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Animated series for kids being produced in Kelowna

The Condor is a new children's series featuring a condor and a beaver.
Image Credit: Contributed/ Okanagan Film Commission
September 14, 2017 - 1:59 PM

KELOWNA - A new, animated children’s series made in Kelowna is due to come online later this year.

Saturn Animation Studios of Kelowna, in association with Colombian animation Signos Studio SAS, is starting work on The Condor, a series about the fun adventures of a Colombian condor and a Canadian beaver, Okanagan Film Commissioner Jon Summerland announced in a media release.

“The Condor is passionate and emotional in his Latin American way, while the Canadian beaver is kind and brave. Combined into one person, they would make a splendid character, but perhaps not a very engaging animation. But two characters with such different personalities make an explosive combination – just what’s needed to make a good story,” Nazim Ragimov, with Saturn Animation, says in the release.

The Canada Media Fund will support the project under its funding program for international projects. There has never been a project quite like this one in the Okanagan, Summerland says.

The series will be published as an animated web series and as an interactive app for mobile devices.

“Imagine you’re watching a series, then you want to read the story it is based on, and then to meet the main characters online, receive a postcard from them or send a message to them. That gives you much more of an all-round experience of the story than if you just watch an episode or read a script,” Ragimov says.


Ragimov founded Saturn Animation Studios four years ago in Kelowna and has since produced ten interactive apps based on classic children’s fairy tales with original illustrations, animation and games, according to the release.

“When I took our fairy tales to international exhibitions and showed them to professionals who could appreciate not just the artistic side, but also how they were put together technically, they were all amazed that a small studio had managed to publish ten stories of such a standard within the first few years of our existence. With no outside support,” Ragimov says.

There had, in fact, been support, just not of the material kind, says Summerland. Straight after moving from Russia to Canada, Ragimov joined the startup community Accelerate Okanagan. The studio’s first mentor there was Raghwa Gopal, who last year was appointed CEO of Accelerate.

In the nearly four years that the studio has existed, Ragimov felt like giving it all up several times and starting another project. But, every time, he decided to keep going, even though the problems often snowballed, and friends kept asking him the same question: why invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in projects that aren’t profitable? But he carried on.

“I felt I was doing the right thing,” Nazim says. “And it doesn’t really matter how much money I put into it. What matters is that the fairy tales made by the studio are probably the best work I’ve done in my life. And another thing. I’m more convinced than ever that there are some simple rules in life that really do work. If you want to win, cut off your line of retreat, put yourself in a do-or-die situation so you can either fall into the abyss, or you can win.”

The Condor project gets underway in September with the first two episodes due to appear online and in app stores this December.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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