By Mark Kawalya
Raymond Malinga, a Ugandan film producer, has been selected to feature his work in an upcoming Disney anthology of animated films from Africa. The creator sees this as an opportunity to showcase African animation to the world.
The anthology, dubbed “Kizazi Moto” (Generation Fire), is a ten-part collection of animations made by African producers from six African countries and will be shown on the Disney Plus streaming service this year.
The 32-year-old Malinga is among the 14 film makers from Egypt, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria who are contributing to the anthology in the genre of sci-fi and fantasy that is based on Africa’s future. The project will have Oscar-winning film producer Peter Ramsey as its executive producer.
“The narrative in Africa has been, that if you switch on the news right now, you will find that something bad has just happened,” Malinga says. “The positive things happening get lost in this narrative, I think this should change. For me, (the anthology) is an opportunity to contribute to that conversation,” he said.
Raymond has a degree in animation and visual effects from a Malaysian university and is the founder of Creature Animation Studios, which he started in 2015.
The company’s breakthrough moment was in 2017 when their short-animated film “A Kalabanda Ate My Homework” won six awards at the Cannes Film Festival. This included best animation film, which was also received at the African International Film Festival that was held in Nigeria the following year.
Over the years, Malinga’s team has grown to 10 people, and they have a small studio that is sandwiched between cubicles of other startups that have their offices in an innovation village that is built from repurposed shipping containers.
Globally, African content is gaining popularity due to increasing commissions for series and short films by streaming services like Multichoice’s Showmax and Netflix.
However, the journey is only beginning as foreign content still dominates the African movie scene. Malinga believes Disney’s Kizazi Moto Anthology will be useful in combating stereotypes and offering Africans content that features people that look like that.