Young South African filmmakers

The Animation School / YouTube

Young South African filmmakers scoop international award

A proudly South African animation film, The Boy and the Robin has won gold at the prestigious New York Festivals TV and Film Awards.

Young South African filmmakers

The Animation School / YouTube

A group of nine young filmmakers from The Animation School in Cape Town have won a gold award for their short animation film in the student division of the 2020 New York Festivals TV and Film Awards. 

The awards aim to celebrate and honour all lengths of work in the television and film industries. The categories of winners are a reflection of global trends and aim to encourage the future generation of creatives to explore their imagination. 

Each entry undergoes rigorous judging by a panel of experts who analyse the standard of excellence based on production values, creativity, content presentation, direction, writing, the achievement of purpose and audience suitability. 

The creative team behind the creation of the award-winning film includes; Hannah O’Brien, Tamika Bramwell, Storm Arendse, Hanno van Der Merwe, Hayleigh Gundry, Abraham Mohotsi, Conor Louw, Kyle Ryan and Tian Westraad. These nine third-year students were guided by the talented lecturers at The Animation School, Benito Kok and Jarrod Hassenjager. 

The creatives behind the masterpiece 

The team of creatives behind the award-winning film provide insight into the story’s synopsis. 

The Boy and the Robin is a short adventure-drama film, which follows a young boy named Adam who, through his imagination, is transported into a new world based off of a TV show he is enamoured with. When a terrible accident occurs in his imaginary world, the boy finds himself exposed to a reality he struggles to come to terms with. Forced to leave his imaginary world behind him, he develops a new sense of responsibility and purpose.

Compared to other animated short-films, The Boy and the Robin transports viewers on an unexpected journey with a memorable plot twist depicting the importance of our actions and how to take responsibility. 

“Our film’s beautiful story was originally written by a member of our team, Tian Westraad. The original story was then adapted to suit the animated format with the help of our lecturer Benito Kok and Alex Heboyan, an award-winning French animator and director of the film Mune: Guardian of the moon, who flew to South Africa to help us. After this lengthy process it was then written into a final script,” explains the team. 

Facing a host of challenges, the team preserved in creating the film.

“Our biggest challenge was the scope of our film and the sheer amount of teamwork involved to get it to the level of quality we wanted. Up until this point each of us had never made something of this length, we would constantly be challenged to adapt to work with one another as well as learn all the new essential skills necessary to keep on track with our film. Even just a short five to six second shot of animation can take weeks to produce.” 

The team behind The Boy and the Robin is elated to receive global acclaim on an international platform. 

“There are truly no words that can describe how proud our entire team is of our achievement. We poured our hearts and souls into our film and to have our work recognised this way has truly made the many months of work worthwhile. Every year, The Animation School has a trend of improving on the year before, and that is definitely what the class of 2019 achieved. The Gold achievements serve as a recognition not only for the craft but acknowledges the impact of the narratives.” 

The Boy and the Robin is not the only short animated film proudly produced by South African creatives that won acclaim at the renowned awards. Two other films created at The Animation School in Cape Town won gold in the student division: The Sugarcane Mane and Sleep Mode. These two films are yet to be released. 

Watch the award-winning film 

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