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“Revolting” wins Emmy

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Revolting Rhymes has won the International Emmy Kids Award for Animation on Tuesday at a ceremony held during MIPTV in Cannes. 

This was Revolting Rhymes’ 12th major international award; it had previously won the Cristal at Annecy; Best Animated Special at the Annie Awards; Best One-Off Special at Kidscreen; and Best Animation at the BAFTA Children’s Awards. It was also nominated for an Oscar.

Produced by Magic Light Pictures, Revolting Rhymes was animated at Magic Light’s Berlin studio and Cape Town’s Triggerfish. 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, Revolting Rhymes is an adaptation of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake’s classic book of surprising fairy tales. 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.

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“Wow, that’s an Emmy, an Annie, an Emile, a Crystal, a BAFTA, a BAA and a Banff,” chuckles Mike Buckland, head of production at Triggerfish. “Hmm – A Baa and a Banff sounds like the next Julia Donaldson book.”

Seal Team: now hiring

“This latest award comes as we’ve just placed our first job ads for our third feature film, Seal Team,” says Triggerfish CEO Stuart Forrest. “So it’s a further reinforcement that South Africa is making some of the best animation anywhere and we’re ready to take Africa’s stories to the world.”

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Triggerfish has produced two of the five highest-grossing South African feature films of all time: Adventures in Zambezia (2012) and Khumba (2013), but have spent the last five years honing their skills on four multi-award-winning BBC One Christmas specials produced by Magic Light Pictures: Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes (2016) and the Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler adaptations Stick Man (2015), The Highway Rat (2017) and, currently in production, Zog (2018).

Seal Team follows Quinn, an orphan seal who has been dodging sharks off the coast of South Africa his whole life.  When he loses his best friend to a great white shark, Quinn forms a ragtag special ops unit and does the unthinkable: fights back!

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Greig Cameron will make his feature film debut as Seal Team’s writer-director, working from a story by Wayne Thornley (Adventures in Zambezia) and Brian and Jason Cleveland, with Anthony Silverston (Khumba) as head of development.

Cameron is one of the most experienced directors of animation in South Africa, having written and directed 45 episodes of the hit series Supa Strikas, broadcast on Disney XD in over 130 territories. He was also the head writer on Moosebox, currently in production with Nickelodeon, and wrote for Sunrise Productions’ Munki & Trunk, currently on Nicktoons, as well as the cult South African show Urbo: The Adventures of Pax Afrika and the pilots for Triggerfish’s series Mama K’s Super 4, being co-produced with Cake, and Mike Scott’s Dogshow With Cat.  He also made the shortlist for the Triggerfish Story Lab with The Walt Disney Company and the Department of Trade and Industry, from around 1400 entries from across Africa.

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The Industrial Development Corporation, The Department of Trade and Industry and Cinema Management Group (CMG) are financing Seal Team, with CMG handling worldwide sales.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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Avengers’ all-time accolade

This past weekend Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War became the second highest grossing film of all time at the South African Box Office.

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This means that Marvel Studios now holds the number 2 and number 1 film of all time positions at the local Box Office, following Black Panther’s unprecedented record-shattering run since it’s 16 February 2018 release.

In South Africa, audiences continued to assemble in cinemas to witness the cinematic journey ten years in the making, earning Avengers: Infinity War a current total box office tally of just under R73 million with over 874 000 attendances.

Black Panther’s historic box office journey ended in June and now boasts a final box office total just shy of R107.5 million and over 1.43 million attendances, making it the biggest film of all time at the South African box office and the first to cross the R100m mark. This record builds on Black Panther’s list of achievements on the African continent and is the biggest grossing film of all time not only in South Africa, but also East and West Africa. Black Panther is now available to enjoy on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as to digitally rent or buy from retailers and providers across the continent.

Elsewhere in Africa, Avengers: Infinity War has also raked in a total of Kes 66.9m in East Africa, making it the 2nd highest grossing film of all time behind Black Panther. Similarly, in West Africa, the film hit N450m at the box office, making it the 2nd highest grossing international film of all time, also behind Black Panther.

For Marvel Studios fans, the action and adventure continues as the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man and The Wasp, hit cinemas this past weekend and created enough buzz to fly into the number one position at the South African Box Office.

“We are thrilled at the response that Marvel Studios’ titles have continued to receive from cinema-goers across the continent,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With Ant-Man and The Wasp in cinemas, and both Captain Marvel and the next Avengers film in 2019, we are eagerly anticipating the continuing expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to celebrating with fans.”

On the animated front and with its own super hero theme, Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2, continues to entertain families across the country and is already Disney’s second-highest grossing animated film of all time behind Finding Dory, after only 3 weeks in release.

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