CTIAF 2023 | FAME Week Africa Speakers

Anthony Silverston

Anthony is partner and Creative Director at Triggerfish, where he oversees a slate of projects in development and production. 2023 saw the release of three projects which Anthony acted as Executive Producer, including Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire, an anthology of 10 short films for Disney+, Supa Team 4 for Netflix, and Kiya & the Kimoja Heroes for Disney, eOne and Frogbox. In 2015, he oversaw the Triggerfish Story Lab, an initiative where 4 feature films and 4 TV series were developed after a continent-wide search that drew almost 1400 entries. He also directed and co-wrote the feature film Khumba, which premiered in competition at Annecy International Animation Festival in 2013. The script was co-written with Raffaella Delle Donne. He also produced and wrote on Triggerfish’s other two films Adventures and Zambezia and Seal Team (released globally in December 2021 on Netflix) and he was producer of the Blender short film, Troll Girl, and Belly Flop which screened at over 140 festivals and won 14 awards. His graphic novel, Pearl of the Sea, co-written with Raffaella Delle Donne and Willem Samuel was recently released to critical acclaim.

Chief Nyamweya

Chief is an author, visual artist and co-founder of Freehand Studios, an African digital arts and social impact studio based in Nairobi, Kenya. His work fuses storytelling, Illustration and animation to amplify the work of social movements and create visions of an alternative African future.
Chief was originally trained as a lawyer and chartered accountant before taking the unlikely decision to pursue a career as an artist. In 2016, he was awarded a scholarship to attend Singularity University in San Francisco and in 2019, he was listed among the Business Daily Africa’s top 40 under 40 Men.
The 36 year old father of one has since published a number of graphic novels including: Art of Unlearning (2019), Trust (2022) and The Blind Spot (2023), as well as directed several animations such as Big Brother is Coming to the Farm, Trust Motion Comic, Food Sovereignty, Now!, and the children’s animated series Uli & Tata’s African Nursery Rhymes.

Chrissy Metge

Chrissy has been in the Animation film and TV industry for over 20 years and has a big passion for storytelling in every medium. As well as a Producer she is also a children’s book author of 16 books.

Before joining the Jellyfish Animation Team, Chrissy was the Executive Producer at DNEG Animation having worked on Ron’s Gone Wrong for Disney, Producing Entergalactic for ‘Netflix’ and Executive Producing ‘That Christmas’.

Chrissy is very experienced in managing large teams spanning across India, Canada and London and has worked around the world in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, she is passionate about building relationships between artists, studios and clients and enjoys mentoring and coaching and is active in the Women’s in Animation community.

One of Chrissy favourite things is following script to screen and the whole process in-between.


Clare Louis

After living abroad for 18 years, Clare returned to South Africa in 2014 to complete a MA in Digital Arts [3D-Animation] at Wits University. She progressed through the ranks over the next three years from post-production supervisor to Assistant Producer at Coal Stove Pictures in Johannesburg. There she oversaw animation and live-action projects developed within the company. Clare is now the owner of Katanimate Animation Studio which is currently the largest 3D animation studio in Kwazulu-Natal. Based in her home town of Durban, Katanimate completed a 3D animated short film, “Midnight Escapade” (2021) and is presently in early production on their pre-school show, “Knittyville” (30 x 7mins). She is now able to leverage the international networks she built while abroad to access international markets for her animation projects.
Clare is passionate about growing the animation industry in KZN and has inducted interns and trainees locally as well as held lecturing positions at institutions to that end. She has ample experience ranging from creation & development of projects, script-writing, presenting concepts to broadcasters, funding and competently manages teams to bring in projects on budget and on time. Clare is an active member of AnimationSA and the Writer’s Guild of South Africa.

Daniel Clarke

Daniel is a Cape Town based artist working in animation, film and Illustration. He started his

career in animation in 2008 at Triggerfish Animation Studios; a collaboration that has lasted up until
today and hasn seen him act as Production Designer and Art director on projects such as the feature film
Khumba, BBC’s Stick Man and Snail and the Whale. As an illustrator and designer he has worked with,
amongst others, clients such as Netflix, Animal Logic, The Line, National
Geographic Kids, Nike, Adidas, Penguin Random House – amongst others. In 2018 he completed Kariba,
a graphic novel which at the time was the most successful of its kind in Africa on Kickstarter. Daniel has
worked as an illustrator and art director for international feature films such as Chronicle (2012); The
Giver (2014); and Chappie (2015). Daniel recently directed Aau’s Song, a Star Wars: Visions film from

Dianne Makings

Dianne Makings is an animation producer and the Director of the Cape Town International Animation Festival.
Dianne has been privileged to work on several short films for the BBC, Disney Plus and a wide range of award-winning studios.
Her latest project featured in the Star Wars Visions 2 anthology. Look out for Aau’s Song!

