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Amy Bench’s ‘A Line Birds Cannot See’ Animates a DACA Child’s Journey

A Line Birds Cannot See


North America

Amy Bench’s ‘A Line Birds Cannot See’ Animates a DACA Child’s Journey

In an emotional short rendered in rich pastel-inspired animation, filmmaker Amy Bench delves into the story of a child immigrant’s terrifying journey to a new life in the United States. While stories about DACA kids’ (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) lives after crossing the border have come to the fore in recent years, A Line Birds Cannot See dives into the challenges children face before they reach U.S. soil.

Separated from her mother by smugglers at the border, a determined 12-year old sets out across the desert with only a plastic sack for protection from the cold, survives starvation on the streets of Ciudad Juarez, and escapes kidnappers to find her mother and a place where they can be safe again.

A Line Birds Cannot See Trailer from amy bench on Vimeo.

The film was recently honored with a Special Jury Recognition in the Texas Shorts competition at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, setting it alongside much buzzed-about shorts like Nara Normande’s Guaxuma (Winner: Animated Shorts) and Sophie Koko Gate’s Slug Life (Special Jury Recognition: Animated Shorts).

Bench is a filmmaker and visual artist who is drawn to the immediacy of film and photography to tell stories of community and resilience. Bench trained as a cinematographer, her observational style highlights small details of human experience that transcend formal explanation. Her camera work has screened at festivals including Berlin, SXSW, Sundance, The New York Film Festival, and at MOMA/PS1 and in 2016 she was named “DP on the Rise” by Paste Magazine.

A Line Birds Cannot See is produced by Carolyn Merriman, Jessica Goudeau and Constance Dykhuizen. Lead animator Steve West is the director and founder of Lazy Chief, a creative design studio in animation, based in London. Agile, adaptable and constantly evolving, through Lazy Chief he has delivered projects for Google, The Science Museum, Facebook, The BBC and more.

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