Triggerfish has enjoyed terrific success with its earlier story lab programs. Malenga Mulendema, a Zambian writer who participated in the 2015 edition, developed her project Mama K’s Super 4 in the lab, and it is now being produced by Triggerfish as Netflix’s first original African animated series. A subsequent story lab program resulted in a nine-person all-African-women writing team working with head writer Amy Keating Rogers for Mulendema’s series.
Unlike the earlier labs which focused on writers, this new lab is aimed at story artists. “Story artists translate screenplays into animatics, the loose first version of the movie that then shapes every step of animation that follows,” says Tendayi Nyeke, a development executive at Triggerfish. “So having skilled story artists from the continent in control of how their stories are told is a gamechanger, not only in grooming the next African directors but also in giving pre-production artists the opportunity to establish their own voice as they bring African stories to life.”