‘Portraits’ curated by Art & Graft for autism charity Spectrum

Five beautifully designed and animated short films about individuals who UK autism charity Spectrum work with, made by Art & Graft, Matthias Hoegg, Mikey Please, Kristian Andrews and Sebastien Eballard.

You can watch all the films from the project page here

There’s also a film by Art & Graft about the charity and what they do on their website at
http://www.spectrumasd.org

‘Wham! Bam! Islam!’ by Isaac Solotaroff

A live action documentary which follows the creation of Muslim comic book heroes and uses animated sequences to bring the characters to life.

“WHAM! BAM! ISLAM! tells the story of Naif Al-Mutawa and his venture to create the first team of superheroes from the Muslim world called THE 99. Following the tumultuous journey of THE 99 from concept to reality, from acclaim to censure, from the edge of bankruptcy to a multi-million dollar animation series, Al-Mutawa dodges cultural minefields and confronts the harsh realities of the global marketplace in pursuit of his vision to bring new heroes to children around the world.”

You can watch clips on the film’ website: http://whambamislam.com and download the film from iTunes’ US store here.

More from ‘The Wrong Trainers’ for the BBC

From Beakus in London, two more segments in the BBC’s series on child poverty ‘the Wrong Trainers’ for kids’ news programme Newsround. The series won awards from BAFTA and the National Television Society.

Here’s Danielle’s story, directed by Leigh Hodgkinson:
http://beakus.com/blog/newsround-danielles-story

And here’s Semera’s story, directed by Steve Smith:
http://littlebeak.com/blog/newsround-on-poverty

‘Maisha’ by Hannah Klein and Abi Welsh

Project in progress – an animation and documentary project with a participatory focus made with a group of school children in Mlali, a village in Tanzania, East Africa. We look forward to seeing the outcome, here’s a little about their project:

Central to the project will be an ethic of collaboration, where a group of community members will be encouraged, through the use of small camcorders, to document life as they see it. We will carry out animation, character design and story telling classes in the school, and characters designed by the children will feature in the final cut. The completed film will be made up of the community’s footage, material detailing the filming process and the animation. Because of this format, we will go to Tanzania, not with a set story line or definite point of interest, but with a framework through which community members can develop their own narratives and express their own interests and stories.

The final film, edited and produced partly in Mlali with community members, will consist of an intersection of these narratives, both in film and animated format. On returning to the UK, by entering the film into festivals and shows, we hope to reflect to a global audience a genuine portrayal of every-day life in East Africa, as well as the creativity and vibrancy that exists there.

http://www.indiegogo.com/maisha

“Ek Anek Aur Ekta” by Vijaya Mulay

Here, a glimpse into government-sponsored short films of 1980s India. Doordarshan, the national broadcaster, regularly screened this popular film for kids. The title translates directly as “one, many and unity” and the film is designed to spread the message of unity in diversity among children.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8DZUKQClvc

Director Vijaya Mulay, now 91, reveals something of the commissioning process in this interview:

http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/18/the-cartoon-that-taught-indians-the-meaning-of-many/

‘Wham! Bam! Islam!’ by Isaac Solotaroff

A live action documentary about the creation of a comic book of Muslim heroes, which uses animated sequences to bring the comic characters to life. The film tells the story of Naif Al-Mutawa’s journey to produce and distribute an animated TV series for children.

Clips on the film’s website: http://whambamislam.com and available for download on iTunes here.

‘Silence’ by Orly Yadin & Sylvie Bringas

After fifty years a Holocaust survivor recalls her time as a child in the camps, and afterwards with relatives in Sweden; based on the experiences of Tana Ross.

http://archive.org/details/OrlyYadinSylvieBringasSilence

Awards:
Best Animation, Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia 1999
Grand Prix, Odense Film Festival, Denmark 1999
Gold Hugo Animated Short, Chicago International Film Festival, USA 1998
Best Short Film, Oslo Animation Festival, Norway 1998
Fist Prize: Shorts, Cinanima International Animation Festival, Portugal 1998

‘Hidden’ by Hanna Heilborn, David Aronowitsch & Mats Johansson

Described as ‘the first CGI-animated documentary film’ this short taking the form of an interview with a hidden refugee child in Sweden has been screened at over 100 festivals and won many awards.

This is the first of three animadoc films by directors Heilborn & Aaronowitsch, the second being ‘Slaves’ and the third ‘Sharaf’ – at the time of writing still a work-in-progress.

http://www.story.se/films/hidden

Selected Awards:
Best Int. Short Documentary, Hot Docs Int. Doc. Festival, Toronto, Canada, 2003
Best Short, Fajr International Film Festival, Teheran, Iran 2003
Best documentary, FIKE, Portugal, 2003