5 March 2021
Regeneration, an AFU film from 2007 created by Freddie Barber, has been selected by Cambridge University to feature in its EU-funded Dialogue and Argumentation for Cultural Literacy Learning in Schools (DIALLS) international programme. The AFU was established in 2003 and began by producing purely documentary films, but Regeneration was one of the Unit’s first hand-drawn animations and saw Freddie working with guidance from award-winning animators including Joanna Harrison (The Snowman) and Geoff Dunbar (Ubu, The Cunning Little Vixen and his latest collaboration with Sir Paul McCartney When Winter Comes, which can be seen here).
The DIALLS programme uses wordless short films and picture books to stimulate classroom discussions about social responsibility and living together in 21st century Europe. Students participating in the project create their own artworks in response to the texts they have seen. An important outcome of the project is a vast, open-access multilingual corpus of more than 100 discussions in pre-primary, primary and secondary classrooms. The project involves nine countries working with schools to understand and develop how young people make sense of Europe and its differing cultures, and aims to help them to better communicate with each other and understand each other’s perspectives.
Freddie, who is currently living and working in France, made a number of striking and successful animation films in his time as a member of the AFU. Like us, he has been delighted by the adoption of his schoolboy film for such a worthy and wide-ranging project. It reminds us that films can have a life of their own long after they have been made, and find new audiences when least expected. You can see Freddie’s film on this page of the DIALLS website and read more about the project here