This film is a direct reflection of my own consciousness. Developed over an entire semester- I utilized the mediums of white and black charcoal to render a plane of existence whose absurdity and terror brings my character face-to-face with my greatest fear- Death. In recent times, I have encountered Death in several ways. As a concept, as a force, and as an inevitability. The fear it elicits cripples all those who face it- time being the determining factor in how much it effects someone. But just as it seems that there is an irrationality to Death, there is an equal absurdity to this concept of fear. The lives we lead don’t change our fate- Death always waits at the top of the mountain in life’s climb. But fear? Fear is a choice.
Tawanda Gona is a 31 year old Comedian/Writer who’s based out of Bushwick, Brooklyn. He’s long had a passion for comedy and animation, he one day hopes to write for some of the popular shows we see on TV today.
Ellen Weisberg is a cancer researcher at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Principal Associate in Medicine at Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA), with a doctorate in pharmacology. Ken Yoffe is a pediatrician (Billerica, MA). He also holds a doctorate in genetics.
Ken and Ellen are part-time children’s book authors. Publications include short stories and poetry published in PKA’s Advocate (bimonthly literary publication), The Writing Disorder (quarterly online literary journal and print anthology book), and Natural Solutions (holistic health magazine). They have also published several children’s geography and anti-bullying books and readers (Galde Press, Waldorf Publishing), and two novels (Waldorf Publishing, Chipmunkapublishing).
John Vo, founder of Lonely Lane Productions, is an executive specializing in finance and operations for content and creative startups. He has over eleven years of experience running a creative agency as CEO, COO and Head of Finance, as well as commercializing content properties. He has had a hand in producing content totaling over one billion views.
“Justin and the Werloobee,” which was funded by royalty money awarded to Ellen and Ken for development of a leukemia therapy, will be used as part of their 501c3 non-profit (called FACEPAINT, Inc.) to raise social awareness and to promote altruism and bystander intervention in bullying situations. The film is based on their published book, FRUIT OF THE VINE (Waldorf Publishing, 2018), which has received positive reviews by Kirkus, Readers’ Favorite, and others. “Justin and the Werloobee” is Ken and Ellen’s first film.
Based on the published book, FRUIT OF THE VINE (Weisberg and Yoffe, Waldorf Publishing, 2018). In JUSTIN AND THE WERLOOBEE, we meet Justin, a sensitive, introspective boy whose physical features and personality make him a convenient target for many of his cruel peers. One night, he wakes to find himself on a mysterious island, which is inhabited by a horde of bizarre creatures. Despite his desperation to find out where he is and, more importantly, how to get home, he becomes involved in the plight of Irvino, a beast who is ostracized on this island much in the way that Justin is in his own world. The story ends with a twist as Justin, in helping Irvino, ends up helping himself by making a lifelong friend out of Irvino. JUSTIN AND THE WERLOOBEE is unique from other stories in the fantasy genre in that it is meant not only for the grade school-aged fantasy enthusiast, but also for anyone interested in the topic of bullies, and how altruistic qualities can develop in children.
Computer graphic artist, animator, director, producer… John Banana has no time to get bored… nor to rest… With more than 20 years experience in the digital industry, John Banana leads Digital Banana Studio, a Paris based small animation studio. Since its creation, he directed dozens of commercials and TV series pilotes. He played a major role in the birth of the popular crazy Raving Rabbids for wich he was selected at the GDC, and helped TV producers translate to the 3D world characters like Maya the Bee, Heidi, Zou, Waldo, Zorro, little Vampire etc…
This shortfilm is my most personal short to date. In the previous shorts, I was a little orange with identitly problems, then a young girl trying to help in her own way the animal cause, now I get to be a mom who has lost her way with her everyday problems. I believe each short in the series has reflected my state of mind at different times of my life.
I’m very happy and lucky to have collaborated with composer and singer Tim Bruzon (Wave Machines, Arsenal…) on this short featuring an amazing original song that really translates the emotion I was looking for.
The short also features real kids drawings from my fiancée when she was 5 years old. These drawings were carefully scanned and turned into “happiness grafitis” compositions, contributing to make this short even more personal and true.