Teleton is the most important fundraising event for Brazilian orthopaedic hospital, AACD, Latin America’s most important institution providing treatment and healing for children with physical disabilities. In 2018, the event, broadcasted for over 28 hours on TV, internet and social media, opened new and easy ways to donate, from large to small amounts. But we didn’t want to focus our message on the same request used over and over again throughout the years: “Please, donate”. We wanted to harness the good will of Brazilians by showing that they can help through other ways by respecting disabled people or simply by supporting and motivating them to achieve their dreams.
To show the resilient power of gentleness, compassion, and determination, we transformed Samuel, a boy who received treatment from AACD Hospital after losing both arms whilst kite flying, into an animated character. The tender animation expresses how Samuel is encouraged to dance without inhibition thanks to the playful support of friends. The film is both a meditation and a call-to-action inspired by the enchanting innocence of childhood.
Norwegian artist Mari Persen’s emotive track ‘Leo’ provided the vibrant rhythm for the film.
The animation video was broadcast on open TV, followed by a live performance of the same dance, featuring Samuel and young TV actress Duda Pimenta becoming one of Teleton 2018’s most iconic moments. The video was seen by more than 12 million people and helped Teleton beat its fundraising record. It inspired millions to be more conscious of how a small act of kindness makes the biggest difference, reinforcing the belief we all need support. Most importantly, Samuel’s spirit and courage, inspired thousands of children like him, to overcome physical trauma and emotional barriers.