Stick Man, Triggerfish’s collaboration with Magic Light Pictures, has won Le Cristal at Annecy, the top prize for a TV production at the world’s premier animation festival.
This is the biggest accolade yet for the acclaimed short film, which recently won Best Animation at both the BANFF World Media Festival and the Shanghai International Film and TV Festival, as well as two British Animation Awards.
Previous Le Cristal winners at Annecy include the likes of Room on the Broom, The Amazing World of Gumball, Shaun the Sheep and Peppa Pig.
Based on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved children’s picture book, Stick Man is the story of a happy-go-lucky father’s epic journey to make it home in time for Christmas.
Stick Man was produced by Magic Light Pictures, an Oscar-nominated and BAFTA and International Emmy-winning production company in the UK, and animated in Cape Town by Triggerfish. The 26-minute film was directed by London-based Jeroen Jaspaert and co-directed by South African Daniel Snaddon.
“I’m so proud of the team who went beyond the call of duty to bring Stick Man to life,” says Snaddon. “Thank you to Michael Rose and Martin Pope of Magic Light, and the partners at Triggerfish, for this opportunity, and to Jeroen for bringing out the best in us.”
Voiced by the likes of Martin Freeman (The Hobbit), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), and Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous), the short film screened to nearly 10m people on BBC1 at Christmas 2015.
Triggerfish is currently collaborating with Magic Light Pictures’ Berlin office on another Christmas special BBC adaptation, this time of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes.
“This was Africa’s strongest showing at Annecy yet,” says Triggerfish CEO Stuart Forrest. “In addition to Stick Man winningthe TV category, our collaborator Clea Mallinson won the Animation du Monde pitching forum for her short Fairy Wheels; South African Naomi van Niekerk’s powder animation, ‘n Gewone Blou Maandagoggend, won the Jean-Luc Xiberras Award for a First Film in the short film category; and Adama, a film set in West Africa, won the André-Martin Award for a French feature film. We also had a great response to the four TV series we’re developing from last year’s pan-African Triggerfish Story Lab, so it’s exciting times for African animation.”
Nathi Mthethwa, South Africa’s minister of Arts and Culture, congratulated Triggerfish on Twitter. “This is an achievement we can all be proud of as South Africans, because Annecy’s Cristal Awards are considered the Oscars of animation.”