Spotlight of the week – Feben Elias

February 25, 2022

Feben Elias is an Ethiopian 3D Animator, known for Directing and Acting on her Short Animation Film named The Soloists (2021). She learned at Gobelins, L’École de L’Image, school of visual communication and arts in Paris. 

She was one of the directors and scriptwriters to create such a remarkable short animation film named the Soloists. The Soloist Team said “We are young directors who really want to make meaningful films and tell important stories”, the team behind The Soloists explains as we discuss their graduation film. Revealing that their short was inspired by the true stories of the many people living under strict regimes, the five animators hope that their story reveals that “there are still real places that exist with these kinds of ridiculous laws and dogma”.

This animation short’s background sounds a little too heavy but that isn’t the case. It is lighthearted storytelling that tackles social injustice with a gentle touch and playful style. Based in a fictitious world, the eight-minute short follows three sisters as they battle against the ridiculous rules put in place by the government, but despite the fantasy element here, the message is very much grounded in reality.

The team delivers its message with a heavy side of comedy. Though much of it is provided from one of life’s most successful comedians – the dog – the young filmmakers also manage to get laughs out of the oppressive system in which their trio of protagonists exist and the recurring theme of death.

In this film, she was one of the directors and scriptwriters. Feben also took the lead in character and background texturing and 3d layout. She modeled 2 of the characters and was also one of the lighting artists. The Soloists is the only 3D film to come out from The Gobelins this year. Feben mentions “It was quite challenging but very fun to make and I can’t wait to show you the journey of the production.” Let’s applause this director and 3D animator for her creative perspective in the industry.

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