JUSTIN AND THE WERLOOBEE, 11min., USA, Animation/Family
ANIMATION SHORT FILMS • 10m
Based on the published book, FRUIT OF THE VINE (Weisberg and Yoffe, Waldorf Publishing, 2018). In JUSTIN AND THE WERLOOBEE, we meet Justin, a sensitive, introspective boy whose physical features and personality make him a convenient target for many of his cruel peers. One night, he wakes to find himself on a mysterious island, which is inhabited by a horde of bizarre creatures. Despite his desperation to find out where he is and, more importantly, how to get home, he becomes involved in the plight of Irvino, a beast who is ostracized on this island much in the way that Justin is in his own world. The story ends with a twist as Justin, in helping Irvino, ends up helping himself by making a lifelong friend out of Irvino. JUSTIN AND THE WERLOOBEE is unique from other stories in the fantasy genre in that it is meant not only for the grade school-aged fantasy enthusiast, but also for anyone interested in the topic of bullies, and how altruistic qualities can develop in children.
JUSTIN AND THE WERLOOBEE, which was funded by royalty money awarded to Ellen and Ken for development of a leukemia therapy, will be used as part of their 501c3 non-profit (called FACEPAINT, Inc.) to raise social awareness and to promote altruism and bystander intervention in bullying situations. Research has shown that a child who has a strong social support network is less likely to suffer long-term effects of bullying. JUSTIN AND THE WERLOOBEE promotes friendship & selflessness as ways to combat the adverse consequences of bullying. The film is based on their published book, FRUIT OF THE VINE (Waldorf Publishing, 2018), which has received positive reviews by Kirkus, Readers’ Favorite, and others. JUSTIN AND THE WERLOOBEE is Ken's and Ellen's first film.
Directed by Ken Yoffe & Ellen Weisberg, John Vo
Key Cast: Corey Thornton
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