Lo­cal stu­dio just keeps win­ning

CityPress - - News - GRETHE KEMP grethe.kemp@city­press.co.za

Mul­ti­ple award-win­ning South African film and en­ter­tain­ment com­pany Trig­ger­fish An­i­ma­tion added to its con­sid­er­able award tally by clinch­ing three more, on three con­ti­nents, last weekend.

The stu­dio’s an­i­mated adap­ta­tion of Re­volt­ing Rhymes, a clas­sic book of sur­pris­ing fairy­tales writ­ten by Roald Dahl and il­lus­trated by Quentin Blake, won the best sto­ry­telling award at the Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Film and TV Fes­ti­val in China, then the best an­i­ma­tion award at the World Banff Media Fes­ti­val in Canada, as well as the Cristal Award for the best TV pro­duc­tion at An­necy in France, the world’s premier an­i­ma­tion fes­ti­val.

When asked whether he was ex­pect­ing these awards, Trig­ger­fish chief ex­ec­u­tive Stu­art For­rest said: “We did well last year and we knew that what we de­liv­ered was even better than last year, so we thought we had a rea­son­able chance.”

The team won at Shang­hai last year with Stick Man, an adap­ta­tion of the clas­sic kids’ book writ­ten by Ju­lia Don­ald­son and il­lus­trated by Axel Sch­ef­fler. The 26-minute story sees Stick Man go on an epic ad­ven­ture across the sea­sons. The an­i­mated short film has won 11 in­ter­na­tional awards to date.

Cre­at­ing an­i­ma­tion in South Africa has its own set of chal­lenges, ac­cord­ing to For­rest.

“The in­dus­try is still young, so there is a skills short­age. We are quite lim­ited with the num­ber of projects we can take on be­cause we just don’t have enough peo­ple to re­ally scale. Across the board it is a tal­ent-driven in­dus­try, and the tal­ent is def­i­nitely here, but it is not as big as in other coun­tries.”

Founded in 1996, Trig­ger­fish is lo­cated in Cape Town and has made two of the high­est-gross­ing South African films of all time: Ad­ven­tures in Zam­bezia (2012), star­ring Abi­gail Bres­lin and Samuel L Jack­son; and Khumba (2013), star­ring Jake T Austin, An­naSophia Robb and Liam Nee­son.

The stu­dio em­ploys 85 peo­ple, and it took 65 of them to work on Re­volt­ing Rhymes alone to make it hap­pen. The show con­sists of two half-hour seg­ments. The an­i­ma­tion pre­miered on BBC One on Christ­mas in 2016.

For­rest said their next project was an­other Christ­mas an­i­ma­tion for the BBC, and they were also wait­ing to start on an­other fea­ture film, the de­tails of which he chose to keep un­der wraps.

A scene in Re­volt­ing Rhymes

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