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ANANT SINGH ACQUIRES RIGHTS (article first published : 2003-11-13)

Well-known Durban film producer Anant Singh has announced the acquisition of the worldwide distribution rights to Africa's first full-length animation feature, The Legend of the Sky Kingdom, which had its world premiere when it opened the African Horizons section of the prestigious Montreal World Film Festival in September. It held its African premiere at the Durban International Film Festival in October.

The film, produced by Zimbabwe-based Philip and Jacqui Cunningham, is directed by Roger Hawkins. The characters and sets featured in the film have been made exclusively from junk, giving birth to the world's newest animation style, dubbed Junkmation by its creators, Sunrise Productions.

The Legend of the Sky Kingdom is the story of three children who make a daring escape from the underground city in which they are slaves of the Evil Emperor. They go in search of the fabled Sky Kingdom and the great Prince Ariel. An epic journey follows their escape, fraught with dangers. Through desert, earthquake, storm and fire, they meet many creatures and make some friends and some foes. In a dramatic roller coaster ride, from forest to plain, through oceans and canyons, their exciting journey unfolds, and as it does so do their characters.

Junkmation is inspired by the unique works of art created from junk in Africa where skilled craftsmen transform pieces of junk into useful items. Junk of any form - wood, metal, wire, tin, plastic, empty containers - find new life as object of art and decoration and everyday use. The producers of The Legend of the Sky Kingdom tapped into this unique art form and brought it to life to create a world unlike any other where the characters are composed of junk.

Director of The Legend Of The Sky Kingdom, Roger Hawkins commented, ''The whole ethos of our production was to 'use what you've got'. I realised that we did not have vast resources or big budgets but what we did have was the incredible ingenuity of African street artists. This inspired us and made us realise that art can always find a form to express itself. The idea of making a movie out of nothing really appealed to me and I think it fired our creativity and passion in a way that proved you don't need big money and experience, what matters is passion and determination."




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