Factory Fifteen: Jonah

Kibwe Tavares’ vision for “Jonah” is a unique one. Though the film is laden with visual effects from Factory Fifteen and Jellyfish Pictures, they are there only to serve the story.

Themes of greed, hubris and loss are rendered in moving performances by the film’s three primary actors, Daniel Kaluuya, Malachi Kirby and Louis Mahoney. But the city is a star, too. Its ever-changing facades communicate the passage of time and the painful decay of a dream.


Mbwana and his best friend Juma are two young men with big dreams. These dreams become reality when they photograph a gigantic fish leaping out of the sea and their small town blossoms into a tourist hot-spot as a result. But for Mbwana, the reality isn’t what he dreamed – and when he meets the fish again, both of them forgotten, ruined and old, he decides only one of them can survive. Jonah is a big fish story about the old and the new, and the links and the distances between them. A visual feast, shot though with humour and warmth, it tells an old story in a completely new way.

VFX Breakdown

Full credits on the Vimeo page.

Hat tip to Ash Thorp.

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About the author

Justin Cone

/ justincone.com
Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.


Steve U (@steveutaski)

“Though the film is laden with visual effects from Factory Fifteen and Jellyfish Pictures, they are there only to serve the story. ”

Whoa vfx that serve the story? Breakthrough! I thought vfx were just gratuitous eye candy to help cover up a lack of story.

Sweet flic, btw.


incredible work, loved the fish

Jens Mebes

Beautiful story with purposefully designed effects.

NES Nick

That was amazing. The acting was great. The animation and visual effects in the town were great. I think a lot of big studios would take this and stretch it into a boring 1:30 – 2:00 hour movie. But this story was concisely told in about 15 minutes. And done very well. I watched it twice. Great work!

Spoiler Alert:
I thought the old man in the second half was on older Juma trying to get revenge for Mbwana’s death, since we see a flashback of Mbwana being eaten by Jonah. That is a bit confusing for me. Did I miss something? But overall, I loved this.

Sarah Mines

Hi Justin, Sarah Mines here from Franklin Rae Communications, do you think it would be possible to add the following into this piece? ‘Kibwe and Factory Fifteen have recently signed to Nexus’. Don’t worry if not your policy.

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