Children’s broadcasters and media companies from around the world, led by Sky UK & BBC Children’s, have joined forces on an ambitious collaborative project with global reach. Hope Works – a collection of short films offering stories of hope and inspiration – will launch simultaneously on leading children’s networks around the world, and via a dedicated YouTube channel, on World Children’s Day on 20 November 2018. Hope Works is collaborating with UNICEF on this project.
Today’s children are exposed to increasing levels of media output which can cover a range of difficult topics from war to natural catastrophes, from gender intolerance to racism and hate crime. Sensational headlines, social media, access to smartphones and rolling news means this exposure to complex issues is only growing, and with it levels of anxiety. Today’s connected world has also resulted in children experiencing heightened stress around self-image and bullying.
At the 2016 Children’s Media Conference in the UK, broadcasters raised concerns over these issues and questioned what they could do together. As a direct result of this the Hope Works initiative was launched, led by Lucy Murphy, Head of Kids’ Content at Sky TV and Alison Stewart, former Head of CBeebies Production at the BBC.
The 12 truly inspiring films aimed at children aged 5-12 vary in style and subject matter ranging from pre-school animation to documentary, but all offer young viewers around the world stories of hope – showing them that through thoughtfulness, understanding and kindness they can make a difference to the world.
Leading broadcasters and producers have united to collaborate on the following films:
What Shall We Do With The Angry Monster? – Ragdoll Productions for Disney, EMEA
Give a Hand – Hop! Media Group, Israel
The Nock and The Treeples – DreamWorks Animation, USA
Spread Kindness around the World – Sesame Workshop, USA
Balloon Girl – Big Bad Boo, Canada
Move Mountain – The Brothers McLeod, UK & Corrinne Averiss, UK
Rise – Sixteen South, N. Ireland and KiKa, Germany
Children United – Sky/Fresh Start Media and UNICEF UK
Little Lights – CBC Canada
A Whale’s Tale – Cartoon Network UK, Turner
The Cupcake Choir – ABC Children’s, Australia
Listening to the Silence – TV Escola, Brazil
Participating broadcasters include: ABC Children’s Australia; BBC Children’s, UK; CBC Kids, Canada; Disney EMEA; Hop! Media Group, Israel; KiKA, Germany; Sky, UK; Turner; VRT Ketnet, Belgium. As well as the broadcasts, there will be a dedicated website, which will host all the films plus teachers & parents resources offering suggestions on activities connected with each film, and a YouTube channel – managed by WildBrain – will also air all 12 films from 20 November.
Lucy Murphy, Head of Kids Content, UK & ROI, Sky, says: “When we first came up with the idea of a project that would get to as many children around the world as possible we never dreamed that so many giants of kids entertainment would collaborate with us, along with invaluable support from incredible individuals. With kids’ anxiety levels rocketing in response to what they are seeing, hearing and witnessing it’s vital that we reassure them that there is kindness, tolerance and hope in the world.”
Alison Stewart, Children’s Media Consultant and Producer, adds: “It’s taken two years to bring Hope Works to fruition, and we are so grateful for the amazing support we’ve had from our partners around the world. They have created a set of films which offer reassurance to children at a time when good news seems in short supply. Children are innately hopeful, and our project aims to inspire them to make a difference, no matter how small, to the world they will inherit.”