Message in a film: Fast food impact

Happy planet team:
Image Credit: Xpress/ Karen Dias
SAE students with filmmaker Donna Don, second from right
XPRESS

 Dubai: A short animated 3D film showing the Amazonian rainforest being destroyed by bulldozers and the impact of fast food on the environment is being readied for Dubai schools.

The Happy Planet Project is a one-minute film that aims at educating children on the benefits of healthy eating while raising awareness on environmental issues. Filmmaker Donna Don, who runs Unmedicated Productions, has written the script for the movie that combines colourful cartoons with hard facts and shows how the fast food industry is impacting our environment.

Aided by a team of four animation students from the School of Audio Engineering (SAE), Don, who has been working on the project since December, said the film would be an "antidote" to the mass marketing of junk food.

"I want this film to change children's mindset on fast food and make them think about the source of food and the benefits of healthy options like fruit and vegetables," she said.

The film begins in the Amazonian rainforest as a 2D cartoon, where the peace of the forest is disrupted by a bulldozer bringing down the trees. It then switches to cows being taken from a field to a factory only to re-emerge in the form of hamburgers. The second half of the film is in 3D and features a scene from the Godfather movie.

"In the original, the Godfather dies while he is with the young child among tomato plants, but in ours he stays alive because of the healthy diet he has been following. The animation has been made by interns from SAE who were given a tight one-month deadline. We've had a lot of positive feedback from the government and I hope it will be shown in schools," Don said.

Animation team member Mahdi Sobhi, 29, from Iran, said: "We divided the work between us: designing, modelling, rigging, which means building a 3D mesh for the animation."

The group has been working five-six days a week. The animation will be completed by August and the movie will be completed by October or November.

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