KURA – Animated Short Film

The KURA Question
The idea for KURA came about in late 2016. I was trying to deal with a nagging sense of frustration about issues to do with the perceived, and probably real, state of Kenya’s leadership over time. I also felt very unprepared and ill equipped to perform my duty to vote in the 2017 General Election, which was fast approaching.

At the same time, I needed to do a test on some new animation processes and this subject seemed a good story to build the project around. The short film is the core idea behind what is actually a much bigger action thriller story, which we did not have the resources to produce. But rather than shelve the idea altogether, we undertook to do what we could within the limitations of what we had and began production in January 2017.

I wondered, to myself, what is this “democracy” thing? Am I qualified and equipped to make a rational informed choice? What is our track record on elections? What are the vested interests? Are we using the vote to effectively install leadership that is a good fit for the job of delivering good governance and desperately needed development?

It quickly became apparent that I was quite ignorant about Kenya’s history. How has our country conducted itself in the pre-colonial, transitional, and post-colonial eras? After reading a variety of books and articles, it seemed (sadly) that we had not done well at all. Since the 1960’s, available information seems to indicate that our electoral process has been questionable at best and a complete sham at worst. As such, as a population, are we citizens under consensual government from a popularly elected leadership, are we subjects under imposed government from cliques of influential rulers, or are we something altogether different?

I don’t yet have all the answers I’d like, but by at least engaging with the issues, some answers have begun to distil in my mind. I firmly believe that WE CAN DO BETTER! We can get better informed; we can deliberately break away from the tribal approach to politics; we can make better use of information technology to deliver efficient and reliable electoral processes; we should be able to think of our country almost like a business and seek to install a critical mass of highly competent managers of integrity who will deliver the best performance and return to the citizens of Kenya i.e. the shareholders.

Kenya, we can do better. Each one of us has a role to play in making our country better. What is your role? How will you respond to this question?

Verily Kenyan,
Gatumia

©2017 RECON-Digital Limited

The Trend – Larry Madowo interviews Gatumia Gatumia

In this candid chat, award winning journalist Larry Madowo gets the scoop on two RECON-Digital projects. Gatumia shares about struggles, successes and failures of “Spotkick Challenge” a casual game app developed at RECON-Digital. The occasion was also the moment when the teaser for “Concord”, an animated science fiction show currently in development at RECON-Digital, was premiered on live Kenyan TV.

Special thanks to Larry Madowo and the #theTrend crew.

©NTV (Nation Media Group)

RECON-Digital. Bringing African Animation to the World.

Concord – Animated Concept Teaser

In the future, an OUTSTANDING team of young enforcers is assembled to uphold the Concord.

Concord, which means peace and harmony, is a concept for an Action Adventure show about a highly specialized team whose purpose is to protect humanity from threats requiring an extraordinary tactical response. Their current mission is to stop Apocalypse which is an evil organization bent on crime and oppression.

Concord is currently in development and this little teaser shows the visual direction progress. We will share more as work continues.

You’re welcome to visit our Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/RECON.Digital.Animation
Tweet us
@AfricaAnimation

©2014 RECON-Digital Limited

Royalty free music from premiumbeat.com
Stock Footage from pond5.com

CNBC Looks at Broadcast Film Music Africa 2014

BFMA is East Africa’s largest annual media and entertainment conference attracting more than 2,500 professionals from the creative communities. CNBC talked with various delegates, among them Steve Njuguna, an animator who trained and worked at RECON-Digital, who shared some interesting thought on the state of animation in Africa.

Special thanks to Meredeth Beal. See the original video at the following links.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCMdGPztPHc&t=3s
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/MeredithCBeal

RECON-Digital. Bringing African Animation to the World.

It’s Just A Game – Domestic Disturbance

Isn’t it funny how heated things get when you just can’t seem to beat your trash talking opponent? In this episode of Domestic Disturbance, a video game session ends abruptly when Junior’s smugness drives Ni over the edge.

