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Enjoy adventure and wonder at Kunjanimation film festival

26-30 November 2014, Cape Town

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Capetonians have the chance to enjoy stories of adventure and wonder when the fourth Kunjanimation film festival comes to town from 26 to 30 November at the Labia cinema.

Curated by Animation SA, the annual event presents some of the world’s top animated feature films, including the best of French animation. This year, in partnership with Pop the Culture, it is also introducing a series of workshops with dynamic leaders in the local industry and icons of the comic and graphic novel fields, to develop South African talent.

In addition, a French animation delegation will be in Cape Town as part of the Festival and the ongoing relationship between the South African and French animation industries. The delegation includes Marie Soufflot, from Imaginove Animation Cluster, Véronique Encrenaz from the Annecy International Animated Film Market (MIFA) and Alice Riviere, from Emile Cohl Animation School, as well as other animation producers.

The Pop the Culture workshops will take place at the Animation School in Woodstock, and hosts will include the likes of internationally-acclaimed author Lauren Beukes; director of Khumba Anthony Silverston of Triggerfish Animation Studios; Ricco Schacherl of Madam & Eve and Richard Morgan Grenville of Strika Entertainment. There will also be a two-day masterclass with Justine Bannister from Just B in France about international strategy and talking about creating a brand and integrated marketing thinking.

Kunjanimation is made possible with the generous support of the Institut Francais South Africa; the National Film and Video Foundation; Wesgro and the Animation School.

“Pop the Culture is a content hub and talent incubator. We want to help build and promote the South African animation and visual arts sector from the ground up, using new media platforms and plugging into cutting edge technology,” says Wendy Spinks, cofounder of Pop the Culture. “These workshops are an incredible opportunity for students and professionals to engage with and learn from some of the best leaders in the industry. We are also delighted to be bringing global expertise to SA's doorstep with Justine Bannister’s masterclass.”

The five films to be screened this year tell captivating stories of love and fury; heartless kings; prophesying frogs and, for the younger viewers, battles and friendships between ladybird and ants. 

All the foreign language films are subtitled and suitable for all ages.


Valley of the Lost Ants is fun for all the family. In a peaceful forest, the remains of a picnic trigger a ruthless war between rival ant colonies, obsessed with gaining control of the same prize: a box of sugar cubes! Amidst this struggle a young ladybug befriends a black ant and helps him save his people from the horrible red ants… The Hollywood reporter commented about the film “A little goes a long way in this impressive French animation feature.” (Screening schedule: 8.30pm Wednesday 26 November 
and 11am Saturday 29 November. No language used in film. All characters speak in sound effects).

Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury (Portuguese) won the Best Feature award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival as well as the Audience Award at the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival. It follows the story of a warrior who lives almost six hundred years ago, seeking for the resurrection of his beloved Janaína. When he dies, he takes the form of a bird, and, for six centuries, the love of the couple survives during four key stages of Brazilian history. (Screening schedule: 8.30pm Friday 28 November).

Le Roi et l’Oiseau (The King and the Mockingbird) is regarded as a masterpiece in the history of French animation. Its creation started in 1948, loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep. It was a collaboration between director Paul Grimault and French poet Jacques Prévert, but due to production problems, the version they envisaged was only finished thirty years after they started it. (Screening schedule: 2pm Sunday 30 November).

La Prophétie des Grenouilles (Raining Cats and Frogs) is an award winning French traditional children's feature film. Loosely based on the story of Noah's Ark, it is about a group of frogs who predict an imminent disaster where it will rain for forty days and forty nights. They tell a boy and girl who subsequently help save the animals in a zoo. The film was honored at the International Festival of Animated Feature Films where it was awarded the prize for Best Feature Picture. (Screening schedule: 6pm Saturday 29 November).

Mia et le Migou (Mia and the Migoo) (French) is about a young girl's search for her father in a tropical paradise, threatened by the construction of a gigantic hotel resort. The film won the European Film Award for Best Animated Feature at the twenty second European Film Awards. (Screening schedule: 8.30pm Saturday 29 November).

