Computer Animation, Class of 2020
Growing up in a rural community, I became very accustomed to clean air and nature all around me. When I started going to university in a much larger town and travelling to cities more often, what always caught my attention was the stark contrast in pollution and the large ecological footprint we have had on the environment and the animals living in it. Instead of grass everywhere, there were streets littered with cigarettes and empty wrappers. Instead of forests, there were landfills, and so, so many buildings; each one large enough to fit half the population of my hometown.
Through this film, I originally intended to use empathy, for the life of a black bear, to highlight the environmental influences we have had on our only home - earth - in terms of waste, pollution, and animal habitat loss. But as my film developed, the world moved forward, lockdowns and empty city streets became a recent norm, and my film took on a new meaning. With the impact that COVID-19 has had on our lives, I focused on the theme of freedom as an ironic twist to my story, and the relationship between it and the viewer. Whether we want to have the freedom associated with thinking, dreaming, or acting how we would like to, seeing the ones we love, or being where we would like to be, both in life and physically speaking; the hope for this freedom is what drives us to keep moving forward, and create change for a better, freer, and hopefully a more environmentally friendly world.