© RECON-Digital. Bringing African Animation to the World.

Career Day Blues – Domestic Disturbance

Here’s another instalment of Domestic Disturbance entitled, “Career Day Blues”. As the day for Junior to “discuss” his career choice with Dad’s friends comes closer, he is still firmly undecided and seriously stressed out. For some the choice about what path to follow seems so clear, while for others it’s just not that simple.

© RECON-Digital. Bringing African Animation to the World.

A Little Reminder – Domestic Disturbance

Haki, the youngest in the family, asks Mum some tough questions related to pregnancy. Shock! Well, like any parent faced with such a situation, Mum somehow manages to come up with an answer… sort of. This marks Mum and Haki’s animation debut. Enjoy!

© RECON-Digital. Bringing African Animation to the World.

Two Old – Animated Short

Alex and Gee, residents at the Never Say Die Retirement Home, are fierce rivals and when Alex disrespects Gee, they engage in a struggle of truly geriatric proportions. Their escapades may just shed some light into the question, “What do old people do when nobody’s watching?”

©2012 RECON-Digital Limited

Africa’s Next Top Poet – Animated Short

The search for Africa’s Next Top Poet is on! Auditions are taking place and for those brave enough to face the panel of distinguished judges, semantic stardom could be just round the corner. It’s the chance of a lifetime! Come joins us as we seek to discover Africa’s Next Top Poet!

Desiderata poem by Max Ehrmann (1927)

©2012 RECON-Digital Limited

Shadow Boxing – Animated Short

Any true athlete knows that training demands complete dedication and focus but Boxer, an upcoming contender for the super paper weight title is easily distracted. Nobody is more aware of this fact than his own shadow, and we all know, you can’t hide from your own shadow.

©2012 RECON-Digital Limited

Lunch Time Woes – Animated Short

This unfortunately is a story about bullying. But during this fateful lunch time, when circumstance serves up a dose of justice to the class bully, one courageous wimp sees an opportunity for a better world; a world where we can all be friends.

©2012 RECON-Digital Limited

Driving Test – Animated Short

In Kenya, where our driving tests are conducted by Police Officers, it’s not hard to imagine what a fearful event it can all be for candidates going to do their test. But for one youth about to do his test, in a bizarre turn of events, an unexpected guest examiner shows up and the driving test takes a very strange “course”.

©2012 RECON-Digital Limited

Animation Apprentice

The inaugural RECON-Digital Animation Apprentice program came to an end on November 30th 2012. But back in March 2012, at the beginning of a 9 month Animation Apprenticeship, who knew what would come of a handful of aspiring animators and their first time instructor. Well, the fruits of this initiative are apparent in the 7 short films developed over the course of the training exercise.

RECON-Digital is a Kenyan animation studio carving out a niche for itself as a studio telling African stories for Africa and the World. The Animation Apprenticeship Programme was set up to identify, train and retain talented individuals to work with RECON-Digital in achieving its quest to become the most respected name in African Animation. During the apprenticeship, a small group of young Kenyans trained in character animation for 9 months under Gatumia Gatumia, of one of Kenya’s leading animators.

We believe that entertainment and indeed animation in particular have huge growth potential in Africa. We expect that as demand for more original African content increases, RECON-Digital will work to establish a strong presence in the Animation sector.

*We will announce subsequent Training Programmes as and when they are confirmed.*

© RECON-Digital. Bringing African Animation to the World.

On the Bench – Jeff Koinange interviews Gatumia Gatumia

Renowned personality, and award winning journalist, Jeff Koinange, interviews RECON-Digital’s Gatumia Gatumia. In this engaging encounter, thoughts on African Animation and various related issues are discussed with some trademark “Jeff Koinange” exuberance. Sit back and enjoy this episode of… the Bench.

Capital Talk ©K24 TV

RECON-Digital. Bringing African Animation to the World.

