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Animation films elicit strong emotions, tell stories in unique way: French director

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Animation films elicit strong emotions, tell stories in unique way: French director

2024-06-20 01:19 Last Updated At:06:27

Animation is a genre which offers filmmakers the freedom to fully express themselves and tell stories in a unique way while eliciting strong emotions from audiences, according to renowned French director Benjamin Renner.

Renner, best known for his work in animation, is serving as the jury president for the animation section of the ongoing 26th Shanghai International Film Festival.

Renner, who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature for his film "Ernest and Celestine" in 2014, believes that animated films tell stories differently from live action movies.

"I think there's something about the production of an animated movie that's quite different from live action. Live action happens very fast. You're in front of actors and you shoot them. Of course, you have to do a lot of special effects and stuff like that. In animation, everything is very slow. So that's a great thing about animation is that you can decide everything. Every line can be decided, can be chosen," he said in an interview with the China Global Television Network (CGTN).

Renner, who says he has been fascinated by animal fables since he was a child, says he loves to use animals as characters because they can connect with any audience.

"I think it comes from my childhood. You know in France, we have a very big tradition of making tales of animals, like fables. I've learned all those tales when I was a kid. And I used to draw them and when I grew up, I realized that I love drawing animals. Even when I went to zoos and I was just drawing the animal right in front of me. The great thing about animals is that you can talk to any kind of audience. If I do a fox, they won't think 'Oh, it's a Chinese fox or an American fox or French fox'. It's just a fox. It's really removing all the cultural barriers," he said.

When it comes to his favorite Chinese animation, he brought up "Deep Sea", a Chinese animated fantasy screened in 2023.

"The latest one I talked about it was actually a Chinese movie called 'Deep Sea' about a little girl taken away in a world, a realm under the ocean. It really struck me, this movie. It was really, really weird in a good way, very different from what I'm used to seeing. And again that's what I loved about watching animation movies is that you connect with them very quickly and at the same time I could really feel the whole culture behind it that's very different from mine and something that I would have never thought of doing, the kind of storytelling that I would never do," he said.

As for the qualities he will be looking for when awarding animated films as jury president, Renner says his judgment will depend more on his feelings instead of fixed notions of artistic quality.

"For me, I am always focusing more, like I always try to keep sort of innocence when I watch a movie. Is it taking me away? Is it making me feel strong things? So, I am not really putting barrier on the artistic quality of a movie. You can make a very strong emotional movie with very few drawings. And you can do the opposite and make something absolutely splendid with no story and you will feel emotions. So that's more of what I am going to feel when I am watching the movie that's going to take over my judgment," he said.

This year's Shanghai International Film Festival got underway in the Chinese metropolis on Friday and lasts for 10 days. It is screening over 460 films from around the world, with 14 domestic and international works vying for this year's coveted Golden Goblet Awards.

Animation films elicit strong emotions, tell stories in unique way: French director

Animation films elicit strong emotions, tell stories in unique way: French director

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Sewing workshop struggles in ruins to mend clothes for displaced Gaza residents

2024-07-19 22:05 Last Updated At:22:57

A sewing workshop has been operating in ruins to mend worn-out clothes for displaced Palestinians in the war-torn Gaza Strip, as Israel's continuous destruction of the enclave has made new clothes a luxury almost impossible to come by or afford.

The UN humanitarian coordinator for Gaza said in early July that a total of 1.9 million people, around 80 percent of the region's population, were displaced.

However, in a room behind demolished walls in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, a sewing workshop has quietly been set up, with some workers using sewing machines recovered from a bombed-out tailoring workshop to provide mending services.

"I opened the workshop after I was able to recover the sewing machines and some fabric from the old factory. I work to serve all the displaced people of the Gaza Strip, such as people from the al-Mawasi area in Khan Younis and the Nuseirat [refugee camp]," said Abu Samer Shaat, the workshop owner.

The prolonged and intense Israel-Hamas conflict has forced a great number of Gazan families to flee from one place to another. Due to the continuous destruction of their homes and shelters, all they left were the clothes they wear.

Shops, markets and factories were turned into rubble as a result of the Israeli bombing, and the surviving trading sites in Gaza also suffer a shortage of clothes and fabrics due to Israel's ban on entry of goods and materials.

"Our clothes became loose. We had to take them to tailors to mend them as they had become worn out. There are no new clothes in the market. If there are a few, the prices will be very high, and we will not be able to buy them because we do not have any source of income. Our entire lives have come to a halt," said Hoda Al-Maghari, a displaced Palestinian.

Sewing workshop struggles in ruins to mend clothes for displaced Gaza residents

Sewing workshop struggles in ruins to mend clothes for displaced Gaza residents

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