How to design an animated fiction series

“We brought together a stellar pool of talent and expertise of illustrators, designers, filmmakers, senior media operators and representatives of civil society organizations from across the region. Our ambition is to include a rich variety of voices to make “Be 100 Ragl 3” a thought-provoking reflection of the issues faced by women in the region” Asmaa Guedira, Program Leader of “Be 100 Ragl”.

Amman, Jordan, 25-27 February, 2017 –Womanity, Lapis Communication and Kharabeesh hosted a creative workshop to design the third season of “Be 100 Ragl” (“Worth 100 Men” in English), an Arabic animated fiction series on women’s empowerment and gender equality. The workshop brought together a pool of 11 young talents (cartoonists, film directors, scriptwriters, and graphic designers) from across the region (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco) to imagine the most innovative concept and scenario for “Be 100 Ragl 3”. Find out more about the previous series of “Be 100 Ragl“.

The process, unique in its genre, included mentorship from senior media producers, representatives of women’s organizations and activists who helped identify issues related to the role of women in Arab societies and disruptive but engaging ways to present them to a target audience of young urban adults.

“I was invited by Womanity to provide a feminist perspective to the creative process. I found this a very interesting and important new approach, as often NGOs operate top-down. I am very curious to know what will be produced at the end of this exercise,” said one of the mentors, Cathy Moughalian, a researcher and feminist from the American University of Beirut.

To engage the target audience and include their opinion in the co-creation of the animation, the workshop was live-streamed on Kharabeesh’s social media channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and reached 180,000 views, stimulated 961 comments, 32 shares, and roughly 6,000 engagements online. The final stage of the competition was viewed by 50,000 followers and more than 1,120 fans voted online to select their favorite team and their creative concept for Be 100 Ragl 3.

According to Kharabeesh, this is one of the most engaging live-streaming exercises that they have ever been involved in.

At the end of three intense days of work, two teams were awarded: one from Morocco composed by Soukeina Hachem, designer and creative director, and Hind Bensari, film maker, for the creative storyline; and one from Egypt composed by Deena Mohamed, comics and visual artist, and Mohamed Abdelrahman, director and 3D animator, for its distinctive design concept.

“We started with the concept of Noha creating a new TV show that brings authentic voices from around the region to tell positive stories about women’s empowerment,” said Hind Bensari, from the winning Moroccan team.

Deena Mohamed from the winning Egyptian team commented:“It was a great experience because we met many creatives from the region, and we had the opportunity to gather all our ideas and come up with new concepts and approaches for women’s and social equality issues. It was interesting to see different viewpoints. This process has brought me a lot personally. The space was open and there were strong creative vibes.”

In the next five weeks, the two winning teams led by Natheer Khawaldeh, a creative director from Jordan, will develop the scenarios and story-boards of “Be 100 Ragl’s” up-coming season.

Coming soon on Be 100 Ragl’s Facebook page: the documentary from behind the scenes of the creative workshop. Stay tuned for more details on the new season of “Be 100 Ragl”!