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Best known for the feature films Zambezia and Khumba the studio has made something of a name for itself on the international film scene. With that attention has come serious funding. At the beginning of 2013, it received a multi million Rand investment from Spier Film for the development of Khumba.
The development funding was secured from Business Partners’ Venture Fund — a specialist risk finance company for formal small to medium enterprises in South Africa and select African countries.
Triggerfish CFO Jean-Michel Koenig who secured the deal says, “We are very pleased with the confidence Business Partners has placed in us as we look to invest further into our development slate.”
Two of the films announced to go into development under the latest round of funding include Here be Monsters and Seal Team (working titles).
“We have a number of exciting properties in the pipeline,” says head of development Anthony Silverston, “But we’re particularly excited by these two highly original and exciting high concept stories. And although both stories have an ocean setting, they couldn’t be more different.”
Here Be Monsters which was selected for the Creative Focus pitch at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival earlier this year is the next original story from writer Raffaella Delle Donne who worked on both of Triggerfish’s previous films. It tells the story of a boy and a sea monster and will be the company’s first foray into animating human characters.
Seal Team is an action-comedy that sees a group of Cape fur seals pitted against their natural enemies: the great white sharks of South Africa. The script is currently being written by Brian and Jason Cleveland of CMG who handled world sales on Triggerfish’s previous films.
“We had a good working relationship with the Clevelands on Zambezia and were impressed by their passion for the medium and for great stories,” says Triggerfish Producer Stuart Forrest. “So it was great when they came with this concept that is so close to home for us. Our first reaction was — why didn’t we think of that?!”
Triggerfish aims to release one film a year starting in 2016 and although the stories so far have been set in Africa, the company has a global vision to create animated films with universal messages for all ages.
As well as the films, the funds will be used to expand the studio’s digital department building on existing properties and exploring new ideas with apps and games.