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Little Amal – The Walk by Basil Jones, Adrian Kohler & David Lan

Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP) 2022 is pleased to present

Little Amal – The Walk


by Basil Jones, Adrian Kohler & David Lan

Country: United Kingdom, South Africa | Language: Non-Verbal / Silent  | Year Of Inception: 2021

About Little Amal – The Walk

A giant puppet of a nine-year-old refugee girl Amal traveled 4,971 miles (8,000km) from the Turkey-Syria border through Europe to the UK. The Good Chance team behind The Jungle, the celebrated dramatisation of refugee life in Calais, teamed up with the creators of the War Horse puppets to create one of the most ambitious public artworks ever attempted.The Walk dramatised the stories of refugee children by means of a 3.5-metre-high puppet, Little Amal, who traveled from the Syrian border through Turkey, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and France in search of her mother. More than 70 towns, villages and cities welcomed Little Amal with art, from major street parties and city performances to more intimate community events. Even the Pope welcomed her.

In July, Little Amal arrived at the Manchester International Festival where she became the centerpiece of a large-scale participatory event. The production team includes the director Stephen Daldry, who said it would be a “travelling festival of art and hope” and the “most ambitious public art event” ever attempted.

The full film is currently in post-production

About Basil Jones, Adrian Kohler & David Lan

Basil Jones is the co-founder and Executive Producer of Handspring Puppet Company. Jones completed his BFA at UCT where he met future husband, Adrian Kohler. In 1990, Jones set up a not for profit NGO Handspring Trust, which produced the award winning Spider’s Place, an innovative, multi-media science education series for TV, radio and comic aimed at young learners from disadvantaged backgrounds. He set up the Handspring Awards for Puppetry, which recognise and encourage puppet design, direction and performance in South Africa. The Handspring Trust is involved in a number of projects in urban township and rural areas, using puppetry as a means to educate and empower youth and bring communities together through street parades and performance. He speaks and writes on the subject of puppetry and is deeply interested in growing an international dialogue on the theatre of objects. He received the Naledi Executive Directors Award [2012], a lifetime achievement award from Tshwane University [2006] and an honorary doctorate in literature from UCT [2012].

Adrian Kohler, Co-founder and Artistic Director of Handspring Puppet Company, is one of the world’s leading masters of his medium. His mother was an amateur puppeteer who, with his father, a yacht builder and cabinetmaker, gave him a firm grounding in woodwork, woodcarving, wooden constructions and the creation of moving figures. A BA (Fine Art) Hons, at the University of Cape Town followed. He then spent a year at The Space Theatre, South Africa’s pioneering non-racial theatre. In Botswana he ran the National Popular Theatre Programme (1978-80) and was an active member of the Medu Art Ensemble – a collection of ANC-aligned cultural activists.
In 1981 he and Basil Jones returned to Cape Town to found Handspring Puppet Company, with two other art school graduates. He was the lead puppet designer and maker as well as set designer and script writer.
For five years the company produced a new play every year. In their fifth year they also produced their first play for adults: Episodes of an Easter Rising, directed by Esther van Ryswijk. This play premiered at The Baxter Theatre and later toured to France. The company then moved to Johannesburg, where they enjoyed a long association with William Kentridge, staging three plays and two operas.
Their return to Cape Town in 1999 saw them branch out into a new form of theatre which focussed on the animal ‘as animal’ and as the central subject in a theatrical production. The Chimp Project (2000), Tall Horse (2004) and War Horse (2007) were all part of a ‘nouvelle vague’ which for the first time in theatre history, made an animal the central figure in a piece of theatre.
Kohler’s puppets have garnered Handspring many awards in South Africa and abroad. War Horse received the Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and Lawrence Olivier Awards (2007/8) in London and on Broadway, a Special Tony Award, the Outer Critics Award and a Drama Desk Award (2011).

His work has been exhibited at the SA National Gallery, The Barbican Art Gallery and the National Theatre, London, The Museum for African Art, New York City and the Cape Town and Johannesburg Art Fairs. His puppets are held in public collections including the SA Constitutional Court, the Munich Stadtmuseum, the Centre for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta, and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Kohler is the recipient of a number of Vita Awards, an Artes award, the Michaelis Prize (1974), an honorary doctorate in literature UCT (2012) and the John F. Kennedy Gold Medal in the Arts (2018).

About The Festival

The Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP) is an annual event showcasing films drawn from the world of theatre and performance. The festival presents experimental, emerging, and established theatre artists and filmmakers from around the world to audiences and industry professionals. The 7th annual festival will focus on work for the screen created by theatre artists during the Time of Corona. The festival will be held digitally from March 1st – 15th 2022.

Explore projects created under Little Amal – The Walk from March 1st to March 15th 2022 on the Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP) website.

Support this project by Basil Jones, Adrian Kohler & David Lan by making a direct donation to them at the following details: https://donate.chooselove.org/campaigns/walks-amal-fund/

Read more about Basil Jones, Adrian Kohler & David Lan and Little Amal – The Walk at (https://www.walkwithamal.org/about-us/little-amal/) or get in touch at office@littleamal.org / Instagram @walkwithamal / Facebook @walkwithamal

Find out all that’s happening at Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP) 2022 by following the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.