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Kenya’s animation content to be showcased at Durban FilmMart

By Hilary Kimuyu February 25th, 2024 2 min read

Sarah Mallia’s animation project, Uli & Tata’s African Nursery Rhymes, directed by Chief Nyamweya, has been selected to participate in the 2024 Durban FilmMart.

Out of over 100 applications, the project was chosen along with seven others. The two will undergo three months of training and development to prepare for the festival.

Speaking about including animation at this year’s festival, Magdalene Reddy, Director of the Durban FilmMart Institute, said international markets were looking for authentic African stories.

“Global demand for African animation content is growing, and international investors are looking for authentic African stories capturing authentic African characterisation.”

Also read: Lupita’s brother Junior Nyong’o stars in 2D animated series ‘Twende’

In 2023, the adult animation Big Mouth featured an entire episode set in Kenya, voiced by Kenyan actors, and was praised for its accurate representation of Kenya’s matatu culture. Disney also began streaming an animated anthology series last year called Kizazi Moto, featuring stories from East Africa.

Reddy also explained that African creatives are seeking a good platform to showcase their work. The “Animation@DFM” program aims to create visibility for high-quality African content on the global stage, giving creative talent across the continent a space to be heard and seen.

The seven other projects are, Jay Fly – produced by Nosipho Maketo van den Bragt and directed by Greg Blyth and Barend Kruger- South Africa.

Monster Nanny – produced by Kaya Kuhn and directed by Tafadzwa Hove – South Africa/ Zimbabwe, Oarona which was produced by AJ Pitre and Thandiwe Mlauli and directed by Thandiwe Mlauli- South Africa.

Also read: Actress Nyokabi Macharia shares her breakthrough in animation

R.E.M. (Rapid Eye Motion) – produced by Ahmad Abdelhameed and directed by Mahmoud Hemeda & Ahmed Thabit- Egypt. The Legend of Hyena Man – produced by Mathew Valerian, directed by Elshadye Berhanu and Joshua Faber- Tanzania.

The Legends of Bulan – produced by Ferdinand Adimefe and directed by Azubuike Joseph Duru- Nigeria and Unseen – produced by Annemarie du Plessis and co-writers and producers Devon Delmar & Jason Jacobs- South Africa.

With this opportunity, Mallia and Nyamweya will have an opportunity to pitch the animation at the upcoming 15th annual DFM Pitch and Finance Forum.