A great short film about a young man’s experience of homelessness and his reflections on the divide between the wealthy and the poor in modern day America. The film ends on an uplifting positive note which leaves you rooting for the protagonist.
“Silent Signal is an ambitious project that brings together six artists working with animation together with six leading biomedical scientists to create experimental animated artworks exploring new ways of thinking about the human body”
Image copyright Samantha Moore ‘Loop’ 2015
Image copyright Ellie Land ‘Sleepless’ 2015
The six animations are currently on a year long tour, with the latest exhibition at Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge until September 2016.
You can watch all of the films online on the silent signal website, alongside artist interviews and a useful science guide. Check out the every expanding events section to find out about screenings, public talks and workshops that support the tour.
Animate! projects with the Wellcome Trust has commissioned six artist/scientist teams to put forward ideas for possible animated works under a project called Silent Signal.
“Silent Signal explores how research into genetics, cell biology, immunology and epidemiology is advancing our understanding of how the human body communicates with itself, how it adapts to fight disease and how environment affects the chain reaction. Six biomedical scientists who are furthering these fields with cutting-edge research are collaborating with six artists who use a variety of animation techniques and new digital technologies in their artistic practice. Through these collaborations audiences will be engaged with the biological processes that their bodies perform with an artistic approach to communicating the science.”
They have published the process on their blog http://www.silentsignal.org/, which is a fascinating insight into the collaborative relationship between the scientists and artists. The site also shows work in progress of various applications of animation from animated documentary, participatory animated documentary, game art through to interactive experiences using animation.
‘The Vanni’ is a graphic novel set in Sri Lanka, India and the UK and follows the story of a fictional Tamil family living in a fishing village in Sri Lanka. The story starts in 2004 following the Tsunami and takes us through to the following conflict and then life for the family surviving as refugees.
The concept comes from Bejamin Dix, a former UN staff member who spent 4 years living in Sri Lanka until 2008 when all NGO’s were asked to leave Sri Lanka. He has teamed up with illustrator Lindsay Pollack. The story and images are based on his real life experiences of living and working with communities after the Tsunami and as refugees.
The graphic novel is still in production, but you can see an interactive preview on their website.
The Dole Animators are a group of first time animation film makers living in Leeds UK. Together, they have made a film about their experiences of the coalition government recent welfare reforms and the impact of the changes on their lives.
The film challenges a mainstream media rhetoric, which states that people choose a life on benefits and that this ‘choice’ is an easy lifestyle choice.
The film has been made with support from a researcher Ruth Patrick and film maker Ellie Land. You can read more about the project at the website below:
This animated oil-on-glass and live action documentary is centered on the campaign in Sierra Leone to get a 30% quota of women in parliament. Titles in the film explain that women took a key role in negotiating the peace process at the end of an 11 year civil war, however since then female politicians have had to deal with intimidation and misogyny as they navigate the political sidelines.
Animated Documentary reported on ‘30%’ in the early stages of production back in February 2012 and again once the film was finished and publicised by The Guardian in January 2013. And we liked it so much we felt it was worth reviewing too.
The animated sequences possess a luscious mixture of figurative and abstract imagery found most commonly in impressionism. Paint swims across the screen, smudging and slipping its sensual gloopy material around our vision with all the vibrancy of the region it refers to.
The metamorphic nature of the animated medium lends itself to turbulent tonal changes that take place in the opening sequence. The viewer zips though a busy Sierra Leone street into a viscous black void where we pass burning cars, violent gestures and feel the echoes of civil war. These melting edits are brought to great effect when combined with snappy sound design.
Following visual and audio darkness the screen literally swirls into the shape of Dr. Bernadette Lahai, one of the key political figures pushing forward the 30% quota bill. The rotoscoped image dissolves into live action. My feeling is that several of the video sequences possess considerably less flair than their animated counterparts. Such an uneven aesthetic could be said to threaten the impact of the short; but here it might be worth considering how disorientating an entirely rotoscoped 10 minute short could have been. Instead animation is reserved for storytelling and live action covers the communication of important details.
This film is fruitful both in its visuals and content. As a documentary the short conveys an under-reported theme in an engaging manor, while the animated sections are sumptuous in their appeal. At Animated Documentary we are always pleased to see such formal beauty and journalistic professionalism combined harmoniously!