Tag Archives: Triggerfish Animation

Triggerfish, Netflix open Story Artist Lab

South African studio Triggerfish Animation and global streaming platform Netflix have partnered to launch an animation talent incubator for African citizens.

Tendayi Nyeke

The Story Artist Lab initiative is sponsored by Netflix, produced by Triggerfish and will give shortlisted applicants an opportunity to take part in three months of paid skills development with international industry experts as well as be trained by Nathan Stanton, a story artist from Oscar-winning animated feature films like Brave, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc.

The Story Artist Lab builds on the success of animated series Mama K’s Team 4, a Triggerfish Story Lab writers’ initiative in 2015 that saw nine African women placed in the writing room for the first animated Netflix series from Africa.

African citizens with concept art and/or storyboarding portfolios can apply here before July 23, 2021. They must be available full-time for three months from August. Remote working is encouraged.

Triggerfish’s Zimbabwean development executive Tendayi Nyeke said: “Story artists translate screenplays into animatics, the loose first version of the movie that then shapes every step of animation that follows.

“So having skilled story artists from the continent in control of how their stories are told is a gamechanger, not only in grooming the next African directors but also in giving pre-production artists the opportunity to establish their own voice as they bring African stories to life.”

Triggerfish is currently producing three Africa-set TV series, namely Mama K’s Team 4 for Netflix; Kiya for Entertainment One, Disney Junior and Disney+; and the recently announced anthology Kizazi Moto, for Disney+.

The company also featured prominently at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival last week, winning the 2021 Mifa Animation Industry Award for the pioneering role that the company has played in animation in South Africa, and Africa more widely.

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Youneek animates African mythology

Youneek’s comic adaptations start with Iyanu: Child of Wonder

Nigerian prodco Youneek Studios has signed a 10-book deal with US publisher Dark Horse Comics and is developing an animated series with heroes based on African mythology.

The studio’s parent company, Youneek, was founded by Roye Okupe, who also created the graphic novels the series will be based on. The first instalment, Iyanu: Child of Wonder,  features a young black female lead and draws on Nigerian history.

Youneek has obtained venture funding from Impact X Capital. Erica Motley, creative partner at the VC firm, is onboard the series. Doug Schwalbe, formerly senior VP of coproductions at DreamWorks, is also attached as executive producer and will oversee distribution.

Johannesburg-based Forefront Media Group and Cape Town’s Triggerfish Animation will work with Youneek, Impact X Capital and Schwalbe on the project.

Okupe said: “Our mission has always been to empower African creatives and storytelling. We’ve done it successfully in the comic book industry and with Impact X Capital we’re excited at the opportunity to do it in the animation space.”

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Nigerian firms set out for Mipcom 2019

Entertainment content market Mipcom takes place next week from October 14 to 17 in Cannes, France, with this year’s theme being The Streaming Offensive.

The event will aim to reflect the changes in global distribution networks, their impact on content production and licensing, and the global response to the direct-to-consumer challenge.

Nigerian companies at the event will include Basement Animation, Multi Mesh Broadcasting Company, Asake Productions, Kaftan TV, International Development Initiative in Africa and a host of others.

Mipcom brings together influential TV and digital content executives and this year will present a production funding forum where producers and financiers can meet and bring premium content projects to life. It will also see the launch of new streaming platforms by legacy players, including SVoD and AVoD, plus creative exchanges, networking, screenings and talks.

The preceding MipJunior event, on October 12 and 13, will host major animation producers from South Africa, Nigeria and Ivory Coast as they present their development slates ripe for international collaboration.

Simon Adae, CEO of Arobase Studio, Mbuotidem Johnson, CEO of Basement Animation and Vanessa Ann Sinden, producer at Triggerfish Animation, will provide a 30-minute showcase to reveal their projects and discuss possible business opportunities.

On his Instagram page, Mbuotidem said: “It’s an honour to be invited by [event organiser] Reed Midem this year to speak at MipJunior – another great opportunity to share, network and make Nigeria proud. We are changing the narrative of the Nigerian animation industry. I sense a strong wave coming in 2020.”

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