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Disney+ to showcase African creators with 'Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire' sci-fi anthology

By Josh Weiss
Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire

Disney+ will introduce its viewers to creative talent from across Africa late next year with the release of Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire. The 10-part anthology — consisting of original features that present "a wildly entertaining ride into Africa’s future" — was crafted by up-and-coming filmmakers hailing from a variety of different nations: Zimbabwe, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt. Each installment is expected to clock in at 10 minutes apiece when they arrive on the streaming platform.

Peter Ramsey, one of the Oscar-winning directors behind Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, is on board as an executive producer.

“I’m really pleased to part of a ground-breaking, fresh and exciting project that’s aimed at exposing the world to a whole new wave of creativity and invention from a place that is just ready to explode onto the world animation scene," Ramsey said in a statement. "The films in the anthology kind of run the gamut when it comes to science fiction. There are stories that touch on other worlds, time travel, and alien beings, but all of these genre conventions are seen through an African lens that makes them totally new. I can’t wait for people to have their minds blown and say ‘I want more!’"

Tendayi Nyeke and Anthony Silverston of Triggerfish Studios will serve as supervising producers. Their Cape Town-based company is overseeing all of the films, while working in collaboration with other animations banners in Africa and around the world. Triggerfish also curated the entire process, which saw submissions from over 70 leading directors and creators.

Kizazi Moto derives from the Swahili phrase ‘kizazi cha moto’ which literally translates as ‘fire generation,' capturing the passion, innovation and excitement this new cohort of African filmmakers is ready to bring to the world," said Nyeke. "‘Moto’ also means fire in several other African languages, from Rwanda’s Kinyarwanda to Shona, a Zimbabwean language, speaking to the pan-African spirit we hope this anthology embodies."

The entire campaign was preceded by a "multi-year research phase," which benefitted from the input of Ghanian comic book blogger Kadi Tay, award-winning Congolese animation supervisor Sidney Kimbo-Kintombo (Avengers: Endgame) and Namibian-South African producer Bridget Pickering (Hotel Rwanda).

Check out some teaser artwork now:

Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire

Disney+ and ESPN+ President Michael Paull cited the massive cultural impact of Ryan Coogler's Black Panther as one of the driving factors behind Generation Fire, which whole-heartedly embraces the concept of Afrofuturism. Wakanda forever, indeed.

“We are bringing the work of a visionary new generation of African filmmakers to Disney+," Paull concluded. "In addition to delivering thrilling animation for fans of all ages, this collection of ten original films taps into the Afrofuturism phenomenon which was turbo-charged by Marvel’s Black Panther and reflects Disney’s ongoing commitment to partnering with leading global talent to tell the stories of the world from fresh and authentic points of view."

See below for the complete list of projects, creators, and official synopses provided by Disney...

  • Stardust (Ahmed Teilab – Egypt)

After receiving a blank scroll of destiny from the Oracle during her coming-of-age ceremony, Nawara, a rebellious stable girl, sets off on a perilous journey to track him down, and demand the kind of future she knows she deserves.

  • Mkhuzi: The Masked Racer (Simangaliso ‘Panda’ Sibaya and Malcolm Wope – South Africa)

Manzo is a half-human, half alien boy who must defeat the galaxy’s greatest—and craziest—racers in the Soweto Grand Prix to save his neighbourhood from destruction.

  • Hatima (Terence Maluleke and Isaac Mogajane – South Africa)

In a future Africa, tribes living on land and beneath the sea fight a constant war for Hatima, a powerful natural resource that causes cellular regeneration and also allows humans to survive beneath the waves.

  • Enkai (Ng’endo Mukii – Kenya)

Enkai is just a little girl trying to keep her working single mother’s attention, but her mom’s job is more all-consuming than most: she’s a cosmic deity trying to save our planet.

  • Moremi (Shofela Coker - Nigeria)

A sci-fi riff on a Yoruba myth, this story follows Luo, a spirit boy lost in the realm of the gods, and Moremi, his scientist mother, who is trying to return him to the land of the living.

  • Surf Sangoma (Nthato Mokgata and Terence Neale – South Africa)

Future Durban is surrounded by a monumental wall to protect the city from colossal waves too deadly to surf, but best friends Njabulo and Mqobi dream of returning to the ocean.

  • Mukudzei, aka Adventures of Muku (created by Pious Nyenyewa & written by Tafadzwa Hove – Zimbabwe)

After disrespecting a sacred monument, rebellious wannabe-influencer Muku is flung by the spirits into an alternate, utopian and futuristic Zimbabwe that was never colonized.

  • First Totem Problems (Tshepo Moche – South Africa)

Teenage Sheba is coming of age and determined to receive her digital totem, even if it means taking down the whole ancestral technocracy whilst trying to end an ancient feud.

  • Herderboy (Raymond Malinga – Uganda)

Determined to prove himself, an unlikely young hero must singlehandedly protect his tribe’s precious herd of cyborg cattle from a deadly spirit monster that threatens their whole way of life.

  • You Give Me Heart (Lesego Vorster – South Africa)

In the next millennium, when the gods are only as powerful as their social media following, a human nobody strikes up an impossible romance with the most adored goddess of them all.