A Winning Business Plan

And the Winner for best ICT Business Plan and Overall Best Business Plan in the 2011 Edition of the Chase Bank, Enablis, International Labour Organization (ILO) Business Launchpad Competition is Gatumia Gatumia of RECON-Digital. We are tremendously happy about this achievement and we are keenly working to implement our strategy. This is yet another step towards our vision of becoming, “A World where there is plenty of African Animation for all to enjoy”.

“Participating in the Chase Bank Enablis ILO Business Launchpad competition has been one of those life changing experiences for me. I met brilliant and courageous Kenyans keen to take up the responsibility of wealth creation in this country. These men and women are willing to invest the necessary time and effort to turn their ideas into actionable business plans which I hope will spawn successful businesses. The sponsors, organizers and training partner (Inoorero University) have done an amazing job and I say thank you to them. The impact of this initiative will certainly have a profound effect on many individuals, businesses, communities and probably the country at large. It was Awesome! “, said Gatumia.

The winning moment. Assistant Minister for Industrialization Mr. Ndiritu Mureithi presents the trophy to Gatumia Gatumia, the overall winner of the 2011 Chase Bank, Enablis, ILO Business Launchpad Competition.

https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/corporate/enterprise/Animator-wins-top-business-award-for-children-s-games-/4003126-1265072-fbdlv7z/index.html

Domestic Disturbance – African Animation Short

When a father of three and husband to one tries to escape attending a relative’s wedding, he finds himself repeatedly reminded that domestic life will inevitably bring with it some degree of disturbance. In this short, things go a bit awry for dad as his hopes of spending a relaxing, quiet day alone quickly come undone.

Domestic Disturbance™& © RECON-Digital.

RECON-Digital Showreel

This is a Showreel which features a mix of commercial/work for hire and in house projects that RECON-Digital has done in the past.

© RECON-Digital. Bringing African Animation to the World.

Sweden Hosts African Animation Showcase

Visiting Sweden was a fantastic experience! The film festival was superbly organized and allowed for a healthy cultural exchange around African film. Mark Kaigwa headed the group of African animators whose films were to make up part of a special African Animation showcase during the 2011 edition of the CinemAfrica film festival. Mark also did a great job curating and presenting “75 Years of African Animated Films” at the festival.

The festival’s outstanding organizing team, led by Sandra Olivegren, took great care of us and for their Swedish hospitality I say, “Asante Sana!” (thank you very much). While in Stockholm we were treated to a lovely lunch at the Kenya Ambassador’s residence, courtesy of the Kenya Ambassador to Sweden Her Excellency Purity Muhindi. For that kindness I say to our gracious hostess and her staff, “Tack så mycket” (thank you very much).

This really was an opportunity to bring African Animation to the world.

Special thanks to Mark Kaigwa. You can read more about the experience on Mark Kaigwa’s post here.

RECON-Digital. Bringing African Animation to the World.

The Right to Dignity and Safety – UNICEF Kenya

This animated Public Service Communication was created for UNICEF Kenya as part of the 2009 international celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary since the establishment of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

The film tries to capture what it is sometimes like to be a child using the matatus which are a major part of the Kenyan public transport system. Children using public transport are often discriminated against and mistreated. Furthermore, they are often exposed to obscene behaviour and media content.

Children have a right to be protected from this and other similar plights.

Though the issues raised are disturbing, we are hopeful that through the work of UNICEF and other concerned individuals and groups, a lot of progress continues to be made in advocacy and protection of Children all around the world.

© UNICEF — Kenya

Producer: Fiyuhworks Ltd.

Production: RECON-Digital “Bringing African Animation to the World”

UNICEF Kenya PSA. Children have a right to be protected from this and other similar plights.

RECON-Digital. Bringing African Animation to the World.

The Right to Education and Safety – UNICEF Kenya

After a day at school, many children arrive home only to be mercilessly forced to go out onto the streets to work as hawkers, a practice that often compromises such children’s safety and well-being. By the time they get back home, it is late and they often are unable to do their homework. Many children from poor backgrounds are exploited in such ways, often at the expense of their education.