Ed Bell

Ed is a multiple award winning animation artist, director and writer, who’s work spotlights the joys and struggles of People of color  — whether through the mediums of short-films, animated series,  features or in VR. Ed is currently leading his team on PBS Digital’s intense historical animated series: History Of White People In America. In 2021 he collaborated with the Jim Henson Creature Shop and French animation Maestro Silvain Chomet .

Ed graduated from Cal Arts a month after getting hired  by his first Hollywood studio,  and he never looked back. Ed was recruited as a layout artist on two groundbreaking television programs in the 80’s - the notorious Ralph Bakshi’s Mighty Mouse the New Adventures and Nickelodeon’s “Ren&Stimpy Show”. He animated in the classical way for Brad Bird, Disney/Touchstone, Warner Brothers Animation and Paramount on groundbreaking films and programs like Be-Be-s Kids and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”, before joining Colossal Animation and Wild Brain as a head animation creative. 

Ed’s inviting hip-hop/ anime aesthetic can be seen in inspired commercial campaigns for clients such as Coca-Cola, Sony, Nike, Target and Wrigley’s Winterfresh Gum with the acclaimed Urban Hip Hopper spot. He’s won the BDA, Asifa Award, and Emmy nominations for that work. In 2001 Ed helmed the highly rated Narrative Documentary “Unchained Memories” for HBO.He’s won nominations for Emmy award, and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program.

Esther Pearl

Esther Pearl is the President of Nell Productions and Founder of Reel Stories. She has spent over 20+ years working in Production Management in the entertainment industry. The majority of Esther’s film career was spent at Pixar Animation Studios where her feature film credits include Academy Award winning films The Incredibles, Wall-e, and Monsters, Inc. Outside her work at Pixar her credits include films such as Titanic, Starship Troopers, Armageddon, and What Dreams May Come. Nell Productions contributed to Boy Kills World which will be premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival this September.

During her time working in Feature Film Production she became deeply committed to closing the gender gap in the film and media industry. In 2012 she founded Reel Stories. Reel Stories is the first filmmaking and film training program for young women and female identified people led by industry professionals. Since Reel Stories formation in 2012 Esther has helped produce over 100 short films created by women and female identified people. Over 1000 people have attended Reel Stories film training programs. In 2020, with Esther’s guidance the Reel Stories programs became virtual and within one week they began training people across the country and internationally.

Esther has been honored for her contributions to Bay Area Women in Film, Television, and Media by the San Francisco Women’s Film Institute. She was a semi-finalist for the Echoing Green Fellowship awarded to a social entrepreneur addressing urgent issues in society today. In addition, she has received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Advanced Imaging Society.

Gennie Rim

Gennie Rim is an animation producer whose career spans over 20 years. She worked in various roles at Pixar on Cars, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, as well as Bolt, & Tangled at Walt Disney Feature Animation, along with VR and short film projects at Google and Netflix.

She produced several award-winning short films including Glen Keane and Kobe Bryant’s Oscar-winning short Dear Basketball, and Alberto Mielgo's Emmy-winning The Witness.

She most recently produced the Emmy-winning preschool series Trash Truck and the Academy Award-nominated feature Over the Moon for Netflix, directed by Glen Keane.


Greig Cameron

By day, Greig Cameron is a mild-mannered writer and director: He was head writer on
Moosebox for Nickelodeon, wrote and directed four seasons of Supa Strikas, on Disney
XD and Cartoon Network, and has written for Munki and Trunk and Urbo: The
Adventures of Pax Afrika. His debut feature film, Seal Team, which he wrote and
directed, is on Netflix worldwide and reached the global top 10 in its opening week. He is
currently showrunning a Showmax original animated series.
By night, he is a dreaded devourer of many exotic cheeses. Some say too many, but
that's just because he ate all of theirs.

Irmak Atabek Ndungu 

Irmak Atabek Ndungu is a multi-disciplinary media and entertainment professional, with 15+ yearsʼ experience in the animation and children’s media industry. She specializes in global childrenʼs IPs & project development, animation production and strategy. In 2017, she co-founded MakoKids, a kids' content and animation company that designs and produces tailor-made content for worldwide clients.   

Having previously consulted on projects in the US and UAE, Irmak is currently producing Mako's new TV series "Kozalak Preschool," an animation preschool series funded by UNICEF and the Ministry of Education in Turkey. Since 2018, Irmak has been based in Kenya, where she oversees two of Mako's preschool projects with different partners and local creative teams. These projects include an animation TV series called "Papo Hapo" and a preschool live-action TV show titled "Dogodogo," which recently received endorsement from UNESCO. Her commitment to kids' content stems from her belief that today's kids will be tomorrow's changemakers.


