SA animation takes flight

2012-07-28 20:30
Charl Blignaut
A chirpy young falcon called Kai looks set to take South African animated film to new heights.

He’s the star of Adventures in Zambezia that has lifted the prize for Best South African Feature Film at the Durban International Film Festival.

In the movie, created by Cape Town’s Triggerfish Animation Studios, Kai leaves the nest to make a life for himself in the bustling bird metropolis of Zambezia.

Although local audiences will only be able to see it at Christmas, the 3D film has been sold to over 40 territories thanks to a deal with Sony.

It is already showing strong box office returns in Israel, the first country to screen it.

Cited by the jury for its “beautiful animation infused with the spirit of the continent,” Adventures in Zambezia is a notch up from Jock of the Bushveld, which was the country’s highest grosser in the past year, earning R14 million at the local box office.

Triggerfish’s next feature offering, Khumbu, is also almost complete.

Another captivating local crowd-pleaser, The African Cypher, won the award for Best South African Documentary.

Director Bryan Little had audiences cheering, crying and laughing all week in Durban with his story of street dancing groups that change their destinies through the power of movement and working as a team.

Winner of the top international prize in Durban, Best Feature Film, was Austrian director Michael Haneke’s Love (Amour), which also walked off with the honours at Cannes this year.

* List of winners
Best Film: Love (Amour) (France, Austria, Germany), directed by Michael Haneke

Best South African Feature Film: Adventures in Zambezia (South Africa), directed by Wayne Thornley

Best First Feature Film: Sleeping Beauty (Australia), directed by Julia Leigh

Best Director: Benh Zeitlin for Beasts Of The Southern Wild (USA)

Best Actress: Deanie Ip in A Simple Life (Tao Jie) (Hong Kong SAR China)

Best Actor: Joseph Wairimu in Nairobi Half Life (Kenya, Germany)

Best Cinematography: Gökhan Tiryaki for Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da) (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey)

Best Screenplay
: Ercan Kesal, Ercan Ceylan and Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da) (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey)

Special Jury Mention Feature Film: Goodbye (Be Omid E Didar) (Iran), directed by Mohammad Rasoulof

Best Documentary
: 5 Broken Cameras (Palestinian Territories, France, Israel, The Netherlands), directed by Guy Davidi

Best South African Documentary
: The African Cypher (South Africa), directed by Bryan Little

Documentary Special Jury Mention
: Calvet (Costa Rica, France, Nicaragua, United Kingdom, United States), directed by Dominic Allan

Best Short Film: The Bird Spider (La Migala) (Spain), directed by Jaime Dezcallar

Best South African Short Film
: Doppelganger (South Africa), directed by Joshua Rous
Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award: Call Me Kuchu (USA), directed by Malika Zouhali-Worral and Katherine Fairfax Wright

DIFF Wavescape Audience Choice Award: The Art of Flight (USA), directed by Curt Morgan

DIFF Documentary Audience Choice Award
: Searching for Sugarman (Sweden, United Kingdom), directed by Malik Bendjellou

DIFF Feature Film Audience Choice Award
: The Lady (France, United Kingdom), directed by Luc Besson