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New Spider-Verse Short To Debut At Annecy

Short films are a great place for experimentation, to try out new techniques or give new talent a shot. Sony Pictures Animation has announced a new short that will do just that.

The Spider Within; A Spider-Verse Story is a short film set in the world of the upcoming Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse. The short is set to debut exclusively at the Annecy International Animation Festival This June.

Miles Morales is struggling to balance his responsibilities of being the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man with all the aspects of his everyday life such as school, friendships and family. After a particularly rough day, he experiences a panic attack, forcing him to confront the manifestations of his anxiety. He learns that reaching out and asking for help can require just as much bravery as being a superhero.

The film is part of Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Imageworks' mentorship program LENS  (Leading and Empowering New Storytellers). Launched internally in 2022, the program is designed to give high-potential individuals from under-represented groups invaluable leadership experience. The program takes four people from both within and outside the company and puts them in the leadership positions of director, writer, VFX Supervisor and animation supervisor.

They worked under the supervision of program creators and producers Michelle Raimo Kouyate and David Schulenburg. Kouyate and Schulenburg said:  "We feel honoured and privileged to have been given the opportunity to give shape to the inaugural launch of the LENS program. We are incredibly proud of how the hard work of all four filmmakers - Jarelle Dampier, Khaila Amazan, Clara Chan, and Joe Darko - has paid off. They far exceeded all expectations as they stepped into their leadership roles and created a remarkable short. We are very grateful to be part of a studio that is doing meaningful work to give voice to varied groups and to the studio leadership - Kristine Belson, Michelle Grady, Pam Marsden, and Paul Martin - who gave rise to this program and supported us every step along the way.”

The filmmakers added "The LENS Program was life-changing for all of us - it allowed us to achieve a goal that we felt was very far away. Seeing diverse representation in leadership roles really makes a difference because it shows the next generation of filmmakers that the barriers are being broken down. Animation is the most collaborative art form there is, and it takes a special place to open its doors and foster creatives who have the potential to tell great stories but haven’t been given their chance to shine. We are so grateful for this experience and the opportunity to create something meaningful, and we can’t wait to share it with the world."

The short film will be presented by the LENS crew including director Dampier, writer Amazan,VFX Supervisor Chan, and animation supervisor Darko.

Hopefully, it won't be too long before those of us who can't be at Annecy will get the chance to see the film.