3  Best Charity Videos to watch this week

An international flavour to this week’s selection with some great charity videos  from the Red Cross (Belgium), Foundation Against Drugs (Spain) and the Canadian Safe Schools Network (Canada). Creative ideas from all of them but the Safe Schools Network is really quite shockingly effective.

For me, the takeaway point from these charity videos is that clear visual storytelling or powerfully simple creative trumps tricky visuals.

1. Kids Read Mean Tweets: Safer Schools Network

My film of the week, it’s creative and hard hitting. Very effective.

Designed to make children aware of the devastating nature of on-line bullying, this film shows a series of children reading out hurtful messages they’ve received. Initially they’re almost amusing and the canned laughter sound track adds to a jovial feeling, but as the insults become more vicious, the faces of the young people reveal their hurt and the laughter track dies away. Very powerful.


So far (26/3/15) it’s had 2.5 million views on YouTube.

2. Blood: Red Cross Belgium

Beautiful visual storytelling and a clear message

Starting with a striking shot of the aftermath in an operating theatre, the film tracks backwards in time showing the journey taken by a unit of donated blood. Wonderfully clear and beautifully shot visuals tell the story with no need for voice over. It ends without a specific call to action, just the bold The Red Cross, that’s you.


3. Construye / Builds: Foundation Against Drug Addiction

Beautifully shot but slightly lacking in impact.

This film tries to make the case that by being creative, by building things – friendships, careers, art, hobbies etc there will be less room in people’s lives for drugs. I was slightly baffled – even watching the English version – as some of the images could be for clothing brands, car adverts etc. If you watched it with the sound off, you’d be hard pressed to figure out what the advert was saying…

English version is available on the Guardian Ad Break site

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Jeremy Jeffs is a documentary film maker with 15 years experience of directing films for BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic and PBS. He’s recently finished work on a history of China, with broadcaster Michael Wood and his recent feature documentary, Bette Bourne, was shown at the London Film Festival, Sheffield International Documentary Festival and the V&A.

Magneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with the charity sector, not-for-profits and the public sector. We specialise in telling real stories, working with casestudies and real people to make films that move people to action.

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