Altrüus + Zajno
Catalina Film Festival x 1
Zajno’s splashing debut in animated short film production
Origami is Zajno’s very first animated film that we have made in collaboration with Altrüus, an experiential gifting platform. Francisco Bonilla Kuhlmann, CEO of Altrüus and our old friend, reached us out one day with an unusual request. He said that his mother is a short story writer and that it would be a great Birthday present for her if we turned one of her stories into an animated short film. On hearing that our team got super excited as we love creative projects and making a cartoon is as creative and thrilling as it gets. Origami has become the most special project we have ever worked on here at Zajno.
Film gives food for though
Japan. A man loses his wife and in his sorrow, he dives into origami - his deceased wife’s passion - trying to find comfort in the paper world he is creating. His new passion becomes an obsession that takes a sudden turn when his paper figures start coming alive. We started by adapting the story into a screenplay. Just like in the original script, we kept the ending open, allowing the audience to reach their own conclusions. We were thrilled by how many different interpretations the viewers have already had. We think it is beautiful that our film can give food for thought or even spark a philosophical discussion.
A tune could tell the story
As the story is set in Japan, one of our core objectives was to capture the essence of Japanese culture and translate it through visual and musical tools. Our digital artist and motion designer did their best at creating and animating a hundred unique illustrations. But this was only half of the job. We all know how much depends on good sound design. This is especially true for films without speech where music is largely responsible for creating the right atmosphere and emotional context. That’s why we spared no effort in composing a powerful soundtrack going through multiple iterations and using various music instruments including some authentic Japanese ones. As a result, we got a tune that could tell the story on its own, which added a lot of impact to the overall effect the film creates.
"This is the best gift I’ve ever received in my entire life"
Monica Kuhlmann, the author of the story
What is the result?
Got nominated for Best Animated Short Film at Catalina Film Festival
For the 1st time adapted a story into a screenplay
Drew 95 unique illustrations for the storyboard
Created a top-notch emotional soundtrack using such music instruments as oud, guitar, keyboard, piano, singing bowl, Japanese cymbals Dobatsu, and Tibetan bells
The cartoon has become Zajno’s debut in animated short film production
Awards & Recognitions
Catalina Film Festival
Nominated for Best Animated Short Film