Morocco and Jordan – You Know Me

Date: 15.04.2015
Category: Making Of, Video

by Raj Yagnik, Producer / Director

In July 2014 UNICEF approached me about making a film to help promote a new report about education in the Middle east and North Africa. In particular the film would focus on the huge numbers of children who are out of school due to drop out, conflict or their gender.

They had seen “Because I Am A Girl” – a film we had made for Plan International and were interested in a something with a similar feel. A tender was put out and we submitted a bid in which we suggested working with out-of-school children in three different countries to produce an animated film and a series of short themed documentaries. Our bid was accepted and in September we began pre-production.

I wrote a script which developed with input from Rob Few, crack communications consultant from UNICEF, and Shona Hamilton – the cinematographer who would be shooting the film. We progressed from this to a storyboard, drawn by the illustrious and industrious animator Tine Kluth which was turned into the following animatic:

We tested the pixilaton (the animation technique) with some patient friends in London:

In October, after logistical problems prevented us shooting in Djibouti, we went ahead with filming in Jordan – mainly in Zaatari refugee camp – and in and around Marrakech in Morocco. Documentary film-maker Youssef Alaoui joined the team to make the ‘making of’ documentaries along with editor Philip Barnard. Their films are below.

The music was provided by Roma Yagnik, and the film was voiced in English, Arabic and French by schoolchildren in Amman, in Jordan. Amicable troglodyte John Mcmullin was the colourist.

You can read more about lives of the children featured in the film this UNICEF booklet and find out more about the situation for children in the Middle East and North Africa here.

This film would not have been possible without the huge patience, good humour and kind help of UNICEF regional staff, kind helpers young and old in Zaatari camp and the enthusiasm and energy of all the children we worked with.