FOMACS animation short selected for 'Stranger
Than Fiction Documentary Film Festival'

'The Memory Box', a 5-minute  animation project  by the Forum on Migration and Communications (FOMACS) based in DIT Aungier Street, and first in a series of three interconnected and stand-alone animated stories on the topic of immigrant 'family reunification', has been accepted into the Shorts programme in the upcoming 'Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Film Festival' (13-16 September), Irish Film Institute.

The series, titled 'Abbi's Circle', follows the adventures of Abbi, a young Nigerian schoolgirl who lives in Dublin with her mother, Lillian. Through Abbi's  eyes we experience the obstacles facing migrants, wanting to be reunited with family members in Ireland. Abbi grows bolder and wiser throughout the series, introducing her audience to new characters and diverse family situations. FOMACS uses the term 'documation' to bridge the genres of animation and documentary; the stories are drawn from migration NGO case studies, registering the stressful immigrant experience of applying for family reunification. 'Abbi's Circle' uses animation to dramatise the real effects of immigration policy, targeting 7-11 year olds, in addition to a cross-over audience of teachers and parents.

In 'The Memory Box', Abbi is about to graduate from primary school and wants her father Kunle, who lives in Lagos, to visit. The simple device of a 'memory box' facilitates entry into Abbi's imaginary world, mixed with her desire to have her Dad attend her graduation ceremony,  along with all the other Dads. For Abbi, it seems so unfair that her one wish is denied by the vagaries of a mysterious bureaucratic machine.

The FOMACS animation series will be disseminated in three ways:

i.    Via animation film festivals both in Ireland and internationally. Key festivals and markets include 'Annecy (France), MIPCOM (France) and Kidsscreen Summit (USA).

ii.     Through an extensive community outreach distribution package, comprising a combination of DVD and print media toolkits for each short. This outreach will ensure that the films and  toolkits will be made available throughout all primary schools in Ireland; this will be achieved through already established networks between FOMACS, the Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) and the Educate Together Schools. Each toolkit will include DVD copies of the films, together with educational resources pertaining to film content, lesson plans and activity sheets.

iii.     Broadcast on national and international territories and networks. RTE have recently approached FOMACS to do a piece about the animation series and children watching The Memory Box on their programme 'News2day'.

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