Triggerfish receives 1,378 applications to Story Lab


South African animation film studio Triggerfish received over 1,300 applications in response to its US$3.5 million “Story Lab” initiative, the majority coming from South African film makers.

Disrupt Africa reported in July Triggerfish announced the US$3.5 million initiative, launched in partnership with South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry, and the Walt Disney Company; which will see budding film producers and script writers from across Africa receive funding and mentorship to develop their film ideas into reality.

Participants could potentially see their ideas developed into episodic TV content, or an animated feature film for the global market.

Triggerfish said it received 1,378 entries from storytellers and filmmakers from 30 countries across Africa and its diaspora.

South Africa saw the most applications submitted, at 911.  Other countries sending in notable amounts of submissions included Nigeria – with 100 applications; followed by 84 from Zimbabwe, 70 from Kenya, 25 from Zambia, 22 from Uganda, 18 from Botswana and 10 applications arriving from Ghana.

“When I told people I expected over 1 000 submissions from across Africa, everyone laughed at me. Ha! Now who’s laughing? Oh wait, I have to read all of these,” said Anthony Silverston, head of development at Triggerfish Animation Studios.  

Industry experts will now evaluate the 1,174 feature submissions and 204 TV series submissions; and a shortlist of approximately 20 candidates will be announced next month.

Shortlisted candidates will take part in workshops in November, before making their final pitches, after which Triggerfish will announce the final Story Lab participants in December 2015.

Triggerfish will be investing up to US$3.5 million over the next three years in the Story Lab, which aims to give Africa’s most talented storytellers and filmmakers the opportunity to develop their ideas alongside Triggerfish’s international network of mentors.

Successful applicants will receive two weeks of mentoring with studio and television executives at Disney’s headquarters in Burbank, California, as well as workshops in Cape Town.


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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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