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Kids’ industry unites for Hope Works project

A collection of short films produced by major children’s companies around the world, led by Sky UK and BBC Children’s in collaboration with Unicef, will launch on TV and YouTube this month.

Lucy Murphy

Hope Works (fka Project Hope) will launch simultaneously on leading children’s networks around the world and via a dedicated YouTube channel, on World Children’s Day, November 20.

Details of the project first emerged in early 2017 after Lucy Murphy, head of kids’ content at Sky, and Alison Stewart, former head of production at the BBC’s CBeebies, teamed up to source short films offering stories of hope and inspiration.

This was in reaction to children being exposed to increasing levels of media output covering a range of difficult topics, from war to natural catastrophes and gender intolerance to racism and hate crime.

Twelve films aimed at children aged five to 12 have now been produced, with partners including Disney EMEA, DreamWorks Animation, Sesame Workshop, KiKa in Germany, CBC Canada, Cartoon Network UK, Hop! In Israel, VRT Ketnet in Belgium and ABC Children’s in Australia.

Alison Stewart

The shorts vary in style and subject matter, ranging from preschool animation to documentary. They will be joined by a dedicated website to offer teachers and parents resources offering suggestions on activities connected with each film. The YouTube channel will be managed by DHX Media-owned WildBrain.

Other participating companies include Ragdoll Productions, Big Bad Boo, The Brothers McLeod, Corrinne Averiss, Sixteen South, Fresh Start Media, Blue Zoo Animation Studio and TV Escola.

“With kids’ anxiety levels rocketing in response to what they are seeing, hearing and witnessing it’s vital that we reassure them that there is kindness, tolerance and hope in the world,” said Murphy.

Children’s media consultant and producer Stewart added: “It’s taken two years to bring Hope Works to fruition, and we are so grateful for the amazing support we’ve had from our partners around the world. They have created a set of films which offer reassurance to children at a time when good news seems in short supply.”


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