Isabelle Rorke

Isabelle is a multi-award winning Executive Producer and businesswoman. She is the founder of Enlightened Poppy Network (Pty) Ltd (EPN), a Social Impact Innovation consultancy in the ICT sector with a specialist focus on Human Capital Innovation.

In 2000 Isabelle co-founded Anamazing Workshop, a fast growing, multi award winning animation studio, including winning most innovative company in Africa at the Africa growth institute awards, a SAFTA award for best animation and 29 awards globally for the first 3D animation African Folk Tale Series, 'The Magic Cellar Season 1.

The creator of AnimationSA's Broadcast & Market Readiness Incubator; created to support the growth and development of BEE SMMEs in the development of their first African TV series.

Isabelle studied journalism through Rhodes University and the East Cape News Agency and Producing through the Audio Visual Entrepreneurs Association. Selected as one of 12 SA women in ICT to study entrepreneurship through university of Maryland Baltimore.

John Kahrs

John has been at the leading edge of the animation industry since 1990, where he worked as one of Blue Sky Studios’ very first employees.

From 1996 to 2006 was an animator at Pixar during their ‘golden age’, with credits on A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., The Incredibles, Cars and Ratatouille. In 2006, John became instrumental in the revitalization of Disney’s Feature Animation division where he supervised the animation on Tangled.

He went on to win the Academy Award for his short film Paperman, a revolutionary hybrid of 2D and 3D. John went onto direct award winning short films for Google and Lyft. He then joined Netflix to co-directed the Oscar-nominated animated feature, Over the Moon.


Kaya Kuhn

With 10+ years of experience in production, Kaya Kuhn is a versatile producer, specializing in post-production and animation. She started her career in the South African film industry in live action post-production where she notably post-produced six seasons of reality television series ‘The Voice’. In 2017, she took the leap into producing animation at renowned studio ‘Triggerfish’. Since then, she line produced critically acclaimed short films ‘Zog’ (BBC1) and ‘The Snail and The Whale’ (BBC1), co-produced animated feature film ‘Seal Team’ (Netflix), was involved with pre-production for animated series ‘Mama K’s Team 4’ (Netflix) and ‘Kiya & the Kimoja Heroes’ (Disney+), and most recently was the senior producer on the groundbreaking anthology ‘Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire’ (Disney+) which is set to release in 2023. She was the consultant producer for animated short ‘Aau’s Song’ which forms part of anthology ‘Star Wars: Visions Volume 2’ (LucasFilms) and has recently been involved in producing live action feature films for local broadcaster, Kyknet. She is also involved with Triggerfish Academy and Foundation in running training and mentorship programs for aspiring African producers, and has been involved in various festival workshops and panels speaking on the role of production and the need for diversification in the industry. Currently, she runs a production services company ‘Those Production Girls’ which offers high end production support through innovation and inclusion.

Kaydee de Villiers

Kaydee specializes in animation development, project management, and production and has produced content across multiple platforms, overseeing the creation of content from idea to production, greenlight and distribution. As well as managing film curation and digital events in the local animation industry, through the largest animation networking event in Africa, Cape Town International Animation Festival. Kaydee has also consulted broadly with international animation studios, and most recently worked on two episodes of Disney +’s Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire. As part of her continued work in the animation industry Kaydee has kicked off Connect networking events for Women In Animation in South Africa.

Nadia Darries

Nadia Darries is an adept animator and co-founder of Goon Valley Animation, with an avocation for songwriting.

Born in South Africa, to a community rich with culture and identity politics, her roots inspire her fervour for personal reflection as a gateway to studying what it means to be human. This passion feeds into her work as a creative and drives her long-term mission of encouraging people to explore their personal stories.

​Nadia is a SAFTA-winning director, who has recently co-written and co-directed the Star Wars VISIONS 2 episode, “Aau’s Song”. She has worked on animated film and motion design as an animator, project manager, creative director and director since 2015. Her experience includes animating at Triggerfish Animation Studios on the award-winning BBC films Stick Man, Revolting Rhymes and Highway Rat.


Nanda Soobben 

Nanda was an Anti Apartheid Cartoonist.
He was the only published Black Cartoonist during Apartheid.
His socio-political columns, cartoons and illustrations have been published in THE POST, The Independent on Saturday, The Daily News and the Sunday Tribune.
His cartoons are also syndicated to major international newspapers.

He has his works in major collections around the world including the The Kennedy Library in Boston, The Michigan State University, The Mandela Collection, The Killie Campbell Museum and The Smithsonian in Washington.

He is also the Founder and Creative Director of the Centre For Fine Art Animation and Design (CFAD)

Soobben is the series director of The Mandela Folktales Animation which won four awards for the Best Animated Movie in the US, Europe and India.
He also won best Creative Director at the Bangla Film Festival for one of the Mandela Folktales movie, Fesito Goes To Market.

