer and CEO, said: “The global demand for animation-themed stories is on the rise and with this rush in demand comes a huge opportunity to explore the African animation industry. Currently, the total value of the global animation industry stands at US$270bn.
“As an innovative storytelling company, Magic Carpet Studios brings animated characters to life through a convergence of striking visual artistry, creativity and storytelling with the aim of giving our audience a unique experience. Its goal is to make great films with great people. We are excited to be working with talented people, combining masterful artistry and storytelling with groundbreaking technology.”
Chekwube Okonkwo, art director and co-founder at Magic Carpet Studio, is also working on the production. Among the individual investors in the project are Ego Boyo, CEO of Nollywood studio Temple Productions, and entrepreneur Yomi Awobokun.
Other projects in the production pipeline at Magic Carpet include Papilo, a 3D feature film biopic of Africa’s celebrated footballer; family TV series Meet the Igwes; Dooshima, an educational TV series on climate change; and kids’ TV series SuperDad.