03.05.14 | Liz Mims
As a relatively new staff member at Austin Film Festival, it wasn’t clear to me how important an AFF program could be until I visited Dell Children’s Blood and Cancer Center a couple of weeks ago to do a test run for our upcoming Spring Break Claymation Camp. While Executive Director Barbara Morgan has had a relationship with Dell’s Children Center for many years, the direct impact wasn’t clear to me until now. A young girl waiting for blood work results watched us as we set up our materials. We asked her if she wanted to work with us on a flip book and she eagerly agreed. Watching her eyes light up reminded me of the excitement I felt the first time I made a film. I showed her a finished flip book and explained how to make a character look like they are moving. I asked her what she wanted to draw. She started with an arrow. I recommended that it should hit something but what would that be? She decided on a heart and started quickly. We flipped through her first few drawings and the movement was already there. She jumped up and down to get her mom’s attention. She proudly flipped through her first animation. Her mother smiled and said, “Thank you guys for being here, you rock.” My thoughts were about how brave they were to be there, but we graciously accepted the praise.
I am thrilled Austin Film Festival has made this partnership such a huge priority for our community. As we gear up for participation in the Amplify Austin “I Live Here, I Give Here” campaign, I am reminded that support for these programs is crucial to kids who may not otherwise have a chance to express their creativity during such a difficult time.
During the Spring Break camp on-site at the CBCC, AFF will provide materials, equipment, resources and filmmakers to make this creative world accessible to the cancer patients. will be teaching a free mobile claymation workshop for patients in treatment at Dell’s Children Center. Filmmakers from Austin Film Festival will guide kids through creating their own stop motion characters and short films. Our goal is to bring these young minds to a different place of imagination and creation.
I am personally very thankful to be a part of this program and hope you will support us during Amplify Austin, March 20th – 21st!