A great film on girls’ rights wins an international prize (and my sister in law made it)

June 18, 2013

     By Duncan Green     

Time for a spot of well-deserved nepotism. My sister in law, Mary Matheson, makes films for Plan International and yesterday won a prize at the Annecy International Animation Festival 2013. Chosen from more than 2000 entries, her animation “I’ll Take It From Here”, shot in Malawi last summer for Plan’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign, won the UNICEF Award for best film promoting children’s rights.

Mary writes:

‘We are both daunted and thrilled to see our film in the same programme as animation giants Disney Pixar (Monsters University) and Illumination Pictures (Despicable Me 2).

It’s nerve-wracking to see our film on such a big screen, having never watched it with more than five people in the room. We have no idea what to expect from this audience of 250. But their reaction is incredible. They are mesmerised as they watch and laugh in all the right places. They even clap and cheer at the end! (I should add that they do this for most films, but hey, still it’s great to hear.)’

Luckily she says she didn’t come over all Gwyneth Paltrow, and was able to talk a bit about the campaign when she won the award. Oh, and it was her first attempt at stop motion animation. Kudos, sis-in-law.

Would that all NGO shorts were anywhere near as good as this. But all too often, they are dull, worthy, predictable, patronising and plagued by excruciating 1950s Pathe Newsreel-style voiceovers. Watch and learn, people.

June 18, 2013
Duncan Green