Watch: Animated African Fable Short Film – ‘The Voice in the Hollow’
by Alex Billington
December 2, 2022
“Cross through the flames, huntress.” You’ve never seen any short film like this before. The Voice in the Hollow is an animated short film created by Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma. Described as “an African fable of sisterhood, envy and ancient evil”, it tells the story of Ala and Coa from the Leopards tribe. When her sister outshines her once again, Coa meets a mysterious entity, the morning star and the bestower of gifts, that can grant her wish… It’s animated and rendered with the Unreal Engine 5, though it has a stop-motion look and feel. At first glance I thought this was made with marionettes and miniature sets, but it’s all CGI and looks incredible. The film features the voices of Janeth Makungo, Rosalie Akinyi, Goodluck Gabriel, and Kaitlyn O’Connell. It’s a very dark tale with some seriously frightening imagery, but that’s part of why this is a one-of-a-kind creation. I really dig the masks in this, everything about its visual style is stunning. Enjoy.
Thanks to Vimeo Staff Picks for the tip on this short. The very brief synopsis from Vimeo: “An African fable of sisterhood, envy and ancient evil.” The Voice in the Hollow is written and directed by filmmaker / VFX artist Miguel Ortega (“I love making monsters and magical worlds”) – you can see more of his work on his Vimeo or follow him on IG @monstersculptor or Twitter @monstersculptor. Written by + with production design by Tran Ma. Produced by Alex Alvarez. Edited by Miguel Ortega, with music by Dan Dombrowsky. “The film was rendered in Unreal Engine 5 and all the characters were designed and modeled in Zbrush and Maya, the texturing was done in Adobe’s substance painter. The terrains were sculpted and textured in Gaea and then layered with megascans. All the fabric was designed and simulated in Marvelous Designer, then exported as alembic caches into Unreal.” For more info, visit Stash. For more shorts, click here. Thoughts?