What is Broken Branches?
Broken Branches is a 25 minute animated documentary. It tells the story of my grandmother, Michal Rechter, who was only fourteen when she left her home in Poland and travelled to Israel by herself. Her family was supposed to join her the following year, but when the war started it changed everything.
Childish and innocent, alone in a new country, she had no knowledge of what happened to her family back in Europe, and yet she managed to pull through thanks to her optimism and imagination.
Why is Broken Branches different than any other documentary?
Broken Branches is a mix of live action footage, treated photographs and animated scenes.Throughout the film I use different styles of animation to represent different times in Michal's life, from her early childhood in a Jewish village in Poland before the war to her life as a young teenager in pre-independence Israel.
The Notebook Scene – Line Drawing Animation
When Michal was nine years old she wrote a notebook of essays for the newspaper in her Hebrew School in Poland. The notebook, which she kept for 80 years, was my inspiration for one of the key animation scenes. I decided to illustrate the essays with silly, childlike, pencil drawings that come to life in the pages of the notebook as Michal is reading them.
The Family Scene - Oil Paint on Glass
Memories are elusive, they keep on changing, slowly vanishing throughout the years. In order to keep that quality, I created the family scenes with blurry oil paint, using a pretty rough technique: I animated the scene, screened it on an old computer screen, painted on top of it (don't try this at home, it's pretty messy), and shot each frame with a DSLR camera. Yes, I know, real old-school, but here's low budget film making for you…
The Jewish Town - Marc Chagall
Michal loves Marc Chagall. When she told me about her early childhood I always imagined his paintings as the setting. His style and the dream-like quality of his paintings set a perfect inspiration for the village scene in the film, a magical place in which rabbis can fly in the air and play the fiddle while the typical ingredients of a Jewish meal follow them around.
Who are we?
We are Ayala Sharot (director, animator and Michal Rechter's granddaughter) and Amit Gicelter (producer). We both studied in London and are currently based in Tel Aviv. You can read more info and find links to some of our previous work at the bottom of the page.
Why do we need the money?
Broken Branches is partially funded by the Rabinovich Foundation, one of the biggest film funds in Israel - which means that there is no turning back – the film is going to be made! But we need more money. Creating 25 minutes of animation is a mammoth task, especially for a small team like us. Most of the money will go to completing our animation budget, bringing in more animators who can help us finish the film on time.
So basically, we set our official target to a minimum of £3500 but we are hoping to get more than that.
What if we don't reach our target?
If we don't reach our target nobody will be charged, and we will still complete the film. Why? Because we have to!
This film is a personal passion of mine. I also have responsibility to those who have already invested in it. This film will be the best I can make it.
Prizes and Rewards
We have some great prizes to give in exchange for your support. Check out the options on the right hand side. And here are a few examples:
Original Hand Painted Artwork from the Film Each hand painted piece is unique, and you get to choose your favourite one. If you pledge sooner you will have more options to choose from.
Knitted Notebook Satchels sewn by yours truly with a personal thank you note. Why don't you use it to document your own grandparents' memoires? You can also send me a picture of you and your loved ones and I'll be happy to make it into a little illustration.
Limited Edition Prints of Artwork from the Film A beautiful way to decorate your house AND support the arts. It could also be a great "artsy" gift to someone you love. We have ten different images - pick your favourite.
5 exclusive invitations for an afternoon tea with Ayala Sharot and Michal Rechter. Enjoy a cup of tea, assorted cookies and a lovely conversation with the film's director and the leading actress.
Some more info
Ayala Sharot is an independent animator with a fresh approach to documentary film making. Her short animated documentary "Foreigners", about foreigners living in London, was screened in film festivals around the world and was later adapted to a short piece for onedotzero's MTV Bloom.
Amit Gicelter is a creative director with over seven years of professional experience in the UK and Israel film and animation industries. Amit opened his own studio "The Hive Pro" in 2010 with the sole purpose of producing and developing film content.
Our contact details:
If you have any comments, thoughts and ideas, please share it with us. Brokenbranches@thehivepro.com
Risks and challenges
Although there is always a risk in making films the risk in this project is minimal. We have partial funding from an established film fund. We are passionate and fully committed to completing this film. The funding from Kickstarter will allow us to employ additional animators that can provide their talented skills and extra hands. The main challenge will be to complete the film by the end of the year.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)