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Cinda Real – twisted fairy tales

Stigma is a broad concept that describes a process that affects the most sensitive parts of human life and is therefore difficult to define. All feelings of stigma develop in the early stages of childhood, when we begin to develop a view of ourselves and the world.

Cinda Real is a re-telling of Cinderella across several platforms (film, app, VR). It is the first in a series of 6 fairy tales, each re-imagined to tackle a separate stigma. This approach means new story elements, and it brings the fairy tales closer to their origins, which were darker but also contained valuable psychological insights that have become lost in the newer, more sanitised versions. Cinda Real is a story about a girl who is stigmatised for having only one leg.

Cinda has to overcome this disability within herself, within her family and within the community. Her wish to attend the prince’s ball is ridiculed so she runs away. In the woods her fairy godmother, with the help of forest animals, helps her make a wooden leg. Once she masters walking on her new leg, Cinda attends the ball, where she dazzles on the dance floor. By changing the focus from wanting to marry the prince to wanting to dance, we wish to generate a message of empowerment and self-realisation.

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By re-imagining the narrative of the familiar fairy tale, the goal is to explore a particular stigma in a meaningful manner. With the animated films, we are innovating at the level of content, as we are using children’s drawings as the basis of the animation. The innovation of the form is closely connected to the narrative, because the interactive storytelling app allows the users to input their own drawings/illustrations into the story engine which then generates the animated short film as drawn by them, so the children become the artists of the story. Taking the next logical step, we then wanted to also allow the young users to also generate their own take on the fairy tale in question, and this is where the VR device comes into play. The VR/AR app would allow them to ‘freestyle’ and draw their story in real space.