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SA animation up for International Emmy

Zog, an animated movie created by Cape Town’s Triggerfish Studios, has been nominated for an International Emmy.

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Zog has already won Best Animation at the Shanghai International TV Festival and the Audience Award for ages 3-6 at the New York International Children’s Film Festival.

Co-directed by two-time Oscar nominee Max Lang (The Gruffalo and Room On The Broom) and multi-award-winning South African Daniel Snaddon (Stick Man), Zog is competing against Grizzy and the Lemmings (France), Jorel’s Brother (Brazil), and Lamput (India). The winner will be announced on 31 March 2020 in Cannes, France. 

“We’re delighted,” says Stuart Forrest, CEO of Triggerfish. “We hope this latest nomination encourages more South Africans to try out animation, using our free digital learning platform and upcoming 10-second animation competition.”

Zog is the keenest but clumsiest pupil in his class at Dragon School, where he longs to win a gold star as he learns how to fly, roar and breathe fire. He keeps meeting a kindly young girl who patches up his bumps and bruises, but can she help him with his trickiest school assignment yet: capturing a princess?

The short film is based on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s 2010 picture book, which sold over 1.5-million copies and won the Galaxy National Children’s Book of the Year Award in the UK.

Hugh Skinner (Fleabag) plays the clumsy dragon; 2019 Olivier award winner Patsy Ferran (Jamestown) is the kindly young girl; Kit Harington (Jon Snow in Game of Thrones) is the bumbling knight Sir Gadabout; Sir Lenny Henry (Broadchurch) is the narrator; and Tracey Ullman is Madame Dragon.

The film premiered on BBC last Christmas to five-star reviews, 8.8m viewers and the highest share (37%) of any programme across Christmas week on British television. In South Africa, the short premiered at The Cape Town International Animation Festival in March 2019 and on Showmax in August.

It is the fourth in a string of BBC Christmas adaptations animated by Triggerfish for Magic Light, following the multi-award-winning Donaldson-Scheffler adaptations Stick Man (2015) and The Highway Rat (2017), as well as the Oscar-nominated Roald Dahl adaptation Revolting Rhymes (2016), which also won the International Emmy in 2018.  

Zog is available to stream on Showmax.

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NBA video game tournament to show on ESPN

Brooklyn Nets’s Kevin Durant and Atlanta Hawks’s Trae Young are among NBA players
competing in an NBA 2K20 video game tournament premiering early tomorrow morning on ESPN.

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2K, the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), have announced the NBA 2KPlayers Tournament, an NBA 2K20 video game tournament between 16 current NBA players. Beginning today, 3 April, in the USA, on ESPN and ESPN 2, players like top seeds Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks will compete in a single-elimination, player-only tournament on Xbox One. The tournament will screen at 1am on Saturday, 4 April, South African time. 

The winner will be crowned the “ultimate NBA 2K20 champion” and select a charity beneficiary to receive a $100,000 donation from 2K, the NBA and the NBPA, in support of ongoing coronavirus relief efforts. 
  
“We’re thrilled to partner with the NBA and NBPA to bring basketball back to fans throughout the world and to help those in need during these uncertain times,” says Jason Argent, 2K Senior Vice President, Sports Strategy and Licensing. “Entertainment, especially sports, has the ability to bring communities together – including athletes, fans and families – and we hope that everyone will enjoy the tournament.”  
  
Matt Holt, NBA SVP of Global Partnerships, says: “We are excited to tip off the first ‘NBA 2K Players Tournament’ in partnership with the NBPA and 2K, continuing an ongoing effort to stay connected with NBA fans around the world, while also giving back in this time of need.” 

“This tournament offers an opportunity for our players to compete with one another while also supporting their philanthropic efforts and engaging with their fans,” says Josh Goodstadt, EVP of Licensing for THINK450, the commercial arm of the NBPA. 

 Based on players’ seeding – which is determined first by NBA 2K rating, second by tenure – players will go head-to-head online in NBA 2K20. Prior to the tournament beginning, players will choose eight of today’s NBA teams, each of which can only be used once. If a mirror match is set, the away team is awarded first choice of team. Rounds one and two will be single elimination, with the semi-finals and finals running best of three.  
  
Player Seeding*: 

  1. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets (96) 
  2. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (90) 
  3. Hassan Whiteside, Portland Trail Blazers (87) 
  4. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz (87) 
  5. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (86) 
  6. Andre Drummond, Cleveland Cavaliers (85) 
  7. Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (85)  
  8. Montrezl Harrell, LA Clippers (85) 
  9. Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers (85)  
  10. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns (85)  
  11. DeMarcus Cousins (81) 
  12. Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets (81) 
  13. Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards (79) 
  14. Patrick Beverley, LA Clippers (78) 
  15. Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings (78) 
  16. Derrick Jones Jr., Miami Heat (78) 

*Participating players subject to change. 
  
Tournament coverage begins 3 April at 7:00 pm ET (or 4 April at 1:00 am), with a matchup between Jones Jr. (16) and Durant (1) tipping off at 7:30 pm ET (1:30am). Jones Jr. and Durant will each play as one of their pre-selected teams, with Jones Jr. choosing from the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, LA Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, and Durant choosing from the Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, LA Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz. 
  
Tune-In Schedule: 
  
Round 1 
Saturday, 4 April:  

  • 1:00 am – 1:30 am SAST: NBA 2K Players Tournament Preview Show   
  • 1:30 am – 2:30 am SAST: Derrick Jones Jr. (16) vs. Kevin Durant (1) 

 Saturday, April 4: 2:30 am – 5:30 am SAST 
  
Sunday, April 5: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm SAST 
  
Quarterfinals 
Wednesday, 9 April: 1:00 am – 5:00 am SAST  
  
Semifinals & Finals 
Saturday, April 11: Timing to be announced. 
  
For more information on NBA 2K20, please visit https://nba.2k.com/2k20/, become a fan on Facebook, follow on Twitter and Instagram, or subscribe on YouTube.  

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Rogue Company gameplay trailer revealed

The new cross-platform team shooter, Rogue Company, can now be seen in action via a gameplay reveal trailer and an exclusive alpha testing channel.

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Hi-Rez Studios and First Watch Games have released an explosive gameplay trailer for their slick cross-platform team shooter Rogue Company. Delivering action, tactics and a whole lot of attitude, the new trailer reveals Rogue Company’s energetic gameplay and third-person, action movie flair. 

The game will be launching in mid-2020 on the Nintendo Switch, PC via Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, all on the same day.  

Taking on million dollar contracts from governments and special interests, Rogue Company is a vigilante force going where governments can’t to stop credible and imminent threats. Relying on public opinion and popular support, many Rogues embrace their newfound celebrity. 

Headed-up by Lead Game Designer – and former Halo world champion – Scott Lussier, Rogue Company is the debut game from First Watch Games; a band of Hi-Rez Studios developers and industry veterans with experience working on some of gaming’s most famous and successful shooters. 

“Gamers should be able to play with their friends, regardless of platform”, says Lussier. “Rogue Company is all about bringing together a huge community of gunslingers and giving them a depth of gameplay to show off their individual style.”  

“We’re tired of grown-up shooters being overly serious”, says Chris Larson, Executive Producer. “Rogue Company matches a modern, high-style universe with tight, tactical action gameplay. The alpha testers are loving it and we can’t wait to welcome more of you in as we gear up for launch!” 

Rogue Company is currently in Alpha (apply here), available to wishlist via Epic Games Store and will release this summer on all platforms.

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