Kina is a little girl with a magnetic attraction to the sea. All her life, the ocean and its creatures have been a source of endless fascination, providing her with sanctuary and solace. But when Kina realises that the marine environment is threatened by pollution, she decides to take matters into her own hands, calling on others to join her cause.
Combining beautiful imagery with a powerful message, “Kina the Ocean Girl” took home first place in the ATSEA-2 Animation Contest, winning its creator, Aisha Alsakina, Firmansyah CU, Megan Nandia and Puguh Rohmanu the top prize of US$1,000 for her stunning short film. The story encourages viewers to think about the relationship between humans and marine ecosystems in the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region.
In September 2011, the GEF/UNDP/PEMSEA ATSEA-2 Programme called on people from anywhere in the world to submit animated videos that convey the urgency of protecting the ocean, under the theme: “Uniting the Arafura and Timor Seas”. Anyone over the age of 18 was eligible to enter an animated video to the #ATSEAchallenge, while the online judging process involved two specialised panels and a general jury.
“I hope through this contest, we can make an impact,” explained Ronny Gani, one of the expert judges and a senior animator who has worked on film and TV projects such Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Mandalorian, Avengers: End Game, Ready Player One, Ant-Man and Pacific Rim. “Although we are artists and non-environmental activists, but we can do our part to contribute and deliver the message to save the ocean,” he added.\
Other judges included notable experts from the world of visual storytelling, such as Indra AD; the creator of the webtoon series Dracko Diary and maker of the Amsterdamned music video for Yellow Claw, who was also one of the key animators for the Battle of Surabaya movie. He was joined on the panel by Astiti Sukatrilaksana, a gender champion and the Head of Human Resources at UNDP Indonesia. “Each of us can contribute to raise the awareness of protecting the ocean among our community,” explained Astiti, addressing the participants, “and using your talent to help people to understand the importance of saving our ocean,” she added.
Together, this panel of expert judges awarded second place and a prize of US$500 to Elanda Fikri for his video “Marine Life is in Our Hands”, while third place and a prize of US$250 was given to Jessica Clara for her video “How to Reduce Marine Pollution”. Honourable Mention was also awarded to Indira NT and Jean M, for their video “Small Impacts”.
The ATS region is unique in its ecology, geography and socio-political structure. Home to a vast array of natural wonders, this area provides the peoples of many nations with essential resources, while also stocking the world’s oceans with biodiversity. With the participation of dozens of amazing animators, the ATSEA-2 Animation Contest helped share these wonders with a wider audience, telling conservation stories through fresh media and encouraging the public to make a difference in their lives by showcasing creativity and highlighting the intrinsic links between the ocean and human lives.
(Dwi Aryo T)