Ant

Ant

Lyonel is having a terrible time: he’s pretty sure he’s invisible to his scout group. Only the ants on their bustling hill, naturally belonging, seem to know answers.

Ten-year-old Lyonel hates everything about this trip. He hates the constant rain, the slugs they have in their shoes in the morning, the boring scout food that he hasn't even tried yet. And yes, even the other kids, to whom he seems invisible anyway. Pretending to have a stomach ache doesn't protect him. The thick wall he built around himself becomes as thin as the transparent raincoat he is wearing. When a girl approaches him and asks if he is homesick, he bursts into tears and confesses his desire to return home. At that moment, the group starts taking care of Lyonel. The other kids even turn out to be quite nice! By the time he realizes that he might want to stay, it's already too late. Arrangements are being made for his departure, and soon he finds himself alone on the way home.

Director’s statement
With this film, I want to invite to reflect on how we can find a sense of belonging and resilience through embracing vulnerability. We all know the feeling of not quite fitting in. To be part of a community is one of our fundamental needs. At Lyonel’s age, I was a scout myself, facing similar challenges. Once, I pretended to be sick to take the bus home because in fact I didn’t connect to the group. In moments of struggle, recognizing and naming our feelings can be incredibly helpful. These are skills that are not self-evident, they require learning. Like especially many men of my generation, I learned this late and still struggle with it today.

I aim to “zoom in” on my protagonist and open his emotional world to the audience as unfiltered as possible: his sadness, his yearning for warmth and belonging, and his confusion. Just when he believes he's gained clarity, he realizes the situation has silently shifted again. These are moments of growth, of coming of age, in small (ant) steps.

Country of production

Germany

Target audience

adults 10+, all genders

Animation Technique

Drawing

Production company

Jonatan Schwenk
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CEE Animation is supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and co-funded by state funds and foundations and professional organisations from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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