In 1986, an explosion at the Chernobyl Atomic Power Plant caused the evacuation of approximately 1,000 square miles of rural and urban land around the plant, including the city Pripyat, creating the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Ten years after the explosion, small herds of very rare Przewalski Horses were released into the Zone. I was first drawn to the Exclusion Zone by the story of these horses, as I’m an animator and I particularly like to draw horses and I found the horse’s story of return from the brink of extinction to survival in a radioactively contaminated environment fascinating. I’ve been to Chernobyl filming twice already, researching the Zone and the horses and their stranger than fiction story, and developing a mixed media documentary about them and the Exclusion Zone. Sample clips from my work so far can be seen at: https://vimeo.com/62782383 While researching in Chernobyl, I quickly found myself fascinated not just by the horses’ story, but by the Exclusion Zone itself, and by the people who are, like myself, drawn to go there. I’m an experienced animator and fiction filmmaker, you can view some of my work at: https://vimeo.com/sallypearce/videos But I have not yet made a documentary. So this Summer, I’m taking the NFTS Summerdoc Course, which will lead to a finished 15-20mins documentary short, to be completed in September, and screened in London. https://nfts.co.uk/our-courses/certificate/summerdocs I will promote the finished film around Festivals hoping for many National and International screenings. I will also use it to promote the Chernobyl Horses project. For the Summerdoc project, I aim to go back to Chernobyl to make a short documentary about what draws people, including myself, to go there, asking the question whether the city and the Zone has a possible future as a tourist attraction, and if so, why? I would use the £2,000 to pay for my flight, guide and accommodation in Kiev and Chernobyl, and also to pay for my UK travel, accommodation and subsistence during the two months of the Summerdoc course.
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