KaribaSadly, it’s only a teaser trailer made as a proof of concept for a full length feature film, so there isn’t a film coming… at least, not yet. The filmmakers – known as the  Blue Forest Collective – created the simple but beautiful teaser for what they hope will eventually be an animated feature film titled "Kariba," as long as they are able to secure funding for it.

The hope here, as other filmmakers have done previously ( some successful; others not) is that the teaser goes viral, draws attention, builds enough interest, demonstrating that there’s an audience for it, and ultimately leads to financing.

I’d imagine that, given the 228,000 plays it received on Vimeo alone, over the last 3 months since it was posted, and all the wonderful reactions left by commenters, as well as animation sites that have covered the film, a crowdfunding campaign would probably be successful for the filmmakers; although their proposed $12 million budget would be the most ever for a crowdfunding film campaign, if successful. It would likely be a challenge. 

Animation is time-consuming work, and can be expensive over the long term, so the $12 million may end up not being enough, and a Kickstarter campaign may not suffice, especially for something of this scope. But it could get them started…

The Blue Forest Collective is made up of Daniel Clarke, Jac Hamman, Charl Collocott, and Daniel Snaddon.

Here’s a short bio courtesy of Cartoon Brew: Clarke, the director of the project, is a concept artist who has lent his skills to several animated projects in South Africa in recent years, including as production designer of Triggerfish Animation’s feature ‘Khumba.’ He is also a fine artist, preparing for his first solo exhibition later in the year. ‘Kariba’ was selected, along with two other projects, for a South African pitch session at Annecy’s MIFA market… as part of a special South African call for entries. The team has decided to pitch ‘Kariba’ as a short film at MIFA, where the eventual winner will get to collaborate with an as-yet-unnamed French animation studio to realize the project. “This would be a great opportunity to test the team, the pipeline, and create a more meaty proof of concept before we tackle the feature,” Snaddon told Cartoon Brew via email.

Described as a modern African fairy tale, combining the historical events surrounding the building of the Zambezi river dam wall, and the local legend of the river spirit that caused its destruction, the filmmakers promise a film with a rich history and mythology around it, with the plan being to "make something that stands out as being uniquely African, a film that respects both its source material, and its audience, while being hugely fun and entertaining.”

The story is inspired by the 1950s destruction of the Kariba Hydro-Elecrtic Dam between Zambia and Zimbabwe in southern Africa, and the local legend that surrounds it. Recently, in late 2014, the BBC reported that “The Kariba Dam is in a dangerous state. Opened in 1959, it was built on a seemingly solid bed of basalt. But, in the past 50 years, the torrents from the spillway have eroded that bedrock, carving a vast crater that has undercut the dam’s foundations. … engineers are now warning that without urgent repairs, the whole dam will collapse. If that happened, a tsunami-like wall of water would rip through the Zambezi valley, reaching the Mozambique border within eight hours. The torrent would overwhelm Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa Dam and knock out 40% of southern Africa’s hydroelectric capacity. Along with the devastation of wildlife in the valley, the Zambezi River Authority estimates that the lives of 3.5 million people are at risk.”

During dam’s construction in the 1950s, the wall was mysteriously destroyed twice, and the local Tonga people believed that the river spirit, Nyami-Nyami, was responsible.

The synopsis reads: When conflict between ambitious dam-builders and the tribes they have displaced worsen, the spirit of the river leaves a fearless daughter on its banks. Helped by the foreman’s son and guided by dreams, she must embark on a perilous journey to the source to uncover the solution to the feud and find her true identity.

Watch the teaser below: