Animation films in the spotlight at international festival

Animation films in the spotlight at international festival

The Cape Town International Animation Festival will feature an African premiere, multiple award winners and Oscar nominees as part of the line up for their fifth festival. Previously called Kunjanimation, the Festival will be running from Thursday to Sunday, February 18 to 21, at the River Club in Cape Town.
Curated by Animation SA, the annual Festival brings South Africans the chance to catch some of the world’s best animated films from countries such as France, Brazil,Australia, Ireland and South Africa.
In addition, the CTIAF hosts a range of workshops with global industry leaders, providing a rare opportunity to engage with them and learn from their insights. This year’s topics include subjects such as character animation, scriptwriting and producing.

The 2016 progamme includes the African premiere of ‘Stick Man’, which premiered on BBC One in the UK and was the fourth most watched programme on Christmas Day with 9.27 million viewers and 41% audience share. Produced by Magic Light Pictures and animated by Triggerfish Studios, ‘Stick Man’ is adapted from the book by writer Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler, of ‘The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Childfame’, the animated films of which Magic Light Pictures were nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA.

There will also be screenings of Cartoon Saloon’s ‘Song of the Sea’, directed by two-time Oscar nominee Tomm Moore, and recent Oscar nominee ‘The Boy and the World’, directed by AlêAbreu.
‘The Boy and the World’ won the Cristal Award for Best Feature Film at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and the Grand Prix for feature film at the 2015 Animafest Zagreb.
The plot for ‘Stick Man’ is as follows: Stick Man lives in the family tree with his Stick Lady Love and their Stick Children three. But it’s dangerous being a Stick Man. A dog wants to play with him, a swan builds her nest with him. He even ends up on a fire. Will he ever get back to the family tree?

Nominated in 2015 for an Oscar in the Best Animated Feature Film of the Year category, ‘Song of the Sea’ tells the story of Ben and his little sister Saoirse – the last Seal-child – who embark on a fantastic journey across a fading world of ancient legend and magic in an attempt to return to their home by the sea. The film takes inspiration from the mythological Selkies of Irish folklore, who live as seals in the sea but become humans on land. Directed by Tomm Moore, whose film ‘The Secret of Kells’ was also nominated for an Oscar, Variety called ‘Song of the Sea’ “Dazzling! A marvel to behold!”
2016 Oscar nominee ‘The Boy and the World’, tells the story of Cuca, who lives a life of quiet wonder, exploring all that the countryside has to offer, until his cozy life is shattered when his father leaves for the city, prompting him to embark on a quest to reunite his family. Entirely wordless, the narrative describes a clash between poor and rich, countryside and city, indigenous and imperial, handcrafted and mechanised.

The line up also includes Oscar winning Adam Elliot’s latest short film ‘Ernie Biscuit’, the clayography of a lonely deaf Parisian taxidermist whose life is turned upside down and back to front when a dead pigeon arrives on his doorstep.

‘Sita Sings the Blues’ won the Cristal Award for best feature at the 2008 Annecy Festival and sees three humorous shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this animated interpretation of the Indian epic ‘Ramayana’.
“The Festival’s programme is designed to inspire and build both the local industry and audiences, by exposing them to world class talent and content through screenings, talks, workshops and masterclasses,” says Festival Director Dianne Makings.

A highlight of the workshops is the participation of Laika studios’ producer Mark Shapiro, who has worked on films such as ‘Coraline’, ‘Paranorman’ and ‘The Corpse Bride’. Laika are celebrating their tenth birthday in 2016.
Renowned producer, Christine Ponzevera will discuss different strategies to pitch to European studios, and also how co-productions work.
Technical talks and demonstrations will all be hosted by Adobe, The Chaos Group, The Foundry and Cel Action.

* All workshops take place at The River Club in Observatory. Screenings take place at the Labia Theatre and the Riverclub. Tickets to screenings cost from R25 to R40. For the full programme of speakers, visit
Workshop tickets and festival passes range from R100 to R500. All bookings can be made at