Screen Australia has part-funded the sequel to Galvin Scott Davis’ award-winning children’s narrative app Dandelion. Available now at no cost, the five minute short Daisy Chain follows Buttercup Bree’s experience of school-age bullying. The stunning work of illustrator Anthony Ishinjerro is animated to touching effect by Frederick Venet, with Kate Winslet (The Dressmaker) providing the voice-over and music by Hylton Mowday. There is also a partner interactive app for Daisy Chain available for Apple devices through iTunes (AUD$3.79) aimed at primary school aged children.
“Dandelion was a way to talk to my son about his experience of bullying by using the fictional character Benjamin Brewster,” says writer/director Galvin Scott Davis of Sydney digital agency Protein One. “I never foresaw that our little passion project would receive the attention it did, so we approached Screen Australia to help make a sequel, this time with a female hero. I’m extremely proud of the way Daisy Chain has materialised and I hope it offers more than a narrative, but becomes a tool to help children navigate this tricky time.”
“I’ve always been passionate about creating original storytelling world’s that resonate on more than one level. Though this series is first and foremost a series of fantastical tales, a knock-on effect has been that it has actually gone some way to helping the core audience.”
Since its launch in 2012, Dandelion went on to become the #1 book app on Australian iTunes, was selected in Apple’s Best of the Best 2012, named in the Daily Mail’s (UK) Top 40 apps of 2013, and translated into five languages. The public response to the project prompted Davis to forge relationships with anti-bullying organisations Bully Zero Australia Foundation, Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center (USA) and the Anti-Bullying Alliance (UK). A range of companion products have been developed, including a physical Daisy Chain picture book, and are for sale at the new website ilovedaisychain.com.au with a portion of profits being divided between the aforementioned organisations.
“One of the most important things we can do to help children being bullied is to talk to them about it,” says Oscar Yildiz of the Bully Zero Australia Foundation. “The short film of Daisy Chain is a vehicle for parents to broach the subject of bullying with their kids, regardless of whether they suspect their child may be the victim or the perpetrator. Furthermore, the allusion in the narrative to cyber-bullying is particularly pertinent to children who are growing up connected to the internet, and is something they need to understand as soon as possible.”
Daisy Chain was funded through Screen Australia’s multi-platform program headed by Senior Manager Tim Phillips. “When we received Galvin’s proposal, what really stood out for us was the way film, story and technology were being used to not only entertain, but to inform and prompt critical thinking in this very young audience. Making the short film available on YouTube also makes it incredibly accessible for not only the kids, but their family and schools. Daisy Chain is a truly beautiful creation and we encourage people to share the film on social media so young Australians discover it.”