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Animation with New Horizon

3 min read

Animation with New Horizon

3 min read


Animation with New Horizon

In 2023, New Horizon worked with local animation studio Matchbox Mountain to facilitate children and teenagers living in International Protection accommodation in the Athlone area in creating a series of short, animated films

New Horizon Refugee & Asylum Seeker Support is a frontline refugee support group based in Athlone. New Horizon offers necessary practical support to an average of 300 International Protection applications in Westmeath, such as English classes, education support, and a Legal Information Centre. They also provide important social support in the form of access to recreational activities, summer camp, Circus and Forest experiences, and a Mother and Toddler Group.

Matchbox Mountain is an animation studio based in Athlone, specialising in stop motion animation and educational animation workshops. Co-founder Pádraig Fagan has been facilitating animation workshops for students of all ages and skill levels since 2010.

"‘It’s a wonderful method of communicating. It’s a wonderful method of doing things that doesn’t rely on having a good knowledge of the English language.’ "

In 2023, 29 young people from New Horizon learned Stop motion Animation and Hand Drawn Animation in a series of workshops hosted by Pádraig. A key benefit of this programme was the ability to connect a diverse group of young people with a local creative practitioner to create environmentally themed animated films, allowing them to engage with a new artform and creativity, in some cases for the first time.

Following a successful launch in Athlone Library in December 2023, the films were entered into a number of youth film festivals, including First Cut Film Festival, and Fresh Film Festival.

Parents and participants were enthusiastic about the new creative skills they had developed, and astonished to learn it was possible to create your own films from scratch.

Following the success of the youth programme of animation workshops, New Horizon and Matchbox Mountain have branched out into adult participants for 2024. Having consulted with their audience, New Horizon identified a need for creative and social events for adults seeking International Protection in Ireland. New Horizon knows the importance of developing filmmaking and animation skills among marginalised members of the community, and see it as an opportunity to enhance personal wellbeing and enhance the culture and creativity in the Athlone.

‘New Horizons motto is to assist, to welcome, and to celebrate. Celebrate is an important word in that. To celebrate the riches that newcomers bring to our society’.

You can view the videos created by New Horizon participants here:

Big Dentist:

Grouchy Grove:


Hand drawn Animation:

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