He recently painted a giant Peace Mural in Chatsworth after the July 21 Insurrection

Nathan Stanton

After earning his BFA in ‘Character Animation’ from the California Institute of the Arts in 1992, he soon got a job as a 2D assistant animator on “The Nightmare Before Christmas” at Skellington Productions. He went on to work at Colossal Pictures on a number of projects, also in 2D animation. Stanton then returned to Skellington Productions to work on “James and the Giant Peach.” He then began his career in story at Pixar in June 1996 as a story artist for Pixar’s second feature film, “A Bug’s Life,” and has worked on many of the studio’s successes since then. Stanton has contributed his storyboarding talents to “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.,” and the Academy Award® winning feature films “Finding Nemo,” “Ratatouille”, “WALL•E”, “Brave”, and “Coco”. He also served as Head of Story for “Cars 2” and “The Blue Umbrella” short. Most recently, Stanton has moved on from Pixar and become an independent contractor - working on several different Animated and Live-Action projects, and story consulting on the Netflix documentary ‘Crip Camp’. He ran a 12 week Story Lab program for local talent in Africa for Triggerfish Animation & Netflix in Cape Town, South Africa. Once the program was done Six people were then chosen to create a Story Team to work on the Animated Feature ‘Tunga’. He is currently an Assistant Director on the Animated Feature ‘David’ for Sunrise Animation Studios.

Nick Cloete

Nick is one of the founders and Managing Director at South Africa's 2.D animation studio, Mind’s
Eye Creative, which has produced animated series and shorts for some of the most established
brands in the film & television industry, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Nickelodeon, Youtube
Premium, Tru TV and Cartoon Network.
Nick volunteers as Chair and head of policy at Animation South Africa (ASA) and has served as
Co-Chair for the South African Screen Federation (SASFED).

Noodle and Bun

Noodle and bun is an animated cat and dog created by Lloyd and Gottfried of Polycat Animation. It rose to fame on TikTok as a virtual influencer then became an animated show and has since been on broadcast television worldwide and most notible appearances on Brittains got Talent and Americas got Talent.

Sarah Mallia

Freehand Studios is a Nairobi-based digital arts and social impact studio that creates compelling, inclusive and culturally relevant content in the form of graphic novels and animation. Some of their noteworthy productions include TRUST, a transmedia project, and their flagship children’s animated series Uli & Tata’s African Nursery Rhymes.

Before her current role, Sarah held positions as the impact producer for the award-winning Kenyan feature-length documentary The Letter, and an Arts & Culture Programme Manager at PAWA254, an influential arts and activism hub based in Nairobi.

She holds a Masters degree in Migration, Mobility and Development for the University of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

Sarah is dedicated to producing content that enhances impact and the work of social movements. Beyond her professional pursuits, she has a passion for analogue film photography and darkroom techniques, along with her dedicated involvement in beekeeping.

Sarah Swanepoel

Sarah is currently at Bewilder and is the Designer at The Cape Town International Animation Festival. She has worked for other studios such as Made by Radio and We Are Batch. She also worked as the art director and an animator on her student film ‘ Mr & Mrs Mantis’ where they were awarded a gold loerie and a gold at the New York Festivals.

Sarah is this year's theme artist! She's directing and animating in it with the help of the stunning 2D artist, Kristin Prior. The trailer is titled ‘ a day in Cape Town ‘ Showing off the beauty and sadness of this lovely city.

Shivana Naidoo

A writer and filmmaker from Durban, KwaZulu Natal. Shivana studied at AFDA and obtained her undergraduate and honours degrees with distinction. She majored in Screenwriting and Directing. The screenplays she has written have been produced into several short films. Most notable being Svaha (2016) and The Nature of Lost things (2017). Svaha earned a nomination for Best Student Film at the Simon Mabhunu Sabela awards in 2016. The Nature of Lost things screened at the CMS International Children's Film Festival in April this 2019. She was nominated for two awards at the Writers Guild of South Africa's prestigious Muse Awards (2019) in the Best short film SPEC Script and Best Emerging Writer categories- and won both. She's also been selected as a finalist for the PitchSA competition. Most recently, she was shortlisted for a Sundance development grant in 2021 for The Moon Can't Run. Currently, developing a feature and the head writer for Umoya: Realm of Spirits.

Somto Ajuluchukwu

Born February 24th, 1991 is an award winning yet emerging Animation Film Director / Producer & Entertainment Executive with a background in Economics from Crawford University.

He began his professional career as a film maker in 2014 after founding Vortex Studios (Studio of the Year Lagos Comic Con 2016, 2017) an animation and comic book company where he Directed and produced his first short animated film in 2016 called Town Crier, and has since then produced Orange City (2019) which traveled across 26 countries in 4 continents and most recently GLYCH (2022) which served as opening film at the RENDACON ANIMATION FILM FESTIVAL (2022) Lagos, Nigeria.

