learning through film
No Strings films are painstakingly made to the highest broadcast standards by a team of some of the best puppeteers in the world, led by Kathy Mullen and Michael Frith. Everything is designed in-house and hand crafted; the sets, the puppets, their hair, eyes, the food they might eat.
Our films are culturally sensitive, meaning that if the intended audience lives in wooden houses on hills surrounded by rice fields, for example, then so will the puppet characters. Once dubbed, it’s like a parallel universe …
Our aim is to create is an imaginary world that looks like your own, but where things are able to happen that couldn’t possibly take place in real life.
A boy wouldn’t completely recover after losing a leg to a landmine. A lazy fisherman couldn’t realistically survive all those disasters. This is a world of symbolism: the emotions are there, but none of the real blood, the real sadness. It makes it a lot easier to confront.
What age groups are targetted? Films are made with a wide demographic in mind. Content should always be grasp-able by the eight-to-12s, but there is enough complexity for older children and teenagers to find deep insights they can then discuss.
As for adults, we have presented The Magic Heart at numerous NGO meetings, and unfailingly have to pass round the tissues half way through. Maybe the puppets help us see the film through a child’s eye, bringing greater poignancy to an already sad story. Maybe they bring out the child in us, too. Maybe, just maybe, they also bring out the magic. As the film teaches, the magic is in you, in all of us. Working together, and helping each other, we can make good things happen, and build a sense of hope.