A worldwide premiere of animated film Home – focusing on welcoming refugees into our communities – has been held at Holy Trinity and St John’s primary in Margate.
Year 3 pupils were the first to see the film which was commissioned by Save the Children charity and created by Aardman Animations – the makers of Wallace and Gromit.
The youngsters enjoyed a red carpet entrance and bags of popcorn as well as an introduction to the film from Aardman Animation co-founder Peter Lord.
Home is the story of an orange circle starting a new life in a place of purple triangles and learning how to cope with an unfamiliar place and language.
Home has been created to mark the one year anniversary since the escalation of Russian aggression in Ukraine and is based on real-life stories of children from Ukraine, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria.
Holy Trinity and St John’s was chosen by Save the Children due to its links with the charity. The screening was filmed and broadcast on BBC Breakfast TV.
Head teacher Rob Garratt said: “Our liaison officers work with Save the Children and asked us to host the premiere of Home.
“Our school has Ukrainian families, and actually families from all over the world, and we have a liaison officer who works purely with children who have English as an additional language.
“We welcome the families into our school community and support the children but also their parents.
“The Save the Children team organised the premiere and we had special tickets, popcorn and a red carpet. We were really lucky to have Peter Lord give a short talk and introduction to the film and we had great feedback on it from the children.
“The children loved it. The film was a really simple format in terms of language and shapes and the children identified with it and talked about how a child might feel when arriving in a new country.
“Our children are very good at welcoming new pupils into class.
“It was a really exciting afternoon and we were privileged to be chosen for it.”
In the year of war in Ukaine Save the Children has worked with over 800,000 children who’ve had to leave their homes. With the help of 33 project partners, they’ve been able to help families buy the food, clothes and medicine they need, invite children to play and learn within safe spaces, and repair damaged schools and water systems.
In the UK, the charity teamed up with communities and local charities to help Ukrainian families find homes, access local services and support their children’s learning.
Home director Peter Peake said: “”Despite the gravity of the subject, [we] were keen that the tone of the film should be one of hope rather than a bleak depiction of the refugee experience. We worked closely together, carefully looking at first-hand accounts from children who were forced to become refugees.
“While utterly heart-breaking, these personal accounts were so powerful and affecting that it quickly made me realise the desperate need to offer some form of comfort to anyone going through the same experiences.”
The film is due to be rolled out to primary schools across the country.
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