Friday, May 15, 2009

Khumba teaser launches at Cannes

Triggerfish has just completed production on a teaser promo for their second animated feature film Khumba. The promo will be launched at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival as part of the National Film and Video Foundation's 10th Anniversary campaign by Los Angeles-based Cinema Management Group (CMG), which also handles all sales on Triggerfish's first film, Zambezia.
Production of the 3-minute teaser was made possible through the generous assistance of the NFVF. It had to be completed in under 3 months in order to make the Cannes deadline, so the challenge was to create and design the various Karoo settings as well as rig and animate a herd of zebras (each with their own personality) in time. "We had an efficient and dedicated team and it is thanks to their combined efforts that Khumba will be on screen at Cannes at a time when Pixar's Up is opening the festival," says writer/director Anthony Silverston.
The 3- month production is fast compared to the 3-year scriptwriting process (the script was developed with the assistance of the UK Council and NFVF after winning a major script competition in the Zero to Hero category). "People have always responded positively to the concept," says co-writer, Raffaella Delle Donne "...but after the many years developing Khumba on paper, it has been extremely rewarding to see him come to life on screen."
A strong cast lends their voice talent to the teaser including ex-South African Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Hotel Rwanda, Wolverine) who happened to be shooting in Cape Town at the time of recording, Zolani Mahola, lead singer of internationally acclaimed Afro-fusion band Freshlyground and Nik Rabinowitz, SA Comedian of the year 2008. Voice performance is always key in animation, and although the feature will most probably be dubbed for North American audiences, it was important to the creators to maintain a level of authenticity even with this promo. "Audiences should have time to become accustomed to the various accents on the full-length feature," says Silverston. "It is a challenge that has been with this project from the start - how to maintain authenticity of the very local flavour that the story and setting require, while still retaining worldwide commercial appeal - and I believe we have achieved that with this piece."
Sales will be handled by international sales agent Edward Noeltner of CMG. Triggerfish producer, Stuart Forrest, says "we have built a healthy relationship with Edward over the last year while he very successfully represented Zambezia - making almost a million dollars in pre-sales - and we are extremely excited that he has agreed to represent Khumba as well."
To find out more information go to

Khumba Teaser Promo from Triggerfish Animation on Vimeo.
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