South Africa’s animation firm Triggerfish defies global animators

The word animation has been synonymous with computer graphic designers somewhere abroad, behind huge screens and all types of complex software. By no means was Africa seriously associated with it, a perception Triggerfish, a South African animation company, is out to change and give global brands a run for their money.

Based in Cape-Town, Triggerfish Studios is a media and entertainment company creating family friendly feature animation films for a global audience. They are the producers of the famous Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba.

Zambezia, featuring famous actors such as Samuel L Jackson, has been ranked as the most widely distributed African film, having launched in Russia and Ukraine on 800 screens, taking US$ 1.3 million. The film was also ranked number 1 independent film in Israel recently.

The film was opened-up last week on over 400 screens in Germany, Austria and Switzerland – another record for an African produced film in these territories.

Khumba on the other hand will premier in April 2013, and up to date has been sold to 26 distribution territories.

During a presentation at the just ended Mobile Entertainment Africa 2012, Triggerfish CEO, Stuart Forrest,announced that they are currently in “talking” to strategic partners who share similar vision of becoming one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies.

It wants to capitalise on the changing digital landscape to expand its business, by exploiting its IP and ancillary digital products available on multiple platforms.

Triggerfish was first formed in 1996 as a high-end stop-frame studio producing animation for Takalani Sesame Street as well as creating some of South Africa’s most memorable commercials.

However, with the changing digital era, they later branched into long form character animation, rapidly producing several short films for international clients and establishing itself as world-class animation studio.

They co-founded the first national animation body in South Africa called Animation SA, which has over 2000 members across southern Africa and is one of the main organisers of AnimationXchange, a monthly networking event.

Triggerfish believes that Film remains one of the highest forms of art-combining theatre, music and storytelling. Their main business, as they put it, is Creative Capital-original, unique intellectual property.

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