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Kickstart This! Naledi

One of the best things about crowdfunding in animation is that it gives a chance to people who might otherwise not be able to break into the industry. This is true of quite a few of the projects we've featured on Kickstart This!/Crowdfund This!

Naledi is a 10-minute 2D animated short from writer director Lola Aikins. It follows Naledi, a superstar athlete experiencing debilitating grief. During an all-important race at the African Athletic Championships, she trips and falls. As a result she experiences a panic attack, and her world begins to collapse around her. She must grapple with grief and face it head on as she must confront the reality of her father's absence. She must find the courage to go on- not only with the race, but also her life.

The story was devised by Aikins after she experienced grief for the first time with the loss of her grandfather, as well as her experiences with defeat and career-ending injuries in sport. It's a story about how grief can hold you back if you don't let it go.

The story features the theme of loss, but it also celebrates a love of sport and a love of animation.In particular, it aims to put African women athletes in the spotlight. In reality, they often dominate the sport at the highest level, but Aikins notes they are rarely represented in fiction- particularly in animation.

The film takes place at the African Athletics Championship, which on this occasion is being held in Johannesburg in South Africa at Ubejane Stadium. Naledi is the current African Athletics champion at 100m hurdles, but she has been gripped by grief ever since the loss of her father. During the panic attack, the film takes place inside her head. The grief is represented by a terrifying landscape.

The project has been in production for five years. The script is complete and a proof-of-concept trailer has been produced, and they have begun storyboarding. Now they have turned to crowdfunding to be able to compensate the artists who have been at work making the film a reality, and to take it to the next level.

They have tried traditional funding methods and have secured a €20 000 grant, but they need to secure at least half of the budget for it to be released. The campaign is seeking a minimum of €10 000 to be able to complete the animatic. Reaching their ultimate stretch goal of €50 000 will allow them to access that additional 20K of funding.

Available rewards include Digital Wallpapers, film downloads, artbooks (digital or physical) right up to masterclasses,  original art and even a studio visit. 

The project was seeking  €10,000, which they have already surpassed. Now they can move towards the stretch goals- the more money they raise the more of the film they can make without needing to raise funds elsewhere. The campaign will run until May 27, 10:59 PM BST (17:59 EDT). If you want to help make Naledi a reality, then head over to the campaign page. Run, don't walk!