SA animated film up for major awards

2012-12-04 14:09

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Adventures in Zambezia, the groundbreaking South African 3D feature film, has been nominated for two Annie Awards.

The Annies are the world’s biggest animation awards, often predicting Oscar winners.

Extraordinarily, Zambezia is the only independent film on a list of finalists dominated by the majors like Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks.

It was created by Triggerfish Animation Studios in Cape Town and becomes the first African production to be nominated.

The film – which tells the story of a chirpy young falcon named Kai’s rites of passage – has received nods for Music in an Animated Feature Production and for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production.

“I was ecstatic and also quite surprised,” said composer Bruce Retief when contacted by City Press this morning.

“I didn’t expect an independent soundtrack to even feature alongside the majors. Not to mention that it was my first feature film ever.”

Retief – who had worked mainly on music for corporate videos – roped in Zolani Mahola from Freshlyground to perform one of the songs and also hired Zwai Bala to do his vocal arrangements.

“Their input was invaluable,” says Retief, who worked hard to keep the soundtrack “fresh and full of African elements” despite needing to appeal to a global market.

Once Zambezia was completed, it picked up a distribution deal with Sony that spans more than 40 territories.

It was decided that most of the South African voices would be replaced with big-name stars including Samuel L Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard E Grant and Leonard Nimoy.

None of these celebrities were nominated for their work this week, though. Rather it was A-list American voice artist Jim Cummings as the villain Budzo who is up for a voice acting Annie.

He is also the voice of Winnie the Pooh.

Adventures in Zambezia has opened in several international territories and raked in excellent box office results.

It is currently screening in South Korea before heading to Finland. It will open in South Africa on December 28.

Triggerfish will be following it up with their second animated feature, Khumba, the story of a zebra and his stripes.

Retief will be dusting off his tuxedo and heading for California early in the new year. Presented by The International Animated Film Society, the 40th Annual Annie Awards will be held on February 2.

The big films up for awards this year are Disney/Pixar’s Brave, DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians and Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph. They each received 10 nominations.

ParaNorman and Hotel Transylvania also scored big, as did Frankenweenie, The Pirates! Band of Misfits and The Rabbi’s Cat.

But no achievement outweighs Adventures in Zambezia’s.

It was made by a small, committed team on a fraction of the budget of its competition.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.