Animated films have shaped the childhood memories of children all over the world. Children across the globe have had the privilege of recognizing themselves in these characters. But, this is not the case for African kids.
There has always been this concern, making it possible for African Kids to be characters on animated films TV.
Came across this short unusual African Animated film Belly Flop on Quartz Africa. I got excited about this short film which has this black little girl Penny” as the lead character.
Belly Flop tells the story of the disarming penny and her determination to conquer the dive board
“The character of Penny was inspired by a girl I au-paired for when I was at university,” said Dillon, who wrote the screenplay in 2011 already. “I remember when she started taking swimming lessons, I admired her persistence in learning to dive properly, oblivious that she kept belly flopping.”
Penny’s perseverance pays off in the end and in some ways she echoes the determination of the continent’s small but creative animation industry.
Belly Flop won for best-animated film at this year’s Africa Movie Academy Awards along with several other international animation awards. The film has already been screened at more than 60 international film festivals, according to producers. Just under five minutes long, the film took nearly three years in production but has been a passion project for over seven years.
“Belly Flop was made as a creative exercise and for fun with a lot of people going above and beyond to volunteer their time to contribute their expertise in between paid projects,” said Anthony Silverston, Triggerfish’s head of development told Quartz. “It was not a commercial project, so we wanted to release it for free so that anyone could watch it, keeping in the spirit of the project.”
This “spirit” reflects much of what drives the local animation industry and it’s what makes watching the short film worth it, notwithstanding its wonderful main character of course.