From left: Mahdi Sobhi, SAE Dubai animation student, Donna Don, filmmaker, Sreeram Premachandran and Dimiti Jerikhine, working on The Happy Planet. Image Credit: KAREN DIAS /Xpress

Animation students from the SAE Institute Dubai are part of one woman's quest to improve the nation's health through a 60-second animation, promoting the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

The idea for The Happy Planet Project came to Donna Don, a filmmaker and owner of Unmedicated Productions, when she was a student at SAE Dubai.

"It's about making people think about where their food comes from and sustainable eating, because logistically fruits and vegetables are the healthiest environmentally friendly food source," she added.

Public service

In an attempt to improve the wellbeing of the UAE society, Don, with the help of four interns from SAE Dubai — Mahdi Sobhi, Ragini Nagu, Sreeram Premachandran and Dimitri Jerikhine — hopes to release the 3-D animation in October.

Don aims to launch the animation at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) in December, but not as a competitor. "I'd like them to promote it as a public service announcement run with films," Don said.

"You have to push people towards things, so if it's [the animation] up front and pushed by society, then of course it will take effect," said Jerikhine.

However, the students can't help but feel their humble, yet honourable, efforts being overshadowed by global corporations.

"We can't compete with big fast food corporations that sponsors events like the World Cup," said Jerikhine. "A junk food chain is sponsoring a sports event and a sport promotes health," added Sobhi.

"Rather than have billions of dollars spent on brilliant creative minds making fast food attractive to everybody why not use them to promote health?"

A viewing platform for the finished product has yet to be determined, said Don.