When young minds travel half way around the globe and collaborate with their peers from another country, creativity thrives to produce powerful new ideas. Such was the spirit at the animation Summer School held this summer in Beijing, which brought together graduates from the world’s top animation schools: Gobelins of Paris and Communication University of China (CUC) of Beijing.
UNESCO’s office in Beijing, which supported the school, tapped into these creative minds and challenged them to develop animated short films that could help ordinary people understand the causes and the risks associated with the changing climate of the planet. To help the students get a better grip on the topic and understand its complexities, UNESCO’s science specialist made an introductory presentation to the students. The presentation traced the evolution of change in Earth’s climate, highlighting the last 50 years of accelerated rate of change as a result of human activities.
What followed was a month of hard work mixed with fun of interacting and working in a cross-cultural environment for both the French and Chinese students, resulting in the creation of five extraordinary animations of 40 seconds each. Crisp storyboards with humor and emotion combined with unique techniques of these animations deliver powerful and succinct messages on climate change that appeal as much to children and ordinary people, as they would to high-level policy makers from around the world.
The short films will soon be available on UNESCO’s YouTube and iTunes U channels while CUC will distribute them to national and local broadcasters in China. DVD’s may be requested from UNESCO Beijing office.
The Summer School concluded with a small ceremony at CUC where the animated short films were screened followed by an interactive session with the students. The films will now be screened at the forthcoming ANIWOW! 2011 student animation festival on 28 October 2011.