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Cabblow Studios Wraps First Virtual Animator Residency

The Johannesburg-based, mother-daughter animation and illustration studio will showcase the new animated shorts produced by up-and-coming artists in a virtual ‘Mini-Festival’ starting October 15.

Johannesburg, South Africa-based Cabblow Studios has just wrapped up its inaugural 3-month virtual residency program. The full-service animation and illustration studio is led by mother-and-daughter duo Dr. Tshepo P. Maaka, a medical doctor turned producer, and Kabelo Maaka, the founder and creative director.

The paid residency program produced five new animated shorts for the studio from five talented, up and coming artists, which will be showcased through a “Mini-Festival” on the studio’s website, beginning October 15. The pieces will also be entered into worldwide festivals.

“Both the residents and our core team of animators grew from the experience and the icing on the cake was realizing that the residency was actually an answered prayer for some of our artists who had been searching for work for more than 2 years,” shared Kabelo Maaka. “The fact that the shorts are all so different proves that we have a lot of stories to tell as South Africans.”

Over the next month, the studio will upload behind the scenes interviews with the residents on their YouTube Channel, as well as pursue a number of initiatives to spotlight their work. The residency will be continued and expanded internationally; a new set of projects are already underway with the participants.

Funded in part by South Africa’s Presidential Economic Stimulus Package (PESP Fund) through the National Film & Video Foundation (The NFVF) the program received additional support from the studio’s software partner, TVPaint, who provided five licenses to the animators for the duration their residency.

This virtual residency program featured workshops, team meetings, feedback sessions, weekly one-on-one consultations, and mentorship sessions. Residents worked on their own films and assisted on studio projects including The Little Teaspoon of Sugar, Mask, Sanitizer, Zoom Call , as well as Cabblow Studios’ upcoming short film and miniseries.

“The residency tested our skills to manage a larger team and allowed us to see the growth in the skill sets of our studio,” added studio co-founder Dr. Tshepo P. Maaka. “This is a great way of growing the animation industry in our country and on the continent.”

Here is a summary of the resident’s work:

On Edge - directed by Jody Reece Jansen

  • A young boy is terrorized by an enemy no one else can see - anxiety, but through his love for art & creativity he becomes victorious defeating it, in his hippocampus.

Squirrel Jones & The Lost Soda Can – directed by Kayla Lötter

  • A swash-buckling squirrel and master of the dairy farm is sick of drinking just milk. He’s on the hunt for a sweeter taste.

Re-inventing The Wheel – directed by George Nizbett

  • A highly dependent man still living with his mother gets stuck in the middle of nowhere and must learn to survive in the wild on his own.

James vs The Spider - directed by Tammy Le Roux

  • James, a boxing fanatic, who is also an arachnophobe, encounters a spider that turns his day upside down. He tries multiple ways to overcome his fear and regain his confidence to defeat the spider.

Kasi Riders - directed by Myles Mlombo

  • Thuso, a teen engineering wiz, has recently lost her father - a mechanical engineer with a knack for inventing. While packing his old work garage she discovers his latest unfinished project - a top secret interactive robot car. Still reeling from her loss. Thuso decides to finish what her father started. Can she do it?

Source: Cabblow Studios