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SA animation studio scoops three awards for Revolting Rhymes film

Cape Town based film company Triggerfish Animation Studios is celebrating. The producers of Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba scored a hat-trick this weekend with their new film Revolting Rhymes — an adaptation of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake’s classic book.

The company won Best Storytelling at the Shanghai International Film and TV Festival in China, then Best Animation at the World Banff Media Festival in Canada, and finished off with the Cristal for Best TV Production at Annecy in France, the world’s premier animation festival.

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“With South Africa officially in recession, it’s more important than ever that our economy finds new avenues for growth,” said Triggerfish Animation CEO Stuart Forrest in a press release.

He said the animation sector is still the smallest part of the film industry, according to the National Film and Video Foundation but that the three awards on three continents are further proof that the country is punching above its weight.

“We believe that with continued government support, animation can become a key, job-intensive growth sector in South Africa,” he said.

Produced by Magic Light Pictures, Revolting Rhymes was animated at Magic Light’s Berlin studio and Cape Town’s Triggerfish Animation.

‘With South Africa in recession, it’s more important than ever that our economy finds new avenues for growth’

The animation premiered on BBC One at Christmas 2016, opened the New York International Children’s Film Festival in February 2017, and won Best Animated Short at TIFF Kids in Toronto, Canada last month.

Triggerfish’s Mike Buckland and Sarah Scrimgeour also presented at Annecy on Revolting Rhymes’ post-production pipeline – an honour in itself.

This is the second year in a row that Triggerfish has worked on a project which has won at Shanghai, BANFF and Annecy, following the success of Stick Man, an adaptation of the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler classic, also produced by Magic Light Pictures for the BBC. Stick Man went on to win 11 international awards, including four at Kidscreen.

At Annecy, Triggerfish also pitched Mama K’s Super 4 as part of Animation du Monde. Created by Zambia’s Malenga Mulendema, the show follows four African teenagers who are recruited for the low-budget superhero operation of a former secret agent.

Mama K’s Super 4 is a result of the Triggerfish Story Lab, supported by The Walt Disney Company and The Department of Trade and Industry.

Triggerfish is currently animating an adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Highway Rat, their third BBC One Christmas collaboration with Magic Light Pictures.

The company’s hat trick follows just days after the release of the National Film and Video Foundation’s (NFVF) second Economic Impact Assessment on the South African film industry, which found that the sector’s contribution to the economy had increased from R3.5 billion in 2013 to R5.4 billion in 2016.

Watch the Revolting Rhymes trailer:

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