It’s been a breathtaking week for the South African delegation to the 40th Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the world’s most prestigious calendar event for the animation industry.
At Saturday night’s Annecy/MIFA awards, the team from Triggerfish Animation in Cape Town accepted the overall Cristal for best TV production, a category in which they competed with 25 other entries. The winning production by unanimous jury vote was the TV Special STICK MAN, produced in collaboration with Magic Light Pictures UK, which aired on BBC 1 this past Christmas.
“Annecy’s Cristal Awards are the Oscars of the animation world,” said Triggerfish’s Daniel Snaddon, who co-directed the special with London-based director Jeroen Jaspaert. “I’m so proud of the team who went beyond the call of duty to bring Stick Man to life. Thank you to Michael Rose and Martin Pope of Magic Light, and the partners at Triggerfish, for this opportunity, and to Jeroen for bringing out the best in us.”
Snaddon accepted the Cristal alongside Triggerfish partners Stuart Forrest, Mike Buckland and Anthony Silverston.
Also a winner on the big night was Naomi van Niekerk, who won the Jean-Luc Xiberras Award for Best First Film for her sand-on-glass animation, ‘N GEWONE BLOU MAANDAGOGGEND, produced for ATKV’s Filmverse project. Naomi said she was “overwhelmed with joy” by the accolade. “Thanks to my composer Arnaud van Vliet, to the Prins Claus Ticket Fund for funding my flight, and to my friends and family for encouraging me – their support is invaluable to an independent artist. Thanks also to MIFA for welcoming me with open arms,” said Van Niekerk.
Earlier in the week, Bugbox Animation made industry history with the first South African/French animation coproduction for their preschool series MUSI & CUCKOO, which will be produced with Valence-based studio Folimage. This collaboration sprung from last year’s MIFA, in which Bugbox owners Tim and Candice Argall won residencies with Folimage and Vendome’s Ciclic Animation for their pitch at the Animation du Monde pitch focus.
The Argalls signing their deal with Folimage
Independent writer Clea Mallinson closed the loop with her own win at 2016’s Animation du Monde pitch focus. She has been offered a residency at Ciclic Animation for her short film pitch, FAIRY WHEELS. Mallinson will now have the opportunity to work with French mentors in developing the concept and producing a teaser for her short film, just as the Argalls did last year.
“Animation SA extends our thanks to the National Film and Video Foundation for supporting our delegation this year,” said Julia Smuts Louw, head of Marketing and Communications for the industry NGO. “A huge thanks also to Veronique Encrenaz and MIFA for their year-on-year support of our growing industry, and to Frederic Chambon of the Institut Francais for his tireless efforts in furthering our relationship with the French animation industry.”
Winning smiles: Clea Mallinson and Naomi van Niekerk
“We are delighted to see that our investment in the animation industry is bearing fruits,” said Joy Mawela, head of production and development at the NFVF. “This success is a testimony to the calibre of South African studios and the value of our presence at Annecy. We thank Institut Francais and MIFA for their faith and support, and look forward to continued dialogue and collaboration with France.”