25 March 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
Irish Animators Teach at Ramallah Film Fest
05 Aug 2004 :

Irish animators Gary Rosborough and Jan Caspers have just returned from Palestine where they taught the art of animation to local children as part of the Ramallah International Film Festival of Plasticine.

The five day workshop formed part of an outreach education programme in the festival which aims to aims to establish a cultural infrastructure in the country, encouraging the emergence of Palestinian cinema and art on the international stage. Run by Palestinian film producer Adam Zuabi and Fatin Farhat, the festival is hoping to introduce young Palestinians to cinema and television production.

The workshop took place in late July with popularity soaring from a class of 5 to a final class of over 20 per day. Gary Rosborough is the Nerve Centre’s animator-in-residence he says, “Once the children were made aware of the possibilities of working with clay they created aliens, space ships and European houses and gardens, which they don’t have. We then used the animation computer package to create short films of their pieces, which they found to be an enthralling process.”

Jan Caspers introduced the children to Story Films with similar resounding success. Story films are paper films made from coloured tissue paper collages assembled onto a long roll of masking tape film and presented as a series of still images in a light box illustrating the live narration of a story. This technologically independent form of animation was particularly appealing to the children.

Before their departure Gary and Jan installed the animation package on the youth centre’s computers to enable the children to continue making animation models and films and teach the craft to their peers.

“It was great to be a part of the first Ramallah International Film Festival and hand on the skill of animation to the local children and we hope to return next year” says Jan.

The British Council in association with Gaslight Productions funded the trip. The Animator-in Residence position at the Nerve Centre, filled by Gary Rosborough, is funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

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