When animation gets mobilized for child protection!

The Undefeated is a series of 15 short animated stories narrating the hurdles and joys of TARA children, as well as those of a few significant adults around them. Each film takes the form of a fictional first-person account, inspired by the real-life stories of the children in our homes and outreach centres.

This first-of-its-kind campaign enables us to better understand the critical situation of street children in India and most importantly: how to help them in an efficient and sustainable manner. Dubbed by the children themselves, the movies talk of resilience, self-confidence, the search for identity, but also the essential part played by their role models.

We are very proud of this project which allows us to share the intimacy of those whose voices are rarely heard, but who carry within them an incredible will to live and to seize their chance for a better life.

Origins of an idea

A year ago, we contacted the filmmaker Dorothée Adam with the idea of making a documentary on TARA children. Unfortunately, the sanitary crisis postponed all our filming plans to an uncertain future… It was then, while searching for an alternative solution, that the project of The Undefeated gradually took shape.

As the discussions progressed, animation appeared as an obvious choice to tell the stories we wanted to highlight. The poetry of drawings would allow us to show the perspective of the children, shaped by their inner life and imaginary worlds. It was also a guarantee to protect their anonymity. Motion design also allowed us to evoke very serious subjects in a delicate way, with the use of metaphors and graphic suggestions.

Following this reflection, we got in touch with the Motion Design section of the Gobelins school in Paris, which promptly accepted to bring these stories to the screens.

A project of many voices

From the beginning the making of The Undefeated was a collective adventure. Today, the films are carrying the voices of the many actors involved in this project:

• First, the children of TARA whose stories served as the basis for the 15 tales depicted in these films. They also recorded the most part of the texts you will hear.

Dorothée Adam, who took charge of the scriptwriting and artistic direction, after having immersed herself for months in the social context in which TARA operates, through remote interviews with staff and children.

The social workers in our centres, who remained available throughout the project to provide the necessary information and feedbacks.

• Finally, the students of the Motion Design section at Gobelins, who used all their sensitivity and creativity to put these stories into images, not shying away from extensive research to be as accurate as possible.

Delivery day

On March 30th, the students of Gobelins presented a first version of The Undefeated to a jury composed of French-Indian author Shumona Sinha, film producer Ron Dyens and founder of TARA Pascal Fautrat.

These screenings led to many moving exchanges, confirming one of the first successes of this project: the ability to connect to the situations of these children and ignite a broader conversation about vulnerable children in India.

The Undefeated are currently undergoing their final editing and are due to be released at the beginning of October 2021. More information coming soon!

This project would not have been possible without the precious support of the Fondation Bernard Dumas