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CT animation gets Oscar nod

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A short film that was partly animated by Cape Town’s Triggerfish has been nominated for an Academy Award. Revolting Rhymes is one of five films nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Short Film category at the 90th edition of the Oscars.

Directed by Jakob Schuh (Oscar-nominated for The Gruffalo) and Jan Lachauer (Oscar-nominated for Room on the Broom) and co-directed by Bin Han To, produced by Martin Pope and Michael Rose, Revolting Rhymes is an adaptation of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake’s classic book of surprising fairy tales.

Produced by Magic Light Pictures, Revolting Rhymes was animated at Magic Light’s Berlin studio and Cape Town’s Triggerfish. It’s voiced by a stellar cast that includes Dominic West (The Affair) as The Wolf; Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) as Red Riding Hood; and Gemma Chan (Humans) as Snow White.

“We’re beside ourselves right now, and just incredibly happy,” say Schuh and Lachauer. “Happy for the film and happy for all our fantastic collaborators here in Berlin, our producers at Magic Light, as well as our wonderful team in South Africa. It’s a pretty unreal feeling to find your labour of love has been recognised in this way. We’re deeply grateful to the Academy for this nomination. This was a hard film to make. What always steered us forward was the level of love our team had for this story – and the blessings we received from Luke Kelly, Roald Dahl’s grandson, and from the great Quentin Blake. So, for everyone’s work to receive such love in return today, it’s the most beautiful reward.”

The synopsis of the movie on the Academy Awards site (http://oscar.go.com) tells this tale: “The Wolf from the fairy tale ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ reveals the true and twisted story of his adventures and those of other characters in his world, including Snow White, Cinderella and Jack, the climber of beanstalks.”

Revolting Rhymes has already won nine major international awards: the Cristal at Annecy in France, the world’s premiere animation festival; Best Animation at the BAFTA Children’s Awards; two awards at the European Animation Awards; Best Animated Short at TIFF Kids; Best Animation at the World Banff Media Festival in Canada; Best Storytelling at Shanghai International Film and TV Festival in China; the Children’s Jury prize at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and the Audience Award at Filmfest Munchen.

Revolting Rhymes is also nominated for a prestigious Annie Award on 3 February 2018 in Los Angeles; a British Animation Award on 15 March in London; and an International Emmy Kids Award, which will be presented in April 2018.

“Congrats to Jakob, Jan, Bini and the amazing team at Magic Light; it was such an honour to watch and learn from them,” says Mike Buckland, head of production at Triggerfish. “We also feel immense gratitude towards our insanely hard-working, generous and talented crew, who fully deserve this recognition that their work stands up there with the best in the world. We’re hoping Revolting Rhymes‘ success will inspire many more Africans to enter the animation industry, which is growing rapidly here but still not fast enough to keep up with demand. And we can’t wait for South African audiences to finally be able to see Revolting Rhymes when it comes to Showmax in the near future.”

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Magic Light Pictures’ third collaboration with Triggerfish, The Highway Rat, premiered on BBC One this Christmas, achieving total audience ratings of 6.0 million viewers and 31.2% share for the Christmas Day premiere, making it the eighth most-watched programme of the day. An adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bestseller, The Highway Rat is a swashbuckling tale of bandits and biscuits the whole family will enjoy. David Tennant (Doctor WhoBroadchurch) leads an impressive cast in the title role.

Following the success of The Highway Rat, BBC ONE and Magic Light Pictures have announced that an animated adaptation of Donaldson and Scheffler’s Zog is set for BBC One this coming Christmas.

Zog is about a loveable young dragon finding his way in a magical, yet challenging world. The animated half hour is being directed by Max Lang, Oscar-nominated director of Room on the Broom and The Gruffalo, and by South African Daniel Snaddon, co-director of Stick Man. The film is being produced by Michael Rose and Martin Pope of Magic Light Pictures, with animation services again being provided by Triggerfish Animation in Cape Town.

Zog was first published in 2010 by Alison Green Books (an imprint of Scholastic). It won the Galaxy National Children’s Book of the Year Award and has sold over 1.5 million copies. For the fourth year running, Donaldson is the UK’s number one bestselling author (across children’s and adult books). Donaldson and Scheffler are the UK’s number one picture book pair.

Check out the Revolting Rhymes trailer under Gadget’s Video of the Day.

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Arts and Entertainment

IFA: Samsung unveils 8K TV

During its press conference at IFA 2018 this week, Samsung Electronics announced its foray into 8K with the unveiling of the Q900FN QLED 8K TV in an 85” size. Samsung says it features all the benefits of Samsung’s flagship QLED line and several enhancements that bring 8K-quality images to life.

