World Suicide Prevention Day animation goals to share hope

BAFTA-winning Blue Zoo Animation Studio has created the powerful short film to help people recognise the signs of when people are struggling and encourage them to find help

Created for the national UK suicide prevention charity Papyrus, the film is released to mark World Suicide Prevention Day and raise awareness of the fact that suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s in the UK.

The animation, titled Sinking Feeling, signposts Papyrus’s HopelineUK service, which offers confidential help and support to young people and anyone who is concerned for a young person who may be thinking of taking their own life. Its message is based on this year’s theme for WSPD, ‘creating hope through action’, which was offered as a brief to the whole studio at Blue Zoo, with anyone able to pitch their ideas.

First-time director Mark Spokes won with his idea which follows a young boy struggling with his daily life. More than 60 artists then volunteered to help on the project, which took four months to complete using Blender. The film is accompanied by an acapella rendition of the classic track True Colours recorded remotely by the Blue Zoo Choir. Made almost entirely during the 2021 lockdown, this project hopes to spread a message of hope for those who may be struggling in the wake of a difficult year for all.

“Working with Papyrus and Blue Zoo on Sinking Feeling was an uplifting and enriching experience, especially in the midst of lockdown,” says Spokes. “The film’s message is one that is close to my heart and I’m proud to be part of something that could save lives.”