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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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Half-Life returns in VR

Half-Life fans will be delighted to see the latest instalment of the iconic first-person shooter, Half-Life Alyx, now being released exclusively in VR.

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Valve’s return to the award-winning series in virtual reality takes place between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2. Alyx Vance and her father Eli mount an early resistance to the Combine’s brutal occupation of Earth.

Fans have been waiting since Half-Life 2: Episode 2, which was released in 2007.

“Everyone at Valve is excited to be returning to the world of Half-Life,” says Valve founder Gabe Newell. “VR has energized us. We’ve invested a lot of ourselves in the technology. But we’re also game developers at heart, and to be devoting ourselves to a VR game this ambitious is just as exciting.”

As Alyx, players battle to save the future of humanity: engaging in visceral combat, solving puzzles, and exploring a world decimated by a mysterious alien race. VR was built for the kind of gameplay that sits at the heart of Half-Life.
The game runs on the Source 2 engine, meaning gamers with Steam and all PC-based VR headsets.

Half-Life: Alyx is now available for Pre-Purchase on Steam and is 10% off, until the game is released in March 2020.

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EA brings Conmebol Libertadores to FIFA

South America’s most prestigious club tournament, Conmebol Libertadores, will soon be available to play on FIFA 20.

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Electronics Arts has announced that it’s bringing South America’s biggest club tournament, Conmebol Libertadores, to FIFA 20. It will come as a free content update in March 2020 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Players can compete with historic clubs from Uruguay, Perú, Paraguay, Ecuador and beyond in FIFA Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Kick-Off, and a new Conmebol Libertadores Tournament Mode. Follow in the footsteps of some of the top players to lead teams like River Plate, Boca Juniors, Flamengo, Corinthians, and Colo-Colo through the heated competition of South American club football while playing the Conmebol Libertadores, Conmebol Sudamericana and Conmebol Recopa competitions.

Juan Emilio Roa, Conmebol commercial director, says: “This alliance with EA, one of the largest video game companies, is a major step forward for the worldwide dissemination and image of South American football. Thanks to this agreement, our tournaments, clubs and players will have greater reach and recognition among the football fans who will have a whole new way to follow their heroes.”

“Bringing two of the most prestigious continental football tournaments, Conmebol Libertadores and Conmebol Sudamericana, into FIFA 20 is an exciting step forward,” says Nick Wlodyka, GM of FIFA. “This new partnership with Conmebol bolsters our position as the deepest football experience available as we continue to build the most authentic sports video game for our fans.”

In addition, eLibertadores, a new tournament that will continue to expand the FIFA 20 Global Series, offers South American-based players a new way to connect to the Conmebol Libertadores through the competition.

“The addition of the prestigious Conmebol Libertadores to our FIFA 20 Global Series ecosystem strengthens our connection to the global fandom of football and will accelerate the growth of esports in new parts of the world,” says Brent Koning, FIFA Competitive Gaming Commissioner. “We aim to offer the most inclusive esports competition in the world and are eager to welcome South American-based players and aspiring superstars to join the tens of millions already competing in FIFA.”

The Grand Final of the eLibertadores tournament will see the top eight competitors from both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One compete from 7-8 March 2020 for the chance to earn FIFA Global Series Points along with a $100,000 USD prize pool. More details on the tournament and how to register will be available in December.

For more information about the Conmebol Libertadores in FIFA 20, visit https://www.ea.com/games/fifa/fifa-20/conmebol-libertadores .

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