'Breaking the Cycle' is February's Film of the Month

17 Mar 2017 in Film of the Month

8 mins
'Breaking the Cycle' is February's Film of the Month

We're delighted to announce that our Film of the Month winner for February 2017 is Breaking the Cycle, a charming and poignant anti-bullying animation made by a group of ten children, aged between 5 and 11 years, from Brandon Estate Community Hall in London.

Breaking the Cycle (Recommended for ages 5+) sees the community of an estate finding their everyday lives disrupted by intimidating behaviour, and feel compelled to speak out. However, it's only when they are also prepared to listen that a much better environment emerges for everyone.

With unique hand-drawn animation, testimony from young people relating their own experiences, and impressionistic background sound design that helps tell the story, this short is charming, creative and presents a positive solution to a common situation.

As well as winning Film of the Month, Breaking the Cycle was also nominated for Best Animation: 12 and Under at this year's Into Film Awards.

A brave, heartfelt film which tells a difficult but necessary story and does so with lovely stop-motion animation. Really impressive!

Film of the Month Judge on 'Breaking the Cycle'

Breaking the Cycle was created by ten young filmmakers, under the leadership of Jaiden (11) and Haileigh (10), two siblings that drew on their own personal experiences of acute bullying and collaborated with younger children to pass on new skills as they learned them. The young people wrote and storyboarded the film, designed the characters, built the sets, operated the camera/software and voiced the dialogue themselves. Adults from The Rainbow Collective mentored them in the process and edited the film.

We caught up with the winning filmmakers to find out more: "I feel proud of myself actually", said Haileigh, aged 10. "It's a real sense of achievement because you wouldn't expect it to happen to you. We're not really recognised in the world. So this film is like a good chance for people to understand how bullying can affect people. Many people think that living on an estate is not good or nice, but with this animation I hope that we can show that you can do bigger things, whoever you are, wherever you are."

"The thing that inspired me for the subject of this film was the on-going vandalism around the estate. We were originally going to do a modern day fairy tale, and my mum said that most fairytales have an element of bullying in them. Being a victim of bullying myself, I thought it would be a good idea to make an animation about it."

"We were really excited and proud [to win Film of the Month]. The group are motivated to make more films now. We will use the vouchers we won to buy whatever materials we need pens, paper etc. Mum has already bought an iPad Touch and downloaded the stop motion app on to it, so now we need a dolly for the iPad to sit on!"

If you are concerned about something that happens in your area but you don't know to to express it, using film makes it easier and you could act it out. You can gather information from those who have experienced it first hand to shape your story a bit better.

Jaiden, aged 11

Jaiden and Haileigh's film will now be showcased to over 300,000 film club members online and on the Into Film YouTube channel, and the pair have also secured a £100 Amazon voucher plus an Into Film goodie bag with which to help further develop their future films. If you've been inspired by February's winner, find out more about how you can enter our ongoing Film of the Month competition.

If you enjoyed Breaking the Cycle, why not try these related films:

  • Paulie (2012, Unclassified, 10 mins) Engaging for 5+
    Super-intelligent Paulie feels threatened when someone he previously considered no academic threat challenges his position at the top of the class. Outraged at no longer being the best, he is convinced that his new competitor is a cheat and, in his investigations, discovers far more about him that he bargained for.
  • The Ant Bully (2006, U, 91 mins) Engaging for 5+
    Frustrated Lukas finds himself taking his anger out on the local ants, who shrink him down, and force him to see the world from their perspective. Learning to work together as a team to sort out their problems, Lukas uses his new knowledge when he's returned to full size to make a positive impact on those around him.
  • Felix (2013, Unclassified, 94 mins) Engaging for 7+
    When Felix is given a scholarship to a prestigious new school thanks to his musical talent, he is at first treated like an outsider. But with some new friends and his skill at moving people through music, he eventually manages to win over those who have treated him with prejudice.
  • Bridge to Terabithia (2007, PG, 93 mins) Engaging for 7+
    A group of young people who are made to feel like outcasts find a creative way to get their own back, but in doing so discover that the person bullying them is going through their own serious issues, forcing them to reconsider their response.

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