Films from smaller charities this week. Toybox tells the transformational story of Maria, Redress demands justice for survivors of torture and Book Aid gives an uplifting portrait of a Ugandan village library.
You don’t always need a big budget to make a high impact film – a good idea always trumps an expensive treatment. We’re always keen to see what can be done with limited budgets and we’re always impressed by what can be achieved with creativity, planning and imagination.
1. MY NAME IS MARIA: Toybox
Elegantly simple animations combined with live action backgrounds give this film an authentic feel.
This video from street children’s charity, Toybox, tells the story of Maria – a girl from Guatemala who ends up on the street and falls in with a gang. Her life is changed when a worker, funded by Toybox helps her. The power of the film comes from the interplay between the childlike animation of Maria and the background images, which are still shots of scary looking streets. There is a strong script, delivered by a child actor, that satisfyingly resolves Maria story.
2. 20th ANNIVERSARY: Redress
Classic documentary techniques allow the survivors of torture to tell their stories to powerful effect.
Produced by veteran TV director and sometime Guardian film maker, Fiona Lloyd-Davies, this film was made to mark the twentieth anniversary of Redress, a charity that helps torture victims secure justice and compensation. A great deal of thought has gone into the look of the film using strong black and white images and atmospheric locations to good effect. Although longer than most charity films – it’s nearly 15 minutes – it gives a clear introduction to the work of the charity and treats the survivors with dignity and compassion.
3. A LIBRARY AT THE HEART OF THE COMMUNITY: Book Aid
Lovely location shooting and some engaging characters gives this film real colour.
Shot in Uganda for reading charity, Book Aid, this film shows what can be done on a very limited budget. The film tells the story of what a library can do to transform the hopes of a rural African village. We meet a number of people – school children, small business people and farmers – who’ve been able to improve their lives through the information they’ve gleaned from books in their library. Shot by BookAid staff and then professionally edited, it’s authentic and personal.