South African animation nerd, Diek Grobler, walked away with the inaugural African Vote Film Festival.

Grobler, of Fopspeen Moving Pictures, won the competition with the animation film Agenda. The film was the most voted video on the internet, proving once more that the South African animation industry is attaining increasing international recognition.

Agenda, an animated film in which almost life sized puppets from recycled junk were animated frame by frame, is a simple tale about a tea lady serving tea at an important meeting.

All the delegates are high and mighty, looking down on her as they receive their tea and biscuits.  It soon becomes clear, however, that she is happier in her simple job than the important people at the meeting.  She indulges in simple pleasures, which are more attainable than the lofty ideals discussed in boardrooms.  And her arrival with the tea and biscuits is all the board members live for.


Grobler wrote, produced and directed Agenda himself with funding coming from his company. 

However, what would have been the best part of his South American trip - to have the opportunity to present the film at three screenings and lead a discussion on it - never came to be.  Due to the swine flu scare, the festival was cancelled after only one day, and his film was never screened.

Nine short films were available to view on the website, and people could view once a day.  "A larger amount of films would have made the competition more interesting.  It's a fun concept though, and since this was the first, I am sure it will be extended to include more work next year."

Grobler was not surprised by the result as the other competing entries tended to be very serious, dealing with topics of poverty, aids and apartheid politics in a very direct manner.

He views these as topics which are very common in African films, and hence people worldwide tend to think that that is all Africa is about.  "I find dealing in such a direct way with such socio-economic topics boring and restricting, and often the resulting work is more propaganda than art.  My film deals with socio-economic issues of happiness and social status in a more subtle way.  It is also presented in a situation with which a lot of people can identify - a boring meeting.  And it is funny. The audience clearly related to that."

Before the Africala Vote Film Festival award, Agenda had won at this year's SAFTA, for best animated short film.