We travelled to Malawi to work alongside the charities In Tune for Life,  Theatre for a Change and Christian Aid, and with the communities they work in, to produce this animation about gender equality and HIV prevention (Mofanana means ‘Equals’ in the local language).

The animation was filmed with real actors, and the footage worked on in After Effects post production to create a very intimate hand-made look, simulataneously making it striking and abstracting the events into the wider struggle of people across the country.  The backgrounds were based on real locations in Malawi, and created in watercolour to fit the hand-made aesthetic.

Members of the local community group wrote the script based on their experiences and the own theatre productions they run in Malawi.  Music was also created by local musicians in the creation of an album which was being written alongside.

It was a big challenge to film and create the visuals with limited resources.  It would have been ideal to have used greenscreen, but for lack of material we had to improvise using white sheets, and as many lights as we could lay our hands on in the local markets to light the faces and background evenly.  Despite language barriers and dodgy batteries, the actors were fantastic and we got all the footage we needed to tell this very affecting story. It was still a big challenge in post production, but we love getting our teeth stuck into these things, and the expressive results were a very satisfying outcome.