Brown Bag’s ‘Anya’ Arrives to Help Russian Children

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Irish studio Brown Bag Films has launched a new four-minute animated short, titled Anya, which charts 20 years in the life of a Russian orphan in order to highlight the work done by To Russia With Love, a charitable organization that works with abandoned and orphaned children in the country. Written and directed by Damien O’Connor, Anya took 14 months to complete.

“The idea was simple; we make an engaging piece of animation, one that ideally packs an emotional punch. If people are charmed or moved by it, they show their appreciation by sending a donation directly to To Russia With Love,” O’Connor explained. “Unlike an advert, people are more likely to share a film online with friends or family, which of course helps spread the word about the charity. It’s ‘visual busking’ in a way. We’re all used to charity singles and calendars, so we applied the same approach to a full four-minute computer animated film instead.”

The project began with O’Connor visiting one of the charity’s set ups, the Hortolova Orphanage in Russia. There the writer/director met with children and heard their stories. Singapore’s Infinite Studios, moved by the children’s circumstances, offered their services for free. Over all 80 people spread across five countries contributed to the production of Anya. The short is produced by Edel Byrne with original music by Darren Hendley (The Octonauts, Olivia) and is narrated by Russian actress Chulpan Khamatova, with vocal contributions by Irish singer Lisa Hannigan.

To view the film or learn more about Brown Bag, visit brownbagfilms.com/labs/entry/anya-shortfilm. To support the work of To Russia With Love, text HUG to 50300 or donate online via torussiawithlove.ie.

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