The Families Together coalition animation ‘Without My Mum’ has won a ‘best use of video’ Third Sector Digital Award. The category recognises a video created in 2018 or 2019, encompassing everything from a short animated video to a feature length film.

The video was created by award-winning videographer Catherine Prowse and the Refugee Council on behalf of the Families Together coalition, a partnership of more than 50 organisations.  It sought to put pressure on the Home Secretary to change the rules on refugee family reunion, and garner more public support for the campaign among non-traditional audiences.

The animation tells the story of a mother and her young son whose living relationship is suddenly changed forever when the threat of violence forces the child to escape on his own. To reflect the lived experience of the child refugees the Families Together coalition works with, the protagonist was a boy aged between 12 – 14 years old. The central theme of hair-cutting throughout the video reflects passing time, intimacy and the love of a mother.

The animation was very effective in driving petition signatures, attracting several hundred names in the days following the launch. It outperformed the average content on Amnesty channels, was British Red Cross’s best performing Instagram content of the previous three years, and was Refugee Council’s best performing social media post of 2019. The film was also shared across national, regional and trade media, with an overall reach of more than a million.

The Third Sector Digital Award judges said:

“A compelling human story is at the heart of this film. It meets all of its objectives in being honest, relatable and empathetic. Its success shows that character and narrative are often the most persuasive tools a filmmaker has at their disposal.”

Maurice Wren, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, said:

“We’re delighted to accept this prestigious award, in recognition of the talent, creativity and sheer hard work of the Refugee Council advocacy and engagement team, independent videographer Catherine Prowse and the Families Together coalition. ‘Without My Mum’ is a beautiful animation, which captures the tenderness of the mother-son relationship, and the tragedy of this critical bond being broken by inhumane family reunion rules in the UK. No child should ever be faced with forced separation from their parents, and we are glad that our work on this crucial issue has been recognised with this award.”

 

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