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Kickstart This: Salvation Has No Name

Animation is one sector in the entertainment industry that has managed to keep functioning during the current crisis and shutdown. Thanks to digital technology, most of the work on films or series can be carried out at home. A notable exception to this is, however, stop-motion animation. As it requires a physical shoot on sets, probably with multiple animators on site at once, they have had to pause production like any live-action shoot. While major studios may be able to weather such challenges, independent productions may not be so lucky. This happened with stop-motion short Salvation Has No Name, which was in production when the shutdown hit. So now the filmmakers are turning to the community to help ensure its completion.

Salvation Has No Name is written and directed by British animator Joseph Wallace, whose work has been featured on this site on several occasions. It has been in the works for about six years, and was inspired by the refugee crisis and the xenophobia surrounding it.

A troupe of circus performers come together to tell a cinematic folktale of a desperate refugee, a dishonourable priest and a contemptuous village. When the refugee rejects her fate, the performers are forced to question the morality of their tale.

The sixteen-minute short was being animated at Aardman Animation's studios in Bristol when they were forced to suspend production. The animation team features veteran stop-motion animators Tim Allen (The Corpse Bride, Isle Of Dogs) and Jody Meredith (Frankenweenie, Fantastic Mr Fox) and The Brothers Quay are on board as creative consultants. An international all-female voice cast features Itziar Ituño (Netflix's Money Heist) and Yasmine Al Massri (Quantico).

The short is partially funded by the BFI Network and produced by Delaval Film and co-produced by Animation People in Czech Republic. It was the winner of the Visegrad Animation Forum pitching competition in 2017.

It's an ambitious, cinematic production and the funding was extremely tight. The shutdown will be expensive and will stretch it to breaking point- so the production has turned to Kickstarter to ensure its completion.

They're asking for £7000 (which is a pretty modest goal) which will be used to buy additional studio time, extend contracts and hire an additional animator among other things.  Rewards range from digital downloads and production stills to props, set visits and even original stop-motion puppets. Stretch goals will enable a trainee to be taken on full time (£8000), and additional sequences to be added to the film (£10,000).

The campaign runs until May 28, and at the time of writing is 64% towards its target. If you would like to learn more or make a pledge, head over to the project page now.