Kakenya

An animation for Vital Voices, an organisation working globally for women’s independence. This film tells the childhood story of Kakenya Ntaiya, a Masai woman who negotiated herself out of an arranged marriage and convinced her village to collect money for her to study in the USA. She has since returned to the village and built a girls’ school there.

Plum Flower Deer

A story about a pair of Plum Flower Deer, (native to parts of China), who are separated by an act of man but are rejoined in spirit. The Plum Flower Deer is one of the most auspicious, divine animals in Chinese culture. The Plum Flower Tree itself has been the subject of innumerable paintings and poems, representing courage and elegance. The film drew on Chinese tradition, and art. The film’s closing poem, by 12th century Southern Song Dynasty Chinese poet Lu You, tells of the rebirth of spring and the courage of the plum flower through winter.

Birthday Boy

The year is 1951, the place is Korea and there is a war going on. The hero of the story is Manuk. We first see him exploring the wreck of a downed plane looking for some ‘useful’ bits of metal. Manuk wanders around the town on his way home, playing perilously close to the railway – using the trains to flatten bits of metal which he uses to make small toys. There are some funny moments, he throws a stone during a game and it hits a cyclist. There is a poignant moment at the end when a parcel arrives. The audience is led to assume that his father has been killed in action and these are his possessions. Manuk does not realise.