The Workshop:

Wednesday 26 November:

9am – 10h30: Where comics & animation meet: the process, the similarities and getting your story out there. With Lauren Beukes; Richard from Strikas, Moray Rhoda & Sean Isaakse and Mike Scott.
11am to 12 noon: Lauren Beukes - Lauren tells her story and about how she got started in comics.
1.30pm -5pm: Richard Morgan Grenville of Strika Entertainment - Comics to Greenbacks. Boom! Richard talks about the business side, branded entertainment and making money in comics

Thursday 27 November:
9am - 1pm: Moray Rhoda and Sean Isaakse Storytelling and collaboration for creating comic books
1.30pm-5pm: Ricco Schacherl- Madam & Eve STRIP SHOW – “A few things I learned about graphic storytelling in over 20 years of drawing funny pictures”

Friday 28 November:
10am-12am: Susan Opperman and Roberto Millan How to create your own superhero
2pm – 4pm : Mike Scott Starting from the Bottom Up: Character design, illustration, inking, background design, layout, compositing, key framing and animation. Talking us through the creative process

Saturday 29 November:
9am-1pm: Anthony Silverston of Triggerfish Studios: Story and writing characters to care about.
2pm-5pm: Daniel Snaddon of Triggerfish Studios: Storyboarding tips and tricks: A hands on workshop- Graphic storytelling and techniques

Sunday 30 November:
9am to 12am: Lorraine Alvarez Posen Illustration – Character Design Fundamentals
2-4pm Strika Entertainment- Nic Hoekstra A creative practical workshop

Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 November:
9 am - 5pm: Masterclass Series with Justine Bannister from Just B in Paris, France: International Strategy – The Real Buzz. Creating your brand and integrated marketing thinking.

Screenings take place at the Labia Cinema in Orange Street, Gardens. Tickets cost R25 each.

Workshops take place at the Animation School, Cape Town Campus, 42 Searle Street, Woodstock.

Ticket prices for the workshops start at R175. A full festival pass for Pop the Culture workshops and screenings is R1900 and students pay R1000.

For bookings and information about the screenings and the workshops, visit www.quicket.co.za

About Kunjanimation
Now in its fourth year, Kunjanimation Animation Festival has enjoyed great successes in its goal of creating a platform for the art and business of South African animation. These successes have included:
*A formal offer from French based production company Je Suis Bien Content to South African animation studio Bugbox Animation to produced animated TV content for a 2D series.
*A formal partnership between the world-renowned Parks based Gobelins l’ecole de l’image and the Animation School in Cape Town with a contract for the next three years.
*Successful talks between the NFVF, GFC, DTI and Animation SA towards adopting an incubator/cluster model for animation development and production, with a research delegation sponsored by IFAS planned to coincide with Annecy in June.
* Ties strengthened between the French and South African Animation industry with a successful delegation of French producers having visited in November last year, and another planned for this year.
*It has also been successful in the building of social capital within the SA animation industry where many studios have historically been competing. The results can be seen in the white papers Animation SA drew up for the DTI in February on how incentives for the industry could be altered to help us become more globally competitive.

About Animation SA
Animation SA is a non-profit organisation with branches in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban made up of volunteers from the animation community. It believes that animation has a vital role in transforming South African by articulating values to ourselves, our children and the rest of the world. In this way, its vision is to help build the South African brand through the medium of animation. It is dedicated to creating a healthy self-sustaining animation industry which provides South Africans with creative, challenging and fulfilling jobs.

Pop the Culture is a content hub and talent incubator, showcasing and promoting South African talent. It strives to build the animation and visual arts industry, original IP and local brands from the ground up via new media platforms and distribution channels. It was established by Wendy Spinks CEO & creative director at Zeropoint Studios and animation and multimedia specialist Nick Wilson. 
As part of Kunjanimation 2014, Zeropoint Studios are collaborating with Pollen Creative Media and Natasje van Niekerk to present The Masterclass Series. Says Wendy, “The collective’s vision is to build, develop and raise the bar in the South African TV and animation industries. To assist in creating original IP through training, and most importantly get product market ready for international markets and festivals for years to come. This way we hope to establish South African content creators as a force on the global playing field".

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