In 2017 comic-book character published by Vortex Comics, Strike Guard was listed 15 most influential black super heroes in the world by CBR (Comic Book Resources) and later produced as a 6 minute animated short film featured on VICE & Design Indaba in 2017.

In late 2017 he launched C3 Africa (Creative Content Conference) Nigerias first content market serving as meeting point for international companies discovering and buying Nigerian content, this expanded to the Accra for its second edition in August 2018, and has become a blue print of B2B events connecting the local entertainment industry to international stake holders. In October 2018, African International Film Festival Appointed him Coordinator Animation programmes where he served for 1 year.

In 2021 Somto won his first animation film award at the NAICCON Film Festival. Nairobi, Kenya (Best Animation, 2021) and his 2nd award at the Afrocomic Con Film Festival. Los Angeles, USA (Best Animation, 2022).

Tafadzwa Hove

Tafadzwa Hove is a versatile filmmaker renowned for directing and writing Mukudzei” a short animated film part of "Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire” an African Animation Anthology for Disney+.

With a deep passion for animation and a commitment to challenging stereotypes surrounding Africa, his work revolves around narratives that explore the experiences of outsiders and celebrate the triumph of hope, through genres like sci-fi and humor, whilst weaving stories that defy expectations and shed new light on the continent.

Tshepo Moche

Tshepo is a writer, director, mother, activist and all-round good human being. After lecturing and writing for live-action television, she stepped into animation as a writer on Netflix's Supa Team 4 series. She is currently working as an Executive Creative Consultant and writer on Kiya and the Kimoja Heroes, produced by eOne/DisneyJnr. She’s also taken a seat in the director’s chair with her short film First Totem Problems, as part of the Disney+/Triggerfish Kizazi Moto anthology series. A recurring jury member for the MIPCOM Diversity and Inclusion awards, she continues to work in both animation and live-action with a focus on youth development and education, the African narrative and social/gender-based subject matter. Mothering is one of her greatest party tricks and she’s also known to accept pizza and wine as payment for services rendered.

Zamabuya Msibi

Miss Zamabuya Msibi is a 37-year-old woman hailing from Durban, KZN. Her passion for training and developing people started when she resided in the United Kingdom. This is where she was given an opportunity to work in training and development in 2006. She started working at the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission in June 2014 as a Receptionist Temp and worked her way up to the Acting Industry Skills Development Manager. She has worked at the KZN Film Commission for the past 9 years. Working at the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission not only reignited her love of training but her love for the Film and Television Industry. Her highest qualification to date is her Master of Business Administration which she obtained in 2022, with a postgraduate diploma in Project Management and a BA Social Sciences degree in Criminology.

CTIAF 2023 | Comicon Speakers

Anneke Pienaar

Annike Pienaar is an animator and VR enthusiast with a flair for capturing unique and strange ideas. Annike has nine years of animation experience working at Bugbox, Triggerfish, Illumination and Bluezoo. Her favorite projects include Revolting Rhymes, Sing 2 and the latest BBC Christmas special, The Smeds and the Smoos where she took on the role of animation supervisor. 

Ariane Suveg

With more than 20 years of experience in the TV industry, Ariane is a content expert from production, programming, and marketing perspective to reach broad and engaged audiences. She started her career at Canal+ (French pay TV group) in the Programming Department. After an experience of five years as Media and TV Programs Marketing Consultant at Carat (Aegis Group), she joined Nickelodeon (Viacom) as Scheduling Director, and then Gulli (French free-to-air kids channel) as Programming Director.

She spent the last 8 years at Warner Bros Discovery as Vice-President of Kids channels, France, Africa & Israel, establishing Cartoon Network and Boomerang as leading channels in their markets. She launched the first African original productions for the group (animation and live action), entirely produced on the continent. 

Archie Birch

A visual artist and teacher in film, visual art and animation filmography.

For over twenty years now Archie has made pictures for exhibition, children's books, comics and many other reasons as well as drawing storyboards for live-action film and animation, from commercials and shorts to features and series.

He has supervised storyboard and animation departments as well as completing a wide variety of animated and illustration projects for clients and as an independent artist. 

Archie has also been an animation, drawing and design lecturer at places like AFDA, City Varsity, False Bay College and SAE and continues to practice, learn and teach visual storytelling.


