Third Sector Digital Awards – Best use of video: The Families Together Coalition for Without My Mum

This category recognises a video created in 2018 or 2019, encompassing everything from a short animated video to a feature length film

Third Sector Digital Awards – Best use of video: The Families Together Coalition for Without My Mum 

This category recognises a video created in 2018 or 2019, encompassing everything from a short animated video to a feature length film

What was the aim of the video? 

The Families Together Coalition, a partnership of more than 50 organisations including Refugee Council, Amnesty International UK and British Red Cross, worked with videographer Catherine Prowse to create Without My Mum. The video sought to increase pressure on the Home Secretary to change the rules on refugee family reunion, and affect longer-term awareness by shifting attitudes among non-traditional audiences. The primary aim was to increase awareness of the plight of child refugees separated from their families, by driving people to sign the petition to the Home Secretary. 

How was it created? 

The film’s brief was written collaboratively, with Refugee Council leading the production throughout. The decision was made to use puppets for the film, helping avoid the inherent risks in filming vulnerable child refugees, and triggering an emotional response through the instability of stop-motion animation. To reflect the authentic lived experience of the child refugees the coalition works with, the protagonist was a boy aged between 12 – 14 years old. The central theme of hair-cutting throughout the video reflects passing time, intimacy, and the love of a mother. 

Why did it win? 

The film was very effective in driving petition signatures, and in the days following the launch several hundred people added their names to the cause. Without My Mum outperformed the average content on Amnesty channels, was British Red Cross's best performing Instagram content of the previous three years, and was Refugee Council’s best performing social media post of 2019. The film was also shared across national, regional and trade media, with an overall reach of more than a million. 

What did the judges say? 

Judges praised the craft and warmth of this “powerful” and “compelling” film. “A compelling, human story is at the heart of this film. It meets all of its objectives in being honest, relatable, and empathetic,” they said. “Its success shows that character and narrative are often the most persuasive tools a filmmaker has at their disposal.” 

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