The Animated Documentary – Reimagining Real-Life Stories in Animation

This nine-week course covers crucial aspects of research, identifying protagonists and developing a sensitive interviewing style as well as innovative and emotive animation techniques to create animated documentaries about topics which can be too sensitive to film as live action.

This nine-week course is often tutored by award-winning international specialists in animation and documentary from India and the USA.

The course usually has an overall thematic focus which, because the protagonists can remain anonymous in the animated documentary form, allows students to tackle subjects which might be too sensitive to be made into live action films. Recent focuses include gender-based violence, conflict-based stories and films about co-existence of different religious and ethnic groups.

The course opens with a three-week audio workshop which guides the students in identifying protagonists, recording testimonials and editing soundtracks. The students also learn key lessons about personal safety and ‘do no harm’ before going out into the field – sometimes to isolated and/or conflict-affected areas across Myanmar – to research and record the personal stories for their films. Upon returning to YFS, the students are trained in how to edit their field recordings into clear, succinct and effective audio tracks.

Once the audio tracks for the films are completed, the students participate in a six-week animation course which gives them intensive training in animation techniques – including stop motion, cut-out, digital and sand animation – as well as storyboarding, sound and music for animation and the animatic process. The tutor mentors the teams as they create their short animated films.

Take a look at how this course works in the film About the 2016-17 Docuanimation Course below.  Notable films that were made during this and other editions of this course include That's Not Love, Limbo and Our Town.


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