Boabolly Gunther is “A mercurial monster not a boy nor a girl but an adventure lover”. So opens this magical and highly topical film short from Elliot Kershaw. Boabolly lives alone, on a hillside, away from the village and people that he gazes down onto. Convinced that a Boabolly could never be accepted, could never mix because he is so “different”. Never mix that is, until by chance an innocent child happens on Boabolly. Will this be sufficient to change his attitude?
Elliot Kershaw, already an accomplished independent filmmaker, takes his own creation and his own children’s story and turns it into a highly original and captivating short stop-motion film. At only two and a half minutes long Kershaw manages to tell a complete story and deal with the question of “difference”. In doing so the author/filmmaker gives young people a view of a potential set of attitudes free from prejudice of all kind. “You be who you want to be” the child tells Boabolly.
With originality and charming musical accompaniment and narration from James Grantham it is the very simplicity of this story that will find resonance with younger viewers. Prejudice is not innate it is socially learned but the process of prejudice remains highly complex. Kershaw’s ability to find a device by which to challenge the prejudice is brilliant and continues his cinematic originality following on from his live action films such as “Starman from Heaven”.
Independent filmmakers have, for the most part, to be able to do the lot conceive, write, draw and paint and colour artwork, direct, produce and promote. These abilities are well illustrated in this beautiful film. Kershaw has added stop-motion filming to his other film-making skills and writing talents. This is a combination of talents with a future. Where it will take Kershaw remains to be seen. We look forward to following his career with interest.