Project Description

The brief

The British Council asked us to make a short film to explain and promote their Active Citizens programme. The Active Citizens operates in 40+ countries and has a global reach of well over 20million; encouraging and helping to deliver social action projects in diverse communities.

The film needed to appeal to local organisations that may become partners in delivering the programme and also act as a recruitment tool for potential participants. The diversity of the people, communities and projects generated by Active Citizens is underpinned by one common denominator, the British Council’s unique ‘Learning Journey’; which takes individuals on a path to learn about their own identity and culture in order to work effectively together to understand their communities and create social action projects that address important local issues.

The challenge for Bold was to translate this abstract learning process into universally understandable pictures, in a way that was culturally sensitive and all-inclusive of the diverse locations in which the programme runs.

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What we did
In order to gain insight into the real-life impact Active Citizens has on people’s lives, we met with local organisations and previous participants in East London to hear their individual experiences of the programme.

We then worked closely with the British Council to work these stories into a script that gave tangible oomph to their core messaging.

Since the success of the programme is based on human connections and hand-made projects, we felt the best way to communicate this would be through the use of mixed-medium, stop motion animation, using pencil drawings combined with a paper cut-out set and characters.

Working with a small team of stop motion animators, every house, tree, pair of trousers and hair do was painstakingly hand-cut over the course of five days by a small task-force of scissor-wielding ninjas. The stop-motion action was filmed over a further ten days before the pencil animation, music and SFX brought the story to life.

The film is now being screened in over 40 countries around the world and helping to attract the attention and support the programme so justly deserves.

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