84.Paris and Greenpeace unveil a Christmas story with an unexpected message

84.Paris and Greenpeace unveil a Christmas story with an unexpected message

Dec. 11, 2018

After 5 years of collaboration, Greenpeace has again entrusted 84.Paris for its end-of-the-year communication. For the first time, the NGO and its agency are addressing air pollution through a 1m30s film by directed by Anna Mantzaris, who recently worked alongside Wes Anderson on his first long-form animation “The Island of Dogs”.

This year recounts a modern, emotional Christmas story with a surprise twist. This seemingly heart-warming story about a little girl and her bear reveals an unexpected message that will make you want to watch it again: we must mobilize against the dangers of air pollution. 

We can no longer tolerate air pollution

Air pollution is the cause of nearly 48,000 deaths in France and 5.5 million globally each year (Source: Agence nationale de santé publique), making it the 3rd leading cause of death in France, and the 4th worldwide.  Many are aware and increasingly concerned but rather than reacting, have simply accommodated their lifestyle to it, foregoing outdoor activities such as biking, jogging, even family strolls, on high intensity days. (Source: OpinionWay for Generali - Les Français et la qualité de l'air / September 2017).

Emotion as a vector of action

For this new opus in the Greenpeace x 84.Paris saga the agency is breathing new life into the NGO’s traditional year-end communication.

"The Handmade gift" tells the story of a little girl who, learning about the grave effects of air pollution, worries for her teddy bear’s health.  Determined to protect him, she makes him a Christmas gift – a hand-made face mask, surprising, and worrying, her family. The film ends with the message that no mask, no scarf can be an effective protection, and that, in France, 75% of young children breathe air that’s harmful to their health.

Sarah Fayolle, Head of the Transportation and Climate at Greenpeace France, explains:

"Far from the charm of the felt characters in this video, air pollution has serious consequences on human health and particularly that of children (today in France, at least ¾ young children are exposed the dangers of air pollution (1): asthma, premature births, cardiovascular problems, cancer... There is protection that’s fully effective against air pollution. We must tackle the causes of the problem, starting with road traffic (2)."

 

Produced by Passion Animation Studios in London, and directed by the Swedish Anna Mantzaris, graduate of the Royal College of Art, “The Handmade Gift” uses stop motion animation to convey the story. The film’s production required over 80 hours of shooting on 3 sets simultaneously, using handmade puppets and props.

Olivier and Hervé Bienaimé, co-presidents and creative directors of 84.Paris, explain:

"With this film, we wanted to write a story that respects the spirit and codes of Christmas stories while integrating a message of awareness, which people must own up to, without adopting a moralizing discourse. This Christmas story offers a double reading: at first, it seems touching and positive, and seems to be about protecting ourselves against cold temperature. But the shock at the end reveals a more dire problem, for which we have no effective solution, air pollution."

 

Anna Mantzaris, director of the film, concludes:

"Stop motion has an almost magical dimension. We have the possibility of bringing characters and objects to life on screen, and the stories that can be told are limitless. It is a very meticulous process but which brings a resolutely enchanting result that arouses curiosity and touches the audience."

 

The film, which came out Monday December 10, will be available online and will air on a large screen at a Parisian Christmas market near the Jardin des Tuileries. 

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