Animated Anthology 'Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire' Brings African Sci-Fi To Disney+

Filmmakers from Zimbabwe, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt bring unique animation to Disney+ with Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire, a 10-part collection of original films that will premiere on the streaming service next year. Peter Ramsey, co-director of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, serves as executive producer for the anthology, which is comprised of sci-fi and fantasy stories set in a futuristic Africa.

Disney has announced full details for Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire, a 10-part series of animated films that hope to take viewers "on a wildly entertaining ride into Africa's future." The films are inspired by Africa's histories and cultures, and promise "action-packed sci-fi and fantasy stories present bold visions of advanced technology, aliens, spirits and monsters imagined from uniquely African perspectives." Peter Ramsay serves as executive producer, and Tendayi Nyeke and Anthony Silverston are supervising producers. Triggerfish will be the lead studio for the anthology, working in collaboration with animation studios across the continent and globally.

"I'm really pleased to part of a ground-breaking, fresh and exciting project that's aimed at exposing the world to a whole new wave of creativity and invention from a place that is just ready to explode onto the world animation scene," said executive producer Peter Ramsey. "The films in the anthology kind of run the gamut when it comes to science fiction. There are stories that touch on other worlds, time travel, and alien beings, but all of these genre conventions are seen through an African lens that makes them totally new. I can't wait for people to have their minds blown and say 'I want more!'"

Michael Paull, President, Disney+ and ESPN+, The Walt Disney Company, added: "We are bringing the work of a visionary new generation of African filmmakers to Disney+. In addition to delivering thrilling animation for fans of all ages, this collection of ten original films taps into the Afrofuturism phenomenon which was turbo-charged by Marvel's Black Panther and reflects Disney's ongoing commitment to partnering with leading global talent to tell the stories of the world from fresh and authentic points of view."

"Kizazi Moto derives from the Swahili phrase 'kizazi cha moto' which literally translates as 'fire generation,' capturing the passion, innovation and excitement this new cohort of African filmmakers is ready to bring to the world. 'Moto' also means fire in several other African languages, from Rwanda's Kinyarwanda to Shona, a Zimbabwean language, speaking to the pan-African spirit we hope this anthology embodies," commented Tendayi Nyeke, Supervising Producer, Triggerfish.

More than 70 filmmakers across the continent were asked to pitch ideas for the project after multiple years of research that featured input from Ghanian comic book blogger Kadi Tay, award-winning Congolese animation supervisor Sidney Kimbo-Kintombo (Avengers: Endgame), and Namibian-South African producer Bridget Pickering (Hotel Rwanda).

The 10 films selected are from Ahmed Teilab (Egypt), Simangaliso 'Panda' Sibaya and Malcolm Wope (South Africa), Terence Maluleke and Isaac Mogajane (South Africa), Ng'endo Mukii (Kenya), Shofela Coker (Nigeria), Nthato Mokgata and Terence Neale (South Africa), Pious Nyenyewa and Tafadzwa Hove (Zimbabwe), Tshepo Moche (South Africa), Raymond Malinga (Uganda) and Lesego Vorster (South Africa). Each film will be roughly ten minutes long and when viewed together will comprise a feature-length anthology.

The Films

Stardust

created by Ahmed Teilab – Egypt

    • After receiving a blank scroll of destiny from the Oracle during her coming-of-age ceremony, Nawara, a rebellious stable girl, sets off on a perilous journey to track him down, and demand the kind of future she knows she deserves.
      • Ahmed Teilab has worked as an art director and colour supervisor on both live action and animation.   He directed two seasons of Sohiel, a popular family drama, and co-founded Bare Entertainment, creating multiple IPs for animated series and feature films.  He is the head of visual development for The Grand Night feature film, which Giraffics pitched at Mifa 2020 at Annecy.  His work was featured in Epilogue, an art book featuring the Middle East's top artists.

      Mkhuzi: The Masked Racer

      created by Simangaliso 'Panda' Sibaya and Malcolm Wope – South Africa

        • Manzo is a half-human, half alien boy who must defeat the galaxy's greatest—and craziest—racers in the Soweto Grand Prix to save his neighbourhood from destruction.
          • Like Manzo, Panda was born in Soweto and has a heroic mother who is a traditional healer.  He was the character artist on Isaura, Lucan's Mozambique-set promo which is a 2020 Epic MegaGrants recipient.  He is also a co-founder of Kasi Sketchbook, an outreach program teaching kids in local neighborhoods about drawing, visual development and the animation industry.
            • Malcolm Wope is a character designer & 2D animator born in Cameroon and raised in South Africa, who has worked with studios such as Dreamworks, Blur, The Line & Hasbro.  He is the creator of Kung Fu Is Dead, an anime-bridge series in development with a major studio.  He's also the lead character designer of the first animated Netflix Original from Africa, Mama K's Team 4, and on Triggerfish's upcoming feature film, Seal Team.  

            Hatima

            created by Terence Maluleke and Isaac Mogajane – South Africa

              • In a future Africa, tribes living on land and beneath the sea fight a constant war for Hatima, a powerful natural resource that causes cellular regeneration and also allows humans to survive beneath the waves.
                • Terence Maluleke is a co-director for a visual development collective, Tribal Universe. He is a visual developer focusing on character design. He worked on Junk Pilots, which won the Disney Channel Prize for a New Series at the Mifa Pitches at Annecy 2018, and Diprente's animated series Anansi. Terence is one of the founders of Kasi Sketchbook, an initiative that aims to inspire young creatives in the arts and the animation industry.
                  • In 2009, Isaac Mogajane co-founded Diprente Films, which has gone on to produce the Netflix Originals Queen Sono and Catching Feelings, the Emmy-nominated satire, Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola, and the South African box office smash hit, Matwetwe (Wizard).  Isaac spearheaded the launch of their animation arm, Diprente Studios, through which he has developed a number of animated projects, such as Anansi, Emkha and Junk Pilots, which won the Disney Channel prize for a New Series at Annecy 2018.