Children have a right to be protected from this and other similar plights.

Though the issues raised are disturbing, we are hopeful that through the work of UNICEF and other concerned individuals and groups, a lot of progress continues to be made in advocacy and protection of Children all around the world.

© UNICEF — Kenya

Producer: Fiyuhworks Ltd.

Production: RECON-Digital “Bringing African Animation to the World”

UNICEF Kenya PSA. Children have a right to be protected from this and other similar plights.

RECON-Digital. Bringing African Animation to the World.

The Right to Safety and Education – UNICEF Kenya

The evils of child molestation are depicted in this disturbing situation where a school teacher makes sexual advances towards a young girl. A classmate, seeing that the girl is in serious danger, brings help just in time. Thankfully the adults who were alerted to the situation heeded the call to action.

Children have a right to be protected from this and other similar plights.

Though the issues raised are disturbing, we are hopeful that through the work of UNICEF and other concerned individuals and groups, a lot of progress continues to be made in advocacy and protection of Children all around the world.

© UNICEF — Kenya
Producer: Fiyuhworks Ltd.
Production: RECON-Digital

The Right to a Healthy Environment – UNICEF Kenya

This child duo, created for UNICEF Kenya as part of the 2009 international celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary since the establishment of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), performs a poem which highlights some of the effects of climate change. We are all implored to think and act considerately so that will take better care of the Earth and our environment for the sake of the children who will have to live with the consequences of what is done to our planet.

Though the issues raised are disturbing, we are hopeful that through the work of UNICEF and other concerned individuals and groups, a lot of progress continues to be made in advocacy and protection of Children all around the world.

© UNICEF — Kenya
Producer: Fiyuhworks Ltd.
Production: RECON-Digital “Bringing African Animation to the World”

UNICEF Kenya PSA. Children have a right to be protected from this and other similar plights.

RECON-Digital. Bringing African Animation to the World.

The Greedy Lords of the Jungle – African Animation Short

Story Synopsis
Not so long ago, in a beautiful land, there lived a man. Unfortunately not everyone who came to the land was honest and true. Some folks were very greedy. These unjust individuals sought to take as much as they could from the man. Eventually, the man had suffered so much that he decided to find a way to deal with the problem.

The Allegory
Originally the story was an allegory about the disenfranchisement of the Africans by the Europeans especially during and after ‘the Scramble for Africa’. The principles are equally true of any situation in which one party, wrongfully and especially forcefully, acquires another party’s property or rights. Unfortunately this is a problem still rife in Africa and one that regularly rears its ugly head right here in Kenya. One need go no further than the I.D.P. problem and the numerous national scandals to find evidence of the effects of such vice.

The film’s tag line is, “The cost of justice is a price worth paying.”

From RECON-Digital comes an animated short film titled “The Greedy Lords of the Jungle”, based on a well-known Kenyan story. It is a story with a very significant place in Kenyan folklore and is the first in what will be a series of African animated short films.

The film was adapted and produced by Gatumia Gatumia. Production commenced in March 2008 and completed in February 2009. This film was made entirely in Kenya.

The Animation Process

This video clip gives a very general overview of the steps one goes through in producing an animated film. Enjoy the process.

© RECON-Digital. Bringing African Animation to the World.

A Milestone for East African Animation

At a special event held on 22nd June 2009, at the Kenya National Museum, RECON-Digital premiered its first short films. Those who spoke at the occasion included Nation Media Groups Chief Executive Officer Mr Linus Gitahi and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communications Dr Bitange Ndemo. The need to have a global outlook when developing our African animation products was emphasized. The two short films, namely “Domestic Disturbance” and “The Greedy Lords of the Jungle”, are quite possibly the first of their kind in the East Africa region and represent an important milestone.

©NTV (Nation Media Group)

RECON-Digital. Bringing African Animation to the World.