180LA and UNICEF have earned the Cannes Grand Prix for Good for the "Unfairy Tales" campaign, a series of films that first seem to start out like sweet kids' stories but then take dramatic turns when you discover the children are fleeing for their lives from war-torn Syria. Among the stories were the tale above, "Malak and the Boat," which chronicled a seven-year-old girl's harrowing journey on the seas as the only survivor of a boat that had been once full of her fellow countrymen.
The Grand Prix for Good is chosen from all the Gold Lion-winning work that was created for charities or not for profit, as well as those with public service messages, with the exception of those awarded in Pharma, Health/Wellness, Innovation and Film Craft. Such efforts are not eligible for Grand Prix in their respective categories. The Titanium/Integrated Grand Prix jury determines the winner.
Read more about the category winners over at AdAge.com.
The juxtaposition of whimsical, light-hearted animation and heart-rending stories proves an effective tool in illustrating the plight of Syrian refugee children, in this powerful series of short films from UNICEF, created out of 180 Los Angeles.
"Unfairy Tales," tells what at first seem to start off as the sweet stories of three children, but things take a dramatic and, at times, terrifying turn when you discover they are fleeing for their lives from their war-torn country of Syria.
"Malak and the Boat" was the first tale to debut, and it chronicles the frightening journey on the seas of a seven-year-old girl, who, at the end of the trip, finds herself alone, the only survivor on a boat packed with her other countrymen. Another film, "Ivine and Pillow," recounts the story of a 14-year-old girl who survives bombings in her hometown and then settles into a German refugee camp -- the experience driving her to wake up in the morning with a pillow soaked with tears. A third film, "Mustafa Goes for a Walk," chronicles a boy's long, painful journey to safer haven, but in the process, he has to say farewell to those things that bring him comfort --his friends and his toys.
While the animation is so artfully rendered that it brings powerful emotional punch to the stories, the appearance of the real-life protoganists at the end of each short really drives the point home.
The short films mark the debut of UNICEF's #actofhumanity global initiative, designed to promote positive perception of the tens of millions of refugee children around the world.
The films were produced out of animations shops Consulado, House of Colors, Bubba's Chop Shop and Gilles+Cecilie Studio. They'll also be featured in an interactive e-book, created with Media Monks.
For another example of how powerful animation can be in delivering serious messages, check out this film from Grey New York for States United to Prevent Gun Violence.