The artist worked with Primary 4 pupils throughout May and June 2014 to create five Roald Dahl-inspired short films as part of the Dremcatchers (2014) series incorporating children’s hand-drawn stories, character development, photography, drama, special sound effects and voice-overs.
Denis returned to Abbeyhill Primary School in April 2015 to work with the same pupils now in Primary 5. He was joined by documentary film-maker Chris Bridges and all together they re-imagined Dreamcatchers (2014) to create the award-winning Abbeyhill Dreams (2015) film.
Work-in-progress: For a glimpse of how Dreamcatchers (2014) came into being, please browse through the project documentation here:
Meet the artist: Throughout the festival weekend of the 9th Colony of Artists in September 2014 more than 300 visitors were able to catch up with Denis and his film crew from Primary 5 at the Abbeyhill Primary School Library which was transformed into a micro-cinema with free screenings of all the five animations as part of Dreamcachers (2014).
Hard at work: For a glimpse of the documentary film Abbeyhill Dreams (2015) being shot on location at Abbeyhill Primary School please see here:
Everyone is a winner: Abbeyhill Dreams (2015) was entered at the highly competitive Edinburgh Schools Film Competition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2015. Soon after it was shortlisted for the Best Documentary Award by the professional film festival jury in May 2015. At the award ceremony in June 2015, Abbeyhill Dreams achieved the highest of recognitions from one of the best film festivals in the world. The artists-in-residence and pupils couldn’t have been more proud on their way to and from the award ceremony at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse:
Acknowledgements: Denis’ artist residency at Abbeyhill Primary School throughout 2014 and 2015 was supported by a City Centre Neighbourhood Partnership Community Grant | Abbeyhill Primary School | Abbeyhill Primary School Parent Council.
Did you know: The class teacher Anne-Marie Bidoni who facilitated Denis’ artist residency in the classroom throughout 2014 and 15 sent this Enterprising Animation letter home: “Last term we worked as a class with local artist Denis Mallon on a project which will bring to life the children’s writing and artwork. The pupils have thoroughly enjoyed working together, discussing their ideas and exploring story lines to develop character and plot. This really has brought all of the skills taught in class together in a most enjoyable way. Denis has given us a preview of the short animations produced and they are super…”