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Love watching animation? Try making it with South Africa’s TriggerFish


Africa’s leading animation studio, Triggerfish, is introducing aspiring African animators to the principles of animation and the tools they need to make their first short films.

Ever wondered how Dragon Ball Z or the latest Pixar movie was animated?

Africa’s leading animation studio, Triggerfish, is introducing aspiring African animators to the principles of animation and the tools they need to make their first short film with just a smartphone, an internet connection and some time to explore.

In partnership with the Goethe-Institut and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation, Triggerfish has developed a step-by-step guide, accessible from the Academy tab of the website.

Aspiring animators can use this to learn how to write and animate their own short story, then post their animation on YouTube and send it to Triggerfish, who’ll be making the best animations and their creators famous across their Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channels.

Animators must enter by Thursday, 31 January 2019 to be in the running to be named Africa’s Next Top Animator and to have their winning films screened at the most important event for the African animation industry – Cape Town International Animation Festival.

There are separate categories for animators under 13 and under 20, with additional ‘all ages’ prizes awarded for animation, character design, storyboarding and storytelling.

The winners will receive mentorship from animation professionals working at Triggerfish. Films must be between 30 seconds and three minutes. Terms and conditions are on the website.

Africa’s Year of Animation

2018 has been a breakthrough year for animation in Africa.

2018 has been the best year yet for African animation,” says Noemie Njangiru, Head of Culture and Development at Goethe-Institut Johannesburg.

We are very excited to explore further possibilities of this medium to create job opportunities and transport contemporary narratives from young diverse voices in Africa to the world.

It’s easier than ever to get started in animation,” says Stuart Forrest, CEO of Triggerfish.

We’ve been amazed by the quality of films we’ve been receiving from children as young as 11. In today’s visual world, the animation is an in-demand skill, but more importantly, it’s really fun. We know Africa’s youth are going to enjoy playing with animation – and may discover an exciting new career path at the same time.

The Triggerfish guide is set up so that youth can play with it directly, but it’s also been designed to double as an action plan for teachers, NGOs and after-school programmes to use. Schools, organizations and other animation studios who are interested in using it can contact Triggerfish Academy for additional free classroom resources.

This introduction to making animation is one of a number of Triggerfish initiatives to train and diversify the next generation of African animators, like the pan-African Triggerfish Story Lab, supported by The Walt Disney Company and the Department of Trade and Industry; their Animate Africa webinars; Draw For Life, and their school’s outreach programme.

Check out what African youth are creating, then get started on making your own.

Watch and embed:
The Brick Mirage  by Ethan (11 years):

Balloon by Liwei Zhu (18 years)

About Triggerfish

Established in 1996, Triggerfish is a Cape Town-based film and entertainment company.

The studio has produced two of the top five highest-grossing South African feature films of all time: Adventures in Zambezia (2012) and Khumba (2013), which have been licensed to around 160 countries and translated into 25 languages.

Triggerfish has also provided animation for three multi-award-winning BBC Christmas adaptations produced by Magic Light Pictures: Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Stick Man (2015), Roald Dahl’sRevolting Rhymes (2016),  and The Highway Rat (2017).

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