                  Enkai

                  created by Ng'endo Mukii – Kenya

                    • Enkai is just a little girl trying to keep her working single mother's attention, but her mom's job is more all-consuming than most: she's a cosmic deity trying to save our planet.
                      • Ng'endo Mukii is best known for Yellow Fever, her Vimeo Staff Pick documentary-animation exploring Western influences on African women's ideals of beauty.  Currently writing on Netflix's first African animated series, Mama K's Team 4, Ng'endo has won numerous awards, including Best Animated Short at Chicago and Best Short Film at the Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards, both for Yellow Fever, as well as the Encounters Immersive Grand Prix for her first 360 film, Nairobi Berries.

                      Moremi

                      created by Shofela Coker – Nigeria

                        • A sci-fi riff on a Yoruba myth, this story follows Luo, a spirit boy lost in the realm of the gods, and Moremi, his scientist mother, who is trying to return him to the land of the living.
                          • Shof Coker is the 2019 recipient of the Creators for Creators grant; Image Comics is publishing his graphic novel New Masters.  Shof was nominated for a Cinema Eye Honors Award for art directing Liyana, an animated documentary that won 35 awards, including Best Documentary at the LA Film Festival and the Grand Prize at the New York Children's Film Festival.  Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Shof has been living in the US since 2005 and has worked in video games for studios such as Sony and Activision as a character designer and Jam City as an art director.

                          Surf Sangoma

                          created by Nthato Mokgata and Terence Neale – South Africa

                            • Future Durban is surrounded by a monumental wall to protect the city from colossal waves too deadly to surf, but best friends Njabulo and Mqobi dream of returning to the ocean.
                              • Nthato Mokgata is a writer/artist/musician, with a distinctly socially-engaged Afrofuturist perspective.  As Spoek Mathambo, Nthato has released numerous musical albums, as well as with his band projects Fantasma and Batuk.  He's collaborated with artists as far afield as Peter Hook (Joy Division), Diplo, Gorillaz, Robyn, Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, Sauti Sol, Riky Rick and Cassper Nyovest.  He directed a documentary on SA electronic music, Future Sound of Mzansi, which featured everywhere from Nowness to Thump to The Guardian, and a live action feature, Burkinabe, shot on location in Burkina Faso.
                                • Terence Neale is a multi-award winning commercial and music video director, who holds the title as the only South African director to win a Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, for his Adidas commercial Original Is Never Finished.  His music video for Skrillex Ragga Bomb gave Terence international recognition as a unique filmmaking voice, as he sketched out a gritty futuristic story of warring factions set against the backdrop of dystopian Johannesburg.  Terence has consistently incorporated animation and CGI into his commercials, from Swarovski to BMW and ASOS (where he collaborated with Japanese animation studio D'ART Shtajio).

                                Mukudzei (Adventures of Muku)

                                created by Pious Nyenyewa & written by Tafadzwa Hove – Zimbabwe 

                                  • After disrespecting a sacred monument, rebellious wannabe-influencer Muku is flung by the spirits into an alternate, utopian and futuristic Zimbabwe that was never colonized.
                                    • Pious Nyenyewa is co-founder of Alula Animation, a Zimbabwean animation studio that has won a number of regional awards for their ads.  Pious has worked as a director, art director, and illustrator.  Pious aspires to make feature films based on his life growing up in Zimbabwe, Africa.  
                                      • Tafadzwa Hove is a Zimbabwean director, screenwriter, and editor who has worked for 10 years within the broadcast and commercial space.  He is passionate about telling stories that push the African identity.

                                      First Totem Problems

                                      created by Tshepo Moche – South Africa

                                        • Teenage Sheba is coming of age and determined to receive her digital totem, even if it means taking down the whole ancestral technocracy whilst trying to end an ancient feud.
                                          • South African director Tshepo Moche is a writer and executive creative consultant on the upcoming Disney/eOne show Kiya and is a shadow director on the first animated Netflix Original from Africa, Mama K's Team 4, which she writes on.  For First Totem Problems, she's co-writing with Maame Boateng (Ghana/Canada) and Khadidiatou Diouf (Senegal).

                                          Herderboy

                                          created by Raymond Malinga – Uganda

                                            • Determined to prove himself, an unlikely young hero must singlehandedly protect his tribe's precious herd of cyborg cattle from a deadly spirit monster that threatens their whole way of life.
                                              • Raymond Malinga is CEO of Creatures, an animation studio based in Kampala.  He directed and produced the multi-award-winning animated film A Kalabanda Ate My Homework.  He has also worked as a junior production executive at Wau Animation Malaysia, including as a concept developer, screenwriter and animator on the hit Malaysian animated show Ejen Ali. Creatures is currently developing a 3D animated action TV series Kiroho.

                                              You Give Me Heart

                                              created by Lesego Vorster – South Africa

                                                • In the next millennium, when the gods are only as powerful as their social media following, a human nobody strikes up an impossible romance with the most adored goddess of them all.
                                                  • Lesego Vorster is founder of The Hidden Hand Studios, who supported Studio La Cachette on 2020 Emmy winner Primal.  Bound, a short he co-directed at Gobelins, has just under two million views on YouTube.  He is also the art director at the Tshimologong Precinct, running an internship for young graduates, and works regularly with Triggerfish.  He is collaborating with rising Kenyan star Naddya Adhiambo as his art director on You Give Me Heart.