TeraStorm, a CGI superhero film by Afrikana Digital, has been chosen to represent Kenya in the International Best Feature Film category for the 95th Academy Awards.
Written and directed by Andrew Kaggia, TeraStorm is the first animated film ever presented for an Oscars nomination by an African country. In addition, it was produced entirely in Kenya, which marks a huge leap forward for the Kenyan animation industry on the world stage.
In this groundbreaking film, a group of elite heroes unites in an attempt to vanquish an ancient wizard who threatens to destroy the earth with a powerful, mysterious artefact.
Featuring an ensemble of Black African superheroes for the first time in a feature film, it was brought to life by the voice talents of Arabron Nyyneque, Ali Mwangola, Melvin Alusa, Sara Muhoho, Maryianne Nungo, Peter Mudamba, and Mungai Kiroga.
The Kenya Oscars Selection committee received four submissions, TeraStorm by Afrikana Digital, Click, Click bang by Phil- It productions ltd, Chaguo by Good Karma Fiction Africa Ltd, and Rising Sun by Kevin Osoo.
According to them, these submissions paint a bright picture for the future of Kenyan film, showing that the industry is ready to compete in the international market.
In addition, Krysteen Savane, the chairperson, has noted a general improvement in story and acting. The committee, however, recommends engagement with the film industry through a workshop to educate them on the requirements of Oscar submissions.
The current members of the commission, who assumed office in 2020, are Krysteen Savane- Chairperson, Alamin Virani- Secretary; Fatma Wandia - Producers Guild, Joy Alunga - Association of Animation Artists Kenya, Patricia Mataga- Writers' Guild, Mwendwa Mutua - Riverwood Ensemble, Emily Wanja- EA Documentary Film Fund and Serah Mwihaki - Kenya Scriptwriters' Guild.
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Regardless of Africa's improvement in the film industry, they are yet to feed into the Oscar best international feature film category, with only 10 of the continent's 54 countries entering the race last year, in contrast to a groundbreaking 12 the previous year.
Kenya broke into the international feature film scene in 2016 with the critically acclaimed Nairobi Half Life, followed by Kati Kati the next year.
In 2018, the feel good superhero film Supa Modo was selected to be Kenya's contender, beating Wanuri Kanuhiu's Rafiki in a hotly contested race for the year's Kenyan Oscar bid. To date, no Kenyan film has received an academy award.