Olympic Torchure


Written by Heydon Prowse
08 Thursday 08th May 2008

Animator Yasmeen Ismail of Sweetworld TV is half Chinese and spent many summer school holidays in Hong Kong. During these family trips she became influenced by ‘Hello Kitty’ and other 'kawaii' characters. We had a chat:

How did you come to make these cartoons for Amnesty?

We worked with Amnesty before in 2006. We did a short film for them for the Secret Policeman’s Ball. That film won a British Animation Award. So when this came up we had a meeting with them and ate some cake and that’s how we came to make these cartoons. I hope we are worthy. We feel very honoured to be asked by Amnesty. We believe very strongly in what they stand for.

Were you given a brief?

Amnesty had specific ideas in mind. They wanted to use caricatures of the ‘Fuwa’ or ‘Freindlies’ - the five cute characters that China is using as the official Olympic mascots.

Does humour work/is it appropriate when dealing with issues as serious as this?

It's funny to begin with but tragic at the end. Shock value is worth something. Animation makes these issues accessable. I think you have more of a bond with the character than you would in live action.


To find out more, visit www.amnesty.org

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