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“At Samsung, we’ve worked well over the years to move the industry forward when it comes to premium picture quality, and the introduction of the Q900FN with 8K AI Upscaling is an integral component as we look to the future of displays,” said Jongsuk Chu, Senior Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “We’re thrilled to introduce the Q900FN to consumers and are confident that they will experience nothing short of brilliance in colour, clarity and sound from our new 8K-capable models.”

To achieve 8K-quality images, the Samsung Q900FN features Real 8K Resolution and is capable of 4,000 nit peak brightness, a standard employed by many Hollywood studios. This feature allows the Q900FN to produce four times more pixels than a 4K UHD TV and 16 times more pixels than a full HD TV. Q HDR 8K, powered by HDR10+ technology, optimises the TV’s brightness levels and delivers the visual experience intended by creators. The Q900FN has already received the official HDR10+ logo certification.

Samsung’s proprietary AI-powered 8K Upscaling technology enhances lower resolution content to 8K quality. Whether a viewer is watching content through a streaming service, set-top box, HDMI, USB or even mobile mirroring, the 8K Quantum Processor recognises and upscales the content to appear in 8K quality. In addition, the Q900FN features Direct Full Array Elite for enhanced contrast and precise backlighting control, and as with all of our QLED models, it delivers 100% colour Volume so viewers can experience billions of shades of colour for the purest colour accuracy available to date.

The Q900FN features a slate of new functions that enable consumers to get the most from their TV, while maintaining the highest quality in picture and sound. For example, the TV recognises and analyses a number of connected entertainment devices like audio devices connected via optical cable with the One Remote, then automatically switches the TV’s image source and audio output for an optimised viewing experience. Lifestyle features, such as Ambient Mode, have been enhanced to seamlessly blend the TV in the surrounding space and by showcasing beautiful images, weather, news and more on the screen. The One Invisible Connection, which comes standard at five meters and is also available in 15 meters, incorporates the optical cable and power into one thin cord, giving users more freedom to decide where and how they place the TV. Smart enhancements, such as SmartThings, further simplify the connected living experience, and the Universal Guide provides personalised recommendations to easily find live and OTT content on TV.

Samsung will showcase its latest television and audio announcements in its booth at IFA, located at the City Cube Berlin on Level 2.

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Arts and Entertainment

NAG LAN returns to rAge

The NAG LAN is back at rAge this October, and tickets are on sale both online and at Computicket outlets.

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As SA’s most popular LAN, tickets to the NAG LAN are expected to sell out mega fast, and this year – as promised – the organisers are delivering an even more awesome event and experience!

“For the first time ever, gamers will be able to pre-select their preferred experience in three dedicated LAN areas when purchasing their tickets.  Two of the areas will be fully carpeted, one area will have padded chairs, and two areas will be quieter and more secluded from the noisy expo show floor, ensuring that the NAG LAN experience is more tailored to everyone’s individual tastes and levels of comfort,” says Michael James, Owner and Project Manager at rAge.

In addition to this, gamers will now be able to take forty winks at, next to or underneath their tables and will not be disturbed by security.

More good news is that the changes to the NAG LAN also mean a bigger rAge show floor, making for a more interactive and spacious visitor experience, with more exhibitions and activities on offer this year.

The NAG LAN is Southern Africa’s largest BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer/Console) LAN event. Gamers from all over South Africa will travel to rAge with their gaming rigs, laptops and consoles, where they’ll then game for 52 solid hours!  2018 sees big name sponsors on board to ensure an impressive experience. Nutanix is sponsoring the servers, with Aruba supplying the switches and MWEB Fibre ensuring broadband connectivity.

“Not only is rAge a must-attend event in the calendar for gamers, but it also brings together a host of young talent who may well pursue a future in software development or IT. The sponsorship, and provision of the server architecture for the LAN, provides us with the perfect platform to showcase Nutanix as a next-generation platform for who we believe will be the future IT leaders of our digital economy,” states Paul Ruinaard, country manager Sub-Saharan Africa at Nutanix. “Furthermore, we have architected the NAG LAN platform to run virtualization for a high-volume traffic environment, a step away from the bare-metal architecture they have used in the past. We are looking forward to seeing the benefits this yields for the gamers in a live environment.”

This year’s NAG LAN will prove to be an unforgettable experience for any gamer wanting to spend a weekend filled with meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones, as well as non-stop gaming 24/7.

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