The Atlanta Feature Animated Film Project is the brainchild of Jai Husband, Senior Animation Director for Turner Broadcasting's Turner Studios in Atlanta, GA. Born out of Jai's passion for the Art of Animation, and his desire to give back to the AUC where he matriculated in his undergraduate art studies, Jai concieved of the AUC FAFP as a way to create a unique opportunity for AUC students to gain valuable production experience in animated filmmaking by being mentored through the process by Jai and his fellow industry professionals in an intership co-op with the AUC member schools, Morehouse, Spelman, and Clark Atlanta University, etc. Famous AUC Alumni and other Atlanta-area celebrities were called upon to donate their voice talents to some of the principal characters, and in addition to their valuable contributions, the entire production will be produced by students and their industry professional volunteers. The project's first feature film, Kasha and the Zulu King, is scheduled to be completed by Fall of 2010.
Kenny Leon, is a sought after director of stage and film. His Broadway work includes the 2004 Tony Award winning revival of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun and also the Emmy-nominated film "A Raisin in the Sun" which aired on ABC in 2008 and has received a Director's Guild Award nomination, an Emmy nomination, a Golden Globe nomination, and won the NAACP image award for Outstanding Television Movie. Kenny is an alumnus and honorary Ph.D. from Clark Atlanta and founder and Artistic Director of True Colors Theatre Company. Mr. Leon's next Broadway endeavor will be directing Denzel Washington in the Broadway production of August Wilson's, Fences. We are very pleased to have Mr. Leon voicing the title character of Kasha.
Award winning professional journalist and Atlanta WSB-TV's Channel 2 News anchor Monica Pearson was once named one of the 50 most beautiful women by Jezebel Magazine. She is now the voice talent behind the equally beautiful and full figured heroine Nandi, who captures the heart of the Zulu Prince Mandla. Pearson is an Emmy award winning journalist that indulges in philanthropic work with organizations such as the NAACP and the Metropolitan United Way.
Former Atlanta Mayor, Shirley Franklin is the voice behind the character Thedlewe, the sinister royal nurse who conspires with, Siiso (voiced by Frank Ski) to take over the royal throne by secretly poisoning the King. As the first female black mayor of a major city in the south she has gained quite a few accomplishments. She is a now working on a campaign to support broad band high-speed internet in under privileged neighbor hoods. Franklin is currently serving as Co-Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Chair at Spelman College and is enjoying her time being a mentor to the women of Spelman.
Popular Atlanta V103 Radio personality and prominent philanthropist Frank Ski is the voice of the character, Siiso, King Malabatsi's sinister and murderous brother-in-law who conspires to usurp the Zulu throne. Frank Ski is an award winning journalist who has interviewed prominent figures like Coretta Scott King and celebrities such as actor Terrance Howard. His philanthropic work includes raising almost a half million dollars for Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless and the Metro Atlanta Respite & Development Service helping children with special needs.
R&B recording star Bobby V is the voice behind Prince Mandla the heir to the Zulu throne who convinces the look-alike, Zulu orphan, Kasha to swap places with him so he can experience life outside the royal camp. Valentino who is known for his chart toping hits "Slow Down" and "Anonymous" is now in the process of promoting his mix-tape titled "60 minutes," and working on his fourth studio album "Fly on the Wall."
From Birth, the beautiful Sowetu was raised in preparation for her foreordained betrothal to the Zulu Prince, Mandla. Her dreams of a fairytale romance are dashed when Mandla expresses distain for her aristocratic quintessence. Sowetu is voiced by Spelman College actress Joy Brunson who has starred in plays such as James Baldwin's, "The Amen Corner" as Sister Margaret and Spelman College's production of Toni Morrison's, "The Bluest Eye" directed by Jasmine Guy. Joy B's lastest projects include "The Storytelling Ability of a Boy" with Synchronicity Theatre and "October Baby" with the Erwin Brothers.
TJ Holmes is best known as a weekend morning news anchor for CNN newsroom. Since being a reporter for CNN he has traveled the world covering stories on the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India and he did intense coverage on the campaign and election of Barack Obama. You can now catch him in the Zulu village hounding Kasha and his horse named Barak, as the voice of Lusafo the biggest bully in the village.
Award winning actress, writer, and director Jasmine Guy is the voice of Ngazi, the pint sized eight- year old minion of the Zulu village bully Lusafo. Guy recently directed the stage adaptation of "For Colored girls who… when the rainbow wasn't enough," and Douglass Tappin's musical "I Dream," based on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King. She was recently named a permanent member of Kenny Leon's True Colors Theater Co. As a member Guy will be featured in Nathan Louis Jackson's "Broke-ology" directed by Leon and will star in Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love." She will also direct George C. Wolfe's "The Colored Museum." Currently she is in rehearsal to star in Pearl Cleage's "Nacimera Society Presents" in both Alabama and Atlanta this fall, while shooting a part in the independent film "October Baby" directed by the Erwin Brother.
CNN newsroom anchor and Morehouse College alumnus Tony Harris is the voice of character King Malabatsi, the wise and benevolent king of the Zulu Nation who is secretly being poisoned by his brother-in-law and the royal nurse, Thedlewe. You can catch Tony Harris anchoring the weekday News on CNN from 11AM to 1PM (ET). He is known for his weekly segment on the station called "What Matters" that focuses in on the issues that affect the African American community. Harris won an Emmy for his TV special "Tough Choices" that captures the lives of teenagers in prison.
Nkosi and Nandi grew up right next door to each other and have always been best friends. A consummate gossip, Nkosi always had her nose in the local 411 of the Zulu village. The voice of Nkosi is played by real life gossip queen Miss Sophia, the alter ego of Joe Taylor. Taylor is best known for his time spent as the daily entertainment news host of the Frank and Wanda Morning show on Atlanta's V-103 radio station, and his appearance in Tyler Perry's "I can do Bad All by Myself."
Ovie Mughelli is the voice of Ofana, one of Lusafo's "tough guys" in the Zulu village who spends much of the film trying to "camel-jack" Kasha's Camel, Barak. Mughell is a full-back for the Atlanta Falcon (#34). He was recently named the NFL's "Green MVP" for his recent effort to help underprivileged youth focus on helping the environment, as well as helping them develop in the sport of football.