A window of opportunity has opened for storytellers in Africa including Malawi as Triggerfish Animation Studios which is a South Africa-based film and entertainment company, is establishing the Triggerfish Story Lab with support of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and The Walt Disney Company.
According to a press statement sent in by Kevin Kriedemann, who is part of the Al Jazeera Africa PR team, said Triggerfish will be investing up to US$3.5m over the next three years in The Story Lab.
The statement says The Story Lab aims to give Africa’s most talented storytellers and filmmakers the opportunity to develop their ideas alongside Triggerfish’s international network of mentors.
It says that selected storytellers will potentially have their concepts developed into episodic TV content or an animated feature film for the global market and that Triggerfish is conducting a continent-wide search for storytellers.
“These storytellers will be carefully selected, based not only on the creative and commercial merits of their concept, but also on their track record,” reads the statement.
The entries will be evaluated by a high-profile panel of both local and international experts, including British director and co-founder of Aardman Peter Lord (Chicken Run, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists), Hollywood writer Jonathan Roberts (The Lion King) and script consultant Karl Iglesias (Writing For Emotional Impact) and a panel of development executives from The Walt Disney Company.
Shortlisted storytellers are expected to take part in workshops with leading Hollywood script consultant Pilar Alessandra, author of The Coffee Break Screenwriter.
The selected Story Lab participants will also receive two weeks of mentoring with key studio and television executives at Disney’s headquarters in Burbank, California, USA.
“We are ready to bring a fresh voice to the world,” says Anthony Silverston, head of development at Triggerfish. He added:
“We believe there is extraordinary talent in Africa and the Story Lab is the perfect way to partner with them.”
Walt Disney Company Africa Senior Vice President and Country Manager Christine Service said they are excited to be supporting Triggerfish on this innovative project adding that The Story Lab will provide a unique opportunity to discover the continent’s next generation of storytellers.
“The dti is committed to developing a pool of creative talent that can produce international quality animation production scripts,” says Nelly Molokoane from the dti’s Film and TV Incentives Unit, adding that the department is honoured to support projects that will contribute to job creation.
According to Triggerfish’s Chief Executive Officer Stuart Forrest, says The Story Lab will be a great catalyst for African creativity on the global stage.
He said the development process will take a number of years revealing that for each phase of development, Triggerfish will provide financial support, workspace, and expert guidance by internal and international consultants and mentors, as well as a route to market through top-tier relationships with Hollywood agency William Morris Endeavor.
Animation is slowly gaining ground in the world of movies and it has proven to be a successful medium for among others South African films to travel internationally, with Triggerfish’s films Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba being distributed in over 150 countries and dubbed into over 27 languages.
Kriedemann said this is an opportunity for storytellers in Africa including Malawi to be part of this huge project and applications are since being sort from all writing and creative disciplines.
The applications are expected to be over 21 and either
African citizens or permanent residents and that the entries must be in English with the deadline on August 31, 2015. The applications can be accessed on www. triggerfishstudios.com.
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