• Country: Denmark
  • Initial release: June 8, 2021 (Croatia)
  • Film Director: Elena Felici
  • Running Time: 6 Minutes
  • IMDB Grade: 6.8

In today’s digital age, animated short films have become a powerful medium for storytelling and conveying important messages. One such thought-provoking film is “BusLine35A,” directed by Elena Felici. Released in 2021, this animated short delves into the complex issue of the bystander effect and how it manifests in our society. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of “BusLine35A,” including its plot, inspiration, production process, and its impact on the audience.

Understanding the Film’s Concept

“BusLine35A” tells the story of a young woman who experiences harassment while traveling on a city bus. What makes this film unique is its focus on the reactions of the other passengers who witness the harassment but fail to intervene. Through a combination of 3D stop-motion animations and 2D sketches, the film portrays the passive spectators’ perspective, shedding light on the bystander effect and its implications.

The Inspiration Behind “BusLine35A”

Elena Felici, the talented writer, director, and animator behind “BusLine35A,” drew inspiration from her own observations and experiences. She wanted to explore the concept of the bystander effect and its impact on individuals’ actions or inactions. Felici’s personal encounters with harassment and her own struggles with feeling powerless in such situations motivated her to create a film that would raise awareness and encourage reflection on the issue.

Unraveling the Bystander Effect

The bystander effect is a psychological phenomenon where individuals are less likely to offer help or intervene in an emergency situation when there are other people present. In “BusLine35A,” Felici skillfully captures this phenomenon by depicting the passengers’ detachment and embarrassment as they witness the harassment. The film aims to highlight the contrast between the ongoing violence and the spectators’ comical inefficacy, creating a dualistic response in the audience.

The Production Process

To bring “BusLine35A” to life, Felici collaborated with a team of students from the Animation Workshop at VIA University College in Denmark. The film was primarily created using Autodesk Maya, a 3D software, for animation and Arnold for rendering. Substance Painter and scanned crayon textures were employed for texturing and shading, while TV Paint was used for the traditionally animated inserts. The final editing and grading were done using Adobe Premiere and DaVinci Resolve, respectively.

Visual Style and Character Design

The visual style of “BusLine35A” is a deliberate mix of realism and formalism. Felici wanted to create a unique and idiosyncratic look for the film, drawing inspiration from the storytelling approaches of directors Roy Anderson and Don Hertzfeldt, as well as Wes Anderson. The characters in the film are designed to be relatable and amusing, with their physical appearances and thoughts shaped by the excuses they use to justify their inaction. Each character represents a different aspect of the bystander effect, adding depth to the narrative.

Reception and Impact

Since its release, “BusLine35A” has garnered positive feedback and sparked conversations among viewers. Many have commended the film for its thematic exploration of the bystander effect and its relatability. Viewers have shared personal stories of harassment and expressed how the film resonated with their experiences. “BusLine35A” has created a safe space for victims of assault to interact, discuss, and express their concerns, contributing to the ongoing dialogue surrounding these important issues.

The Director’s Journey

Elena Felici’s passion for animation and storytelling shines through in “BusLine35A” and her other works. While “BusLine35A” tackles the bystander effect, Felici has also worked on other projects that explore different themes and narratives. Her experience as an assistant director on Netflix’s series “Love Death + Robots” allowed her to further hone her skills and collaborate with talented artists from around the world.

Future Projects and Aspirations

Felici and her creative team are currently working on various projects, both in animation and live-action. Their aim is to continue creating thought-provoking content that challenges societal norms and sheds light on pressing issues. With their unique storytelling approach and dedication to exploring the human condition, Felici and her team aspire to influence and inspire audiences worldwide.

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  • “BusLine35A” is not just an animated short film; it’s a powerful exploration of the bystander effect and its implications on our society. Through the lens of three passengers on a bus, the film delves into the complexities of inaction in the face of harassment. Elena Felici’s masterful direction and the collaborative efforts of the animation team have resulted in a thought-provoking and visually captivating film that leaves a lasting impact on its viewers. As we continue to grapple with societal issues, films like “BusLine35A” play a vital role in fostering empathy, reflection, and change.