Teddy’s Bears Picnic tells story of refugees

University of Portsmouth student wins award for animation

An animated film depicting teddy bears as refugees has won an award from the charity, Refugee Education Across Conflicts Trust (REACT).

Animation student, Ellie Baily-Jones, created the film, The Teddy Bears Picnic. She made it to educate young people about the plight of refugees. She won the award for her animation showing a family of teddy bears struggling to survive as refugees. 

“I wanted my film to appeal to adults and families wherever they are and so I had the idea to base the film on a nursery rhyme as it would appeal to both audiences. What you see is a family unit who appear to be on the run and it soon transpires that they are refugees.”

The charity told Ellie they had selected her film because it is told from a child’s point of view. Even though the animation is quite simple it conveys a lot of emotion.

Ellie, 21, has been studying animation at the University of Portsmouth. The film is the result of a course unit that asked students to create a one minute campaign for the charity. 

Ellie said “I really enjoy storytelling and animation. I love the idea of creating short films and I am hoping to work as a 2D animator or art worker in children’s television.”

Ellie said she was overwhelmed to win the award. “It was completely unexpected but I’m really pleased and happy that my work has been formally recognised. Winning the award coincided with graduating this week with a first class degree so my confidence has rocketed and I feel like it’s shown me that I’m good enough to be an animator/storyteller to make it my career.”

Ellie (right) receiving her award

Ellie (right) receiving her award

Course Leader, Eva Palacios, said “Ellie is a very talented storyteller so I am very pleased she has won the award; it was well-deserved.”



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