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    Animation highlights banana industry human rights violations

    21/10/2013
    Talented animators from Middlesex have created a powerful animation which forms part of the feature length documentary ‘Banana Land’. 

    Talented animators from Middlesex University have created a powerful animation which forms part of the feature length documentary ‘Banana Land’, illustrating the violence, human rights violations and health issues involved in the banana industry. 
     
    The crowd funded film looks into the origins of one of the first transnational corporations, United Fruit Company, and the impact its model of production has had on subsequent generations, through to the damaging practices of present producers.
     
    The team of animators – made up of internationally renowned, BAFTA award winning animation director and Middlesex University course leader Jonathan Hodgson and four animation students – designed and animated the emotive piece. 
     
    The Middlesex University student team, which also collaborated with  animation studio Sherbet, consisted of animation students Harriet Titlow, Rebecca Balint and Hakim Ismail and graduate Izabela Barszcz.     
     
    Third year Middlesex student Harriet Titlow from Finchley Central said:  “Producing an animation is an involved process, it’s like being an actor, so I had to try and put myself in their shoes and think how they felt when producing the animations. The piece might be seen as shocking, but I’m happy with it and think it is memorable.  I didn’t know much about the cause before, so I hope the film raises the awareness of the issues.”  
     
    Jonathan got involved in the project after the makers of Banana Land saw his animation for the award winning documentary feature ‘The Age of Stupid’ about climate change, which had a worldwide cinema release. 
     
    Director and producer of Banana Land Jason Glaser said: “Banana Land looks at the impact the modern transnational model of production has had on the communities that work the banana plantations. From the Santa Marta Massacre of 1928, to those who continue to decimate entire communities today in Colombia, we see little has changed.  It is fixable though, there are options, and it's important that workers, more responsible producers and conscientious citizens help chart the way forward. My hope is that this film helps inform but also starts the conversation in order to do that. 
     
    “It's exciting to be screening the film at Middlesex University with Jonathan Hodgson. I loved his work from ‘The Age of Stupid’ and our team cold called him. From there we created two brilliant animations for the film.  He's a wonderful collaborator. His social consciousness permeates his resume and he is an inspiration to anyone who wishes to use their craft and art to help inform and create social change”
     
    Middlesex University will host an exclusive free screening of the film on Wednesday 23 October at 5pm, followed by a Q&A with the Director and Producer Jason Glaser.

    Still from the Banana Land animation 

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