- Country: Brazil
- Initial release: December 25, 2020 (Brazil)
- Film Director: Helena Hilario and Mario Pece
- Running Time: 8 Minutes
- IMDB Grade: 6.8
In the world of animated short films, there are some that leave a lasting impact with their heartfelt stories and beautiful animation. One such film is “Umbrella,” directed by Helena Hilario and Mario Pece, which has garnered acclaim and recognition on the global stage. Inspired by true events, this Brazilian gem has captivated audiences and is now making its mark on the prestigious Academy Awards circuit. In this article, we will explore the journey of “Umbrella” and delve into the creative process behind its creation.
The Story of “Umbrella”
At the heart of “Umbrella” is a touching story that revolves around a young boy named Joseph, who resides in an orphanage. Joseph’s sole dream is to possess a yellow umbrella. However, it is not just a mere desire for protection from the rain; the umbrella holds a deep significance for him, as it awakens his memories of the past. The encounter between Joseph and a little girl during a visit to the orphanage sets the stage for a heartwarming and poignant narrative that explores themes of empathy and hope.
The Inspiration Behind “Umbrella”
The origins of “Umbrella” can be traced back to a real-life event that deeply impacted the director, Helena Hilario. In December 2011, her sister visited an orphanage and encountered a young boy who repeatedly expressed his desire for an umbrella. This simple request struck a chord with Hilario, as she discovered that the boy associated the umbrella with a cherished memory of his father. This poignant incident became the driving force behind the creation of “Umbrella,” as Hilario and Pece sought to translate this emotional experience into a work of art.
From Dream to Reality: The Making of “Umbrella”
Bringing “Umbrella” to life was a labor of love that spanned over a decade. Although Hilario and Pece initially had no experience in animation, they were determined to turn their dream into a reality. After honing their skills in animation and post-production, they established their own independent studio, Stratostorm, in 2014. The couple meticulously planned and prepared financially to embark on this ambitious project. With a talented team of artists and a clear vision in mind, they dedicated months and years to the production, ensuring every detail was crafted with care.
The Creative Team Behind “Umbrella”
The success of “Umbrella” can be attributed to the collaboration of a passionate and skilled creative team. Victor Hugo, renowned for his work with Marvel and Disney, took charge of character design, breathing life into Joseph and the supporting cast. The animation team, led by Alan Prado, used their expertise to bring the characters to life and create a visually stunning world. Animation supervisor Hannry Pschera and rigging supervisor Danilo Pinheiro played pivotal roles in ensuring the smooth execution of the project. Additionally, composer Gabriel Dib composed a captivating score that heightened the emotional impact of the film.
The Festival Journey
“Umbrella” embarked on a remarkable journey through the film festival circuit, garnering recognition and accolades along the way. The film made history in Brazil by participating in 19 Oscar-qualifying film festivals, including the esteemed Tribeca Film Festival. As the only Brazilian animated short to qualify for the Oscars in its year, “Umbrella” shattered barriers and earned praise from both the media and the public. Its universal themes of empathy and hope resonated deeply with viewers worldwide, particularly in the midst of challenging times.
The Impact of “Umbrella”
What sets “Umbrella” apart is its ability to evoke genuine emotions and inspire reflection in its audience. The absence of dialogue in the film allows the animation, music, and narrative to take center stage, creating a powerful and immersive experience. By focusing on empathy and the importance of understanding others’ experiences, “Umbrella” reminds us to be kind and compassionate towards one another. It serves as a poignant reminder that everyone has a story, and it is crucial to withhold judgment until we truly understand the depth of their experiences.
The Future of Stratostorm and Original Content
The success of “Umbrella” has propelled Stratostorm into the spotlight as a creative studio committed to storytelling excellence. While continuing to provide animation solutions for advertising projects, Stratostorm is also venturing into the realm of original content. With several original intellectual properties (IPs) in development for kids and young adults, the studio aims to captivate audiences with compelling narratives and visually stunning animation. Stratostorm’s dedication to their craft and their ability to touch hearts through their work ensures an exciting future for the studio.