Bill Masuku

Bill Masuku is a Nommo Award Nominated African comic book artist and writer born in Harare, Zimbabwe. He is the creator of comic books Razor-Man, Welcome to Dead World, and Captain South Africa. In the urban fantasy genre, he is the author of the Misfortunism series. He has been a guest speaker at events such as MCM London Comic Con, FanCon Cape Town, Comic Con Africa, Afro Comic Con and Harare Literature Festival. He was selected as British Council’s Design Futures Africa Storyteller for Zimbabwe, a project centered around sustainable development, the green future, and the informal economy. Masuku was spotlighted as an up and coming artist during DC Comics’ global event DC Fandome. His comic book artwork has exhibited in Mozambique for Maputo Fast Forward Banda Desinhada Exhibition as well as the National Art Gallery in Zimbabwe in the Green Enterprize ILO Arts and the Future of Work Competition as a finalist.

Daniela Del Castello

Daniela Del Castello is currently an animation and visual development trainer at the Tshimologong Precinct in Johannesburg South Africa, where she directs short films and upskills local artists to help them gain a footing in the industry and help further develop their artistic journey. Prior to becoming a trainer she worked for Minds Eye Creative for 4 years as an animator and character designer. Some of the clients she worked for included Netflix, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. She  Co-directed, character designed and animated for the CTIAF 2023 trailer. She has an honours degree in Fine Arts and a Masters Degree in Digital Art from Wits University. Her Masters involved studying the 3D animation pipeline and a research and creative project where she used stop frame, painting on glass animation to explore the relationship between animation and Queer aesthetic. She presented her paper and series of animated works at the Queer/ing animation Symposium 2017 and at the 2016 Turbine Art Fair.

Daniel Snaddon 

Daniel is a highly acclaimed South African animation director, known for his work on several award-winning BBC Christmas Specials, including "Stick Man" (2015), "Zog" (2017), and "The Snail and the Whale"(2019). Daniel has won numerous accolades for his work, including two BAFTAs for Best Animation and Best Director for "The Snail and the Whale," as well as an International Emmy Kids Award for "Zog." With Triggerfish Animation Studios, Daniel has served as animation supervisor on the Academy Award nominated short “Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes” (2016), as mentor on “Kizazi-Moto: Generation Fire” (2023), and as Co-Executive Producer on the upcoming “Star Wars, Visions 2: Aau’sSong” (2023). “The Smeds and the Smoos” (2022) marks Daniel’s fourth outing as a director with Magic Light Pictures, and he counts himself extremely privileged to work with some of the world’s leading animation and story-telling talent.

Danson Njoka

Danson leads Kugali Media as the Chief Story Teller and CEO of the company. The extremely talented Kenyan born and London based executive with a living and working experience across Africa, North America and Europe, is the fresh face of the Kugali brand. With a training background in engineering and wide ranging passions across the arts, sciences and entrepreneurship, they are obsessed with a systems-thinking approach to solving local and global challenges through collaboration and imagination. Kugali, founded by a group of talented artists, brought Danson onboard to help build a platform to enable Afrikans to tell their own stories, shape and impact their future.

Dr Dylan McGarry

Dr. Dylan McGarry is an educational sociologist and artist from Durban, South Africa. He is a Senior  researcher at the Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC) at the University currently known as Rhodes. As well as a co-director of the Global One Ocean Hub research network. Dylan is the co-founder of Empatheatre, and a passionate artist and story-teller. He explores practice-based research into connective aesthetics, transgressive social learning, decolonisation, queer-eco pedagogy, immersive empathy and socio-ecological development in South Africa. His artwork and social praxis (which is closely related to his research) is particularly focused on empathy, and he primarily works with imagination, listening and intuition as actual sculptural materials in social settings to offer new ways to encourage personal, relational and collective agency. Dylan recently wrote, co-directed and produced the short animated film: “Indlela Yokuphila- the Soul’s Journey”, which was used as evidence in three court cases against Oil and Gas giant, Shell- to show the intangible cultural connections some South African’s have with the ocean. 

Edwin Toi

Edwin has over a decade of experience working in animation. As a child, he was an avid gamer (and still is), and remembers being in awe of early game cinematics. Countless rewatches of Jurassic Park and early Pixar films further influenced his style and passion for the medium. This, together with a love of problem solving and movement, would eventually lead him to study animation. As a generalist, he has acquired a wide range of skills including working in motion graphics, 2D animation, 3D animation and even a little game development. Edwin is currently working at Rooftop as a senior and lead character animator.

Jac Hamman 

Jac Hamman is an animator, story and concept artist and director.
He has worked on feature films, series, commercials at some of South Africa’s top animation studios including Triggerfish Animation Studios, Sunrise Productions and Blackginger. He has also produced his own short films for the ATKV, picking up the Goethe Award for his short Stad In Die Mis.
Most recently Jac directed Superworm, at Magic Light Pictures together with directing partner Sarah Scrimgeour and is currently in development on another 25 minute TV special.


