JOHANNESBURG - Award-winning film producer Isaac Mogajane has taken it upon himself to promote diverse African cultures through the clever use of cartoon characters.
Mogojane, 36, from Johannesburg is co-founder of TV production company Diprente, in which he serves as managing director of the animation division.
He co-founded the company with renowned stand-up comedian, actor and director Kagiso Lediga in 2009. The company has produced South African police comedy Blitz Patrollie, satirical news TV series Late Night News with Loyiso Gola, The Bantu Hour, and romcom Catching Feelings, the first South African movie to be shown on streaming service Netflix, among many other productions.
Late Night News with Loyiso Gola landed the company two Emmy Award nominations in 2013 and 2014. Mogajane says they are now busy setting up an animation studio to be launched in Rosebank in August.
“Doing animation is personal interest for me. I want to create content that we can export all over the world in Europe and America,” says Mogajane.
“Animation is easy to put in different languages and kids like content from anywhere in the world as long as it’s good.”
Diprente won an international award for their pitch for another animated series at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Market (MIFA) 2018 in France recently, as well as the Disney Prize.
MIFA is the global animation industry’s leading preeminent showcase for co-producing, purchasing, selling, financing and distributing animation content.
Mogajane said: “As we are about to begin production on our first animated series, Anansi, having a second show celebrated on the global stage and receive attention from companies such as Disney further validates the international appeal of the content that the company and the country is creating.”
Anansi would be launched with the opening of the animation studio in August and already has an international appeal.
“We have pre-sold rights to countries such as the UK, Turkey, Italy, Canada, France, Norway and Switzerland,” says Mogajane.
He says the animated TV show, targeting kids aged between 6 and 11, is about African folklore. “We are telling African legends and celebrating our culture in a way that is also commercially viable,” says Mogajane, who holds a BCom degree in economics and marketing from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He also holds a BCom honours degree in supply chain management from the same institution.
The former Procter & Gamble employee says about Anansi: “We want to create content to show the rest of the world who we are as people. We consume a lot of content from overseas. I think it’s time now that they do the same with our content.”
The businessman says they will continue producing feature films. “But I will be personally involved in growing the animation division. This is part of our growth strategy.”
Mogajane says the ultimate plan is to build on the successes of Diprente, which has won numerous SA Film and Television Awards, in order to create a truly world-class production company.
“We want to use creative and strong production content to build a globally competitive company.”
- BUSINESS REPORT