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Watch This: The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story

It might have missed out at the Oscars, but Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse was still a massive hit with both critics and audiences. While we (not so) patiently await news on the release of the third movie Beyond The Spider-Verse, Sony Pictures Animation has given us a little something to keep us going.

The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story is an animated short set in the Spider-Verse. It features Miles Morales as he struggles to balance his responsibilities as a teenager, friend and student with that of being Brooklyn's one and only Spider-Man. After a particularly rough day he experiences a panic attack that sees him face off against physical manifestations of his anxiety. Ultimately he learns that reaching out and asking for help can be as brave as facing off bad guys.

The film is presented in partnership with The Kevin Love Fund, and their Hero Within initiative. The fund is dedicated to destigmatizing mental health issues, and ensuring those who are struggling get the help they need. Their social emotional curriculum has helped more than 55,000 kids the skills they need to cope with life's difficulties. The short film is included in Kevin Love's mental-health focussed lesson plan.  The lesson plan invites students to tell their own story through the lens of mental health awareness via an interactive curriculum including a creative storyboard activity.

The Spider Within in the first film to be released by Sony's LENS (Leading and Empowering New Storytellers) program. The 9-month program offers candidates from underrepresented groups a chance to take on leadership roles and gain valuable experience in the animation industry. The result of each iteration of the program will be an original short film set in the world of a Sony Pictures Animation film. The program is backed by Sony Pictures Entertainment's global Sony Pictures Action program, which is a racial and inclusion program.

According to Sony "The program’s goal is to provide creatives who have traditionally lacked access to leadership roles with a first-hand opportunity to deepen their understanding of every element of the animated filmmaking process including production design, animation, visual effects, lighting, sound, and various post-production processes. Through the program, participants strengthen their ability to effectively articulate their film’s creative vision and collaborate across a variety of disciplines. "

The film is directed by Jarelle Dampier and written by Khailia Amazan. LENS program creators Michelle Raimo-Kouyate and David Schulenburg are producers. Clara Chan is VFX Supervisor and Joe Darko was the animation supervisor.

After making its debut as last year's Annecy International Animation Festival The Spider Within has now been released on YouTube for everyone to see. Now, how about that third movie Sony?

To access the Hero Within Lesson Plan see Kevin Love's website here.