Kingston School of Art students create uplifting animation to raise money for Cats Protection charity

Two illustration animation students from Kingston School of Art have created a heart-warming animated film about a stray cat to raise money for a cat protection charity.

Third-year undergraduates Sophie Buckley and Freyja Crisp produced ‘Stray – A Lockdown Story’ for one of their final university projects, which reminisces on their relationship with a stray cat, ‘Potter’, as he became a beloved garden guest over last year’s summer months. 

‘STRAY – A LOCKDOWN STORY’: students produced short film about a stray cat. Credit: Sophie Buckley and Freyja Crisp.

The film looks back on the fond memories the students made with their feline friend and aims to raise money and awareness for Cats Protection, a UK charity dedicated to rescuing stray cats and the organisation the students contacted to help get Potter rehomed. 

Sophie and Freyja said: “We wanted to create something to remember our time with Potter and to share the uplifting story of our stray cat, who had greatly impacted our lives during the pandemic. 

“We hoped this may encourage others to reflect on their own positive experiences with animals during this period.

“We hope the film will portray how equally strong the bond can be with a stray cat and highlight the value of adopting a cat over buying one.”

WAITING OUTSIDE THE GATE: Potter comes round for an afternoon visit. Credit Sophie Buckley and Freyja Crisp.
CLOSE UP: Potter looking happy and content. Credit: Sophie Buckley and Freyja Crisp.

The fundraiser has a target of £621.23, the cost of Potter’s vet bills, to pay back Cats Protection for helping Potter and to give the charity support during a time that has been difficult for raising funds.

Cats Protection’s director of income generation Catherine Cottrell said: “We are always amazed by the creativity of our supporters and this wonderful animation from Freyja and Sophie is a fine example of how young people can make fundraising a part of what they do.”

Lecturer of illustration animation at Kingston School of Art Evgenia Gostrer added: “What makes this animation stand out is that the students proactively went out to find their audience of their own accord – this sparked their enthusiasm for the project and working together. 

“They plan to work together as freelancers when they finish their course and we will be proud to see this partnership continue.”

Sophie and Freyja are now working together on a live brief organised by the illustration animation course for Compass Collective, a non-profit theatre company working with refugees and asylum seekers.

They said this opportunity made them realise how much they enjoy working on meaningful storytelling and that they want to pursue working with charitable organisations in the future.

Feature image credit: Sophie Buckley and Freyja Crisp.

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