After about 2 weeks of voting, the winners of the third Digital Lab Africa Pitch competition have been announced.
Digital Lab Africa (DLA) is a platform and a call for projects dedicated to creative content linked with innovation in Africa (web creation, virtual reality, video game, animation, digital music).
The objective of Digital Lab Africa is to provide a springboard to the creators of next-generation content and to make their project happen with the support and expertise of DLA ecosystem (studios, events, producers, broadcasters, distributors, experts, incubation venues) from French & Sub-Saharan African leading companies such as Lagardère Studios, ARTE or Triggerfish Animation.
From the 15th to the 28th of April, 2019, Internet users had the chance to watch and vote their favourite projects across 5 categories in the competition.
The 10 winning projects (2 projects per category) are granted with a 42,000ZAR ($2965) cash prize and a Digital Lab Africa Incubation Pass to accelerate their project
30 creators were shortlisted out of over 500 applications from across the continent. 2 winners were then chosen based on internet users’ votes from each category.
For a quick overview of all the winners, kindly watch the video below.
We list the winners from the gaming, animation and virtual reality categories below.
Ringa Mzansi is an animated talk show that looks at contemporary world issues through a sharp lens of satire and comedy. Voiced by Ebenhaezer Dibakwane, our brazen host and his quirky team’s fresh take is done via interviews, commentary and sketches.
Naddya Adhiambo Oluoch-Olunya for Sunflower Pictures, Kenya.
Uzi is a 3 minute long 2d animated short about a perfectionist seamstress and her precocious daughter Kpokpo. The two of them are on a quest to make the world’s most beautiful dress, so they travel all over Kenya looking for finest materials for the garment. They hunt for raw silks, bargain for rare beads and gather fresh cotton until one day, Kpokpo notices a single thread dangling from her mother ’s dress. She gestures to her mother to fix it, and her mother impatiently grabs it, snips it, and they are on their way again. The pair don’t notice, but as their journey unfolds, the thread unravels longer and longer.
Lwazi Msipha for Old Fashioned Youngin, South Africa.
Mancala Plus seeks to unite the Mancala family of games onto a single social, mobile experience. Players will have the option to choose from several rules and styles played around the world and even create their own. Mancala plus represents the first of game ideas Stetriakor Nyomi hope to bring into fruition, that aim to tell African stories using gaming as a medium.
Setriakor Nyomi, Gray Parrot Studios, Ghana.
Precious Cargo is a stylised African-based side-scrolling platformer, featuring a baby pangolin’s attempt to escape from poachers. The majority of the story plays out within the present day jungles of Central Africa, which the players must navigate in order to get Jua home. The goal of this game is to not only reveal the cruel tactics used by poachers, but also to bring awareness to the most highly trafficked animal that most people don’t know about.
Simone Beneke-Graham, Shannon Bennetts, Rowan Brough and Niall Graham for Falling Up Studios, South Africa.
TRVLR is a surreal VR film which follows a group of African migrants through a dreamlike journey which spans centuries and continents. This immersive film uses a mix of animation and 360 video to explore contemporary, historical and speculative future African migration.
Komborerai Chapfika, for Spectrum Studios, Zimbabwe.
The Afrocyborg VR Film Collective
The Afrocyborg VR Collective is a group of four multi-cultural women filmmakers from South Africa, and Botswana, who will make 3 x 10 minute VR films that explore a democratized and decolonised African Female Gaze, in relation to the technopolitical tools of VR that enable self-representation of women in African Science Fiction. The Afrocyborg Collective construct African women as future gazing cyborgs, who counteract the ubiquitous misogyny of Hollywood cyborgs, which tend to reinforce gender oppressions through hyper-sexualized representations of woman-machines. After all, in the words of Donna Haraway, “It matters which worlds, world, worlds”.
Shmerah Passchier & The Afrocyborg Collective, South Africa.
Audience Choice Award
With 501 votes out of 3329, Justus Macharia won the audience choice award. For this, he wins a special prize including an invitation to one of the DLA industry events in France or in Sub-Saharan Africa. Razahk Issaka (Ghana) won this same award last year for his Man Must Chop animated series.
Baba (Swahili for Father) is a 3 min spoken word paper animation that deals with the complicated feelings that a young man at the prime of his youth has about his ageing father. Narrated in a four stanza spoken-word poem, each stanza details four stages of the young man’s life – birth, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood – and his consequent relationship with his ageing father.
Justus Macharia, Kenya.