Set amidst the euphoric madness of a summer music festival, the short is a modern fairytale with a forbidden love story at its heart. Captured by pioneering south London director Kibwe Tavares (Jonah, Robots of Brixton) at Secret Garden Party, the film examines the festival experience through the eyes of Scarecrow, played by Jack O’Connell (Unbroken, ’71, Starred Up) and Robot, played by Holliday Grainger (Cinderella, The Riot Club).
The film was produced by Daniel Emmerson of DMC Film - the London-based production company run by Michael Fassbender and his producing partner Conor McCaughan. It was co-commissioned by Vero and The Space and co-produced with Factory Fifteen (Tavares’ studio) and Nexus. Producer Daniel Emmerson of DMC Film said: “Kibwe’s got a totally unique approach, and had an ambitious vision from the outset that involved animating pretty much every frame of the film. We got loads from the location and after that, it was a three year process with a small team of super skilled animators and visual effects artists, who translated the live action performances.”
Speaking about the film, director Kibwe Tavares said: “I feel the story is a weird, but straightforward, love story! The classic tale of two characters unable to be together as one is free and the other completely controlled. It’s also more than that, and is a nod to our youth culture, specifically at festivals. I wanted to create something that celebrated our love of festivals and it was amazing to do the shoot at Secret Garden Party. The characters are spectacularly portrayed by Jack and Holliday, and I hope people will really connect with it.” Robot & Scarecrow is the first film to receive backing from a production fund Vero has established with DMC Film to support emerging directors.
"Supporting the next generation of artists and filmmakers and providing them with new possibilities for people to connect with their work online is a big part of what we’re trying to achieve with Vero. We’re excited to be part of this project and to share this stunning film first on Vero” said Vero co-founder and CEO Ayman Hariri. DMC’s Michael Fassbender commented: “We’re really excited to be in business with Vero, and want to use the short film fund to build on our model of nurturing and developing relationships with emerging filmmakers.”
As a platform designed to make sharing all the things you love easier than ever before, Vero provides filmmakers with the tools to engage their audience in a new and valuable ways. All of the music, people, research and concepts referenced in the film can be explored in greater depth in the app itself – so the platform acts as not only a place to watch the film, but to explore a ‘rabbit hole’ of related content. Speaking about the partnership with Vero, Kibwe Tavares said: “Vero’s hands off approach enabled us stay to true to our creative, providing the freedom we needed to make this film. I’m so excited to share first on Vero - throughout my career I’ve tested everything online, rather than sharing in a more ‘traditional’ way. By sharing online you can directly access an incredible audience who find your work, share it, recommend it; providing evidence that people are intrigued by (and enjoying) your films.” Kibwe Tavares and Daniel Emmerson through DMC are also currently developing Kibwe’s debut feature The Kitchen which was written by and will star Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Sicario). Tavares has worked with Kaluuya previously on Jonah and his voice features in Robot & Scarecrow.
Robot & Scarecrow will be released on Wednesday May 31 and will be followed later in the year by the next two projects on the DMC-Vero slate: Love Pool, which will be directed by Asim Chaudhry (People Who Just Do Nothing) and John Moves In from Sundance-winner Ben Aston.
Watch / embed trailer here:
Download Vero and follow Kibwe Tavares or DMC Film to watch the full film: