Triggerfish Animation Studios, the production company behind the globally successful animation feature Adventures in Zambezia, has secured backing for Khumba, its latest project, from award-winning production and finance company Spier Films.

Khumba

Spier has funded a slate of successful films, starting with U-Carmen eKhayelitsha in 2004 and including Master Harold and the Boys, Son of Man and Black Butterflies. Khumba will be the company's first animation project.

"We are very proud to be involved with Khumba because of the amazing achievement that was Zambezia which is still entertaining audiences globally," said Michael Auret, managing director of Spier Films. "We believe that animation is an area where South Africa can compete in the international market and we want to do everything to support these kinds of projects. There is a great creative team behind Triggerfish and we trust them to produce something even better with this film."

Scheduled for release later this year, Khumba tells the story of a half-striped zebra who leaves his home in search of the magic waterhole where legend has it, the first zebras got their stripes. Teaming up with an overprotective, sassy wildebeest and a self-obsessed ostrich, the plucky young zebra meets an array of wacky characters in an unforgettable adventure through the Great Karoo desert to earn his stripes.

The original story was penned by Triggerfish writers Raffaella Delle Donne and Anthony Silverston in consultation with Jonathan Roberts (The Lion King) and has been picked up by Millennium Entertainment for North American distribution.

Following on from the success of their first widely released animated feature Adventures in Zambezia, Triggerfish chief executive officer Stuart Forrest is thrilled to have Spier on board, making Khumba a 100% locally funded film.

"Having a financial partner like Spier, along with our other South African investors the Industrial Development Corporation, Department of Trade and Industry and the National Film and Video Foundation, is such a great affirmation that we are producing a world-class product that does our country proud. Zambezia is the first African animation film to be nominated for two Annie Awards and has become Africa's most successful film export since The Gods Must Be Crazy, released over 30 years ago. We expect Khumba to break this longstanding record."