Jeani Varty
Jeani is young Director specializing in storyboarding and Visual development for 2D animated Short films. Her first foray into the industry was through storyboarding for a company called Chocolate Moose Studios. This studio, based in Canada,  worked closely with the UN and through them started doing PSA’s.  She has had the privilege of working on some larger projects, such as  the advertising team for LEGO Ninjango and The Lego Movie 2. 

Working with a few South African studios at this time  led her to Tshimologong’ Mollo animation Academy to coach visual development. Jeani  received further training in France, Paris at Gobelin l’ecole image for storyboarding and Facilitation. 


Steven "Joff" Carter 

Steven  has been working in animation and film for over 18 years. He’s an award-winning director and artist, based in Rooftop’s Cape Town office. When he’s not immersed in animation and film and creating spectacular visual effects, you’ll find him in his art studio covered in oil paint and surrounded by canvasses of soulful characters. His commissioned graffiti can also be found on buildings and in abandoned spaces around the world. A multi-talented creative, Joff is also a singer, songwriter and bassist, and like one of his muses – Charlie Chaplin – is seldom without a hat. Steven is currently working at Rooftop as head of the animation team. 


Karan Parikh 

Karan is the founder and CEO of Green Rain Studios. He is an immersive technologist with expertise in real-time workflows. Karan is India’s first Unreal authorized instructor and is a master mentor in Unreal Engine’s Virtual Production Fellowship program.

Karan is focused on using technology to blur the lines between real and virtual worlds. His areas of expertise include virtual production, animation, games, XR, and simulations. His collaborative works have been displayed at some of the most prestigious art galleries, public spaces and museums such as Times Square in NYC, Artechouse in D.C., The Strong Museum of Play in Rochester NY.

Marc  Moynihan

Marc is an illustrator and animation director living in Cape Town, South Africa. He is passionate about picture books and hand drawn animation. Working mostly on his drawing tablet and on paper, Marc has built a portfolio that centres around a charming hand made art style and he always strives to bring a sense of magic to his work.

With a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration and Animation, Marc has been a freelance artist for over 10 years working in the animation industry in London, Bristol and Cape Town. He has been involved in award winning productions over years most notably on a music video for Coldplay which won best music video at the 2020 British animation Awards. 

Having been exposed to many different cultures and environments through travel, Marc believes in the power of a good story... and even more powerful when it is voiced by the story teller! Marc wants to bring these stories to life, championing diversity and showcasing cultural wisdom in collaborative spaces.



Mpume Mthombeni

Co-director of Empatheatre is an award-winning performer, writer, researcher and theatre-maker who hails from Umlazi, Durban. Mthombeni has taken on multiple roles over the years in theatre, radio, film and television, drawing international acclaim for her performance in Tin Bucket Drum which she toured to New York in 2012. Some of Mthombeni’s other theatre credits include Animal Farm, Soil & Ash, NewFoundLand, Ulwembu, The Last Country and Lalela uLwandle. She recently has co-stared in TV shows “Durban Gen” and “The Wife”. Mpume, recently researcherd, co-wrote, co-produced and narrated the animated short: “Indlela Yokuphila- the Soul’s Journey”. Her work with Empatheatre focuses on merging research and performance and she considers the theatre-maker’s role in contemporary South Africa to be that of healer and ShamanC

Peter Hangelbroek

Peter is a Certified Production Management Professional with over 15 years’ experience in the Post Production and IT space. As a Video and IT Engineer, he is well versed in workflow design, implementation, support and troubleshooting. His love for technology combined with his hands-on approach, allows him to identify client requirements and develop solutions that align with their needs.


Rob Van Vuuren

Rob is a multi-award winning actor, writer, comedian and director. Rob’s 25 year spanning career is founded in his training as a physical performer and clown with a strong emphasis on multiple characterisation on an epic scale narrative. His skills as a multiple character comic performer are ideally suited to animation and his work in this field includes multiple characters and character and comedy development on Triggerfish’s Khumba and Seal Team as well as a turn as Trey the Dinosaur in Sandcastle Studios and Sunrise Productions Jungle Beat 2 The Past coming out later this year.

Roland Reyer 

Experienced Technical Sales Specialist with 28 years of experience working in 3D Animation software industry. Skilled in MEL, Python, Modeling, SpecialFX, 3D Visualization and Animation, Maya, Motionbuilder and Arnold.

Samantha Cutler

Samantha is a self-taught character modeller and animator from South Africa. Since 2014 ,Samantha has worked on all of Magic Light’s adaptations of books by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and served as an animation and modelling lead on The Snail and the Whale, which was recently nominated for three BAFTA Young People and Children's awards including best animation. Using her love of ballet Samantha has choreographed dances for Khumba, Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes and most recently Supeworm. Samantha brings a tremendous amount of heart to her work and has a robust eye for appeal and character. In her spare time, she sculpts and dances which drives her passion for exploring movement. Samantha directs The Smeds and The Smoos together with Daniel Snaddon.

