Disney Animation brings together talent from across Africa to create Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire, a Disney Plus Original anthology of animated films set to premiere on their streaming platform in late 2022.
The 10-part anthology-series features a slate of rising animation talents from six African nations to create “action-packed sci-fi and fantasy stories that will present bold visions of advanced technology, aliens, spirits and monsters imagined from uniquely African perspectives.
Peter Ramsey, Oscar-winning co-director for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, will serve as executive producer, with Tendayi Nyeke and Anthony Silverston of Triggerfish serving as supervising producers. Cape Town, South Africa based animation house Triggerfish (Zambezia), which received the prestigious MIFA Animation Industry Award this year, will be the lead studio for the anthology, working in collaboration with animation studios across the African continent and globally.
“I’m really pleased to be part of a ground-breaking, fresh and exciting project that’s aimed at exposing the world to a whole new wave of creativity and invention from a place that is just ready to explode onto the world animation scene,” said Ramsey in Variety. “The films in the anthology kind of run the gamut when it comes to science fiction. There are stories that touch on other worlds, time travel, and alien beings, but all of these genre conventions are seen through an African lens that makes them totally new. I can’t wait for people to have their minds blown and say, ‘I want more!’”
More than 70 leading directors and creators spanning the continent were invited to pitch episode ideas, after a multi-year research phase that included input from Ghanaian comic book blogger Kadi Tay, award-winning Congolese animation supervisor Sidney Kimbo-Kintombo (“Avengers: Endgame”) and Namibian-South African producer Bridget Pickering (“Hotel Rwanda”).
15 shortlisted projects were then mentored by Ramsey and the creative teams from Triggerfish and Disney. The final 10 films are from Ahmed Teilab (Egypt), Simangaliso “Panda” Sibaya and Malcolm Wope (South Africa), Terence Maluleke and Isaac Mogajane (South Africa), Ng’endo Mukii (Kenya), Shofela Coker (Nigeria), Nthato Mokgata and Terence Neale (South Africa), Pious Nyenyewa and Tafadzwa Hove (Zimbabwe), Tshepo Moche (South Africa), Raymond Malinga (Uganda) and Lesego Vorster (South Africa).
Each film will be roughly 10 minutes long, and together will comprise a feature-length anthology of original animation that will be released as a Disney Plus Original around the globe.
The short films will seek to answer the question “What does Africa’s future look like from an African perspective?” and tap into the Afrofuturism that was supercharged by Marvel’s Black Panther, said Orion Ross, VP Animation for Disney Europe, Middle East & Africa.
“‘Kizazi Moto’ derives from the Swahili phrase ‘kizazi cha moto,’ which literally translates as ‘fire generation,’ capturing the passion, innovation and excitement this new cohort of African filmmakers is ready to bring to the world,” said Nyeke. “‘Moto’ also means fire in several other African languages, from Rwanda’s Kinyarwanda to Shona, a Zimbabwean language, speaking to the pan-African spirit we hope this anthology embodies.”
The announcement quickly follows a presentation on Wednesday by Walt Disney Animation Studios’ chief creative officer Jennifer Lee, pan-African entertainment company Kugali filmmakers Ziki Nelson, Hamid Ibrahim, and Tolu Olowofoyeku, WDAS VFX supervisor Marlon West and head of story Natalie Nourigat, of their collaboration on another futuristic animated series- “Iwájú,” which is slated for a 2022 release on Mouse House streaming.
David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.