 Simon Browne

A Houdini Tutor for Escape Studios, the UKs premier training centre for the VFX, Animation and Games industries. As a 3D Generalist Simon combines creative animation skills with coding and maths experience to create stunning simulations. At Escape Studios he is responsible for delivering a broad understanding of Houdini and procedural modelling to degree students who go on to work at places like Framestore, ILM, DNEG and Sony Games. Previous work in the Aviation and Architecture industries helped hone his skills in Maya, 3DSMax, Redshift, After Effects and Unity, amongst many other programs. As a Houdini artist Simon’s strengths include fluid simulation, explosions, water interaction, fog, and cloth simulations.

Tiaan Franken 

Tiaan is a seasoned Executive Technical Director and Multimedia expert with over 20 years of experience in the animation and VFX industry. He currently leads the team at Chocolate Tribe, where he has successfully executed renowned adverts and films. Tiaan is particularly passionate about pipeline development, rigging, and CG creature work. His expertise has enabled him to streamline workflows and deliver projects on time and to the highest standard. Tiaan is committed to pushing South Africa forward in the world of animation and VFX, and he mentors young talent in the industry. With his love for technology and creativity, 

Ulysse Malassagne

Ulysse Malassagne was born in Cantal in 1989 and grew up at the foot of the Auvergne volcanoes. After completing his studies at the Gobelins animation school, he became a comic book author, and published several works with the publishers Ankama, Glénat and Milan while also continuing to work in animation, as a 2D animator and director. In 2014, he founded Le Studio La Cachette with his friends Julien Chheng and Oussama Bouacheria, where he continues to work as director, producer and animation supervisor. After crafting unique shows like Genndy Tartakovsky's Primal (for which the studio received 3 Emmy Awards), they are now developing original projects, such as Le Collège Noir, adapted from one of Ulysse's comic book series.


Dimakatso Kgomo

Deputy Director: Film & TV Incentives (The Department of Trade, Industry & Competition)

Dimakatso holds a BCom Honours in Business Management and he has extensive experience in the development and administration of government incentives. He joined the Film and TV Unit of the dti’c in 2015, where his responsibilities include the administration and development of Film & TV programmes, providing industry advice and endorsements for market access and investment initiatives for the Film and TV sector. Dimakatso has been engaged in the Creative Industry since 2013, as a Project Manager for the National Red Tape Reduction Programme, which included policy reviews and developing access to market strategies, with the aim of improving the ease of doing business in South Africa, under the dti’c and the Department of Small Business, respectively.


Daniel Clarke

Daniel is a Cape Town-based director and artist working in animation, film and illustration. He started his career in animation in 2008 at Triggerfish Animation Studios, a collaboration that has lasted up until today and has seen him act as Production Designer, Art Director and Director on projects such as the feature film Khumba, BBC’s Stick Man, The Snail and the Whale, and most recently Aau’s Song for Season 2 of the Star Wars Visions anthology. 

As an illustrator and designer he has worked, amongst others, with clients such as Netflix, Animal Logic, The Line, National Geographic Kids, Nike, Adidas, and Penguin Random House. In 2018, along with James Clarke and Daniel Snaddon, he completed the graphic novel Kariba, which was funded though a campaign on Kickstarter, the most successful of its kind in Africa.


Rajdeep Paul

Rajdeep is an Unreal Authorized instructor with a robust background in 3D visualization and real-time technology development for PC, AR, and VR. He has trained over 50 companies to adapt to real-time workflows with Unreal Engine. He also holds a Fine Arts Diploma and Sound Engineering Certification [Apple & Avid Certified].

Nadia Darries 

Nadia Darries is an adept animator and co-founder of Goon Valley Animation, with an avocation for songwriting. She is inspired by her heritage as a South African born in the Cape Flats. This passion feeds into her work as a creative and drives her long-term mission of encouraging people to explore their personal stories.

Nadia has worked on mid to high-end animated film and motion design since 2015 as an animator, project manager, creative director, and director. This includes animating at Triggerfish Animation Studios on award-winning BBC films Stick Man, Revolting Rhymes, and Highway Rat. She has most recently co-written and directed the upcoming “Star Wars, Visions 2: Aau’s Song” alongside Daniel Clarke.

Shruti Verma

Shruti is the Business Lead at Epic Games in India and Africa. She is responsible for driving Epic’s

brand strategy and growth in these markets. Shruti is passionate about connecting creators and building

creator communities. And, has successfully formed strategic partnerships with the government and

technology companies in the region. Previously in her professional career, Shruti lead marketing for

Unity Technologies in the Indian Subcontinent, and has spent over 12 years at NASSCOM as head of

Developer Relations and the Gaming Forum.