Home News Travel Through the Rich History of the UAE in Beautifully Animated Short ‘Dreaming Together’

Travel Through the Rich History of the UAE in Beautifully Animated Short ‘Dreaming Together’

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Nexus Studios directing duo Smith & Foulkes created the film for the UAE pavilion at World Expo 2020

Travel Through the Rich History of the UAE in Beautifully Animated Short ‘Dreaming Together’

Nexus Studios directing duo Smith & Foulkes created a captivating animated short film together with the Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, Tellart and Kossmanndejong, to celebrate the UAE’s 50-year history and the richness of Emirati culture. 

In a story woven through time, Smith & Foulkes took inspiration from the Bedouin artform, Al Sadu, placing three generations of family life at the heart of the narrative. Visualised through a subtle painterly 2D aesthetic and colours reminiscent of the nation’s rich landscapes, the film blends accurate historical moments with hopeful re-imagined scenes of what life could look like in the future, with a wish for greater equality and inclusion.

To ensure authenticity ran through every detail, the Directors worked closely with an all-female team of Emirate archivists who were consulted on creative decisions every step of the way. 

Dreaming Together was shown on an impressive 8K, 24-metre screen at the Pearl Theatre as the centrepiece of the UAE Pavilion at Expo 2020, which was built bespoke for the event. Along with the screen, the semi-circular auditorium included rising seats and surround-sounds providing an immersive multi-sensory feast. 

“How many times in one’s career are you asked to create a film that celebrates the history of a Nation? It was a privilege to be able to travel through the country, immersing ourselves in Emirati history and culture. At the heart of this story are three generations of family life, specifically chosen to show the unparalleled speed of change and the experience of living through these times. This is a unique moment in time when all three generations are still here to tell this tale.” – Smith & Foulkes, directors, Nexus Studios

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Client: Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation for World Expo 2020 Dubai

Archival research: Lest We Forget (UAE)


Agency: KDJ Tellart Productions

Agency Producer: Olivier Klonhammer

Concept, Script and Creative Direction: Tellart (NL) + Kossmanndejong (NL)

Brand strategy, Brand Narrative and Guardianship: SY Partners


Production Company: Nexus Studios

Directors: Smith & Foulkes

Producer: Tracey Cooper

Production Manager: Edith Chappey

Studio CG Lead: Nico Domerego

Art Director: Callum Strachan

Storyboards: Gabriel Schucan

Character Designer: Sukanto Debnath

Character Designer: Melanie Climent

3D Generalist: Jonathan Vuillemin

3D/2D Generalist: Laura Quinn

Rigging: Lea Georges

Lead 2D Animator: Bishoy Gendi

2D Animator: Sim Marriott

2D Animator: Hozen Britto

2D Animator: Peter Dodd

2D Animator: Marylou Mao

2D Animator: Conor Ryan

2D Clean Up Artist: Giacomo Autili

2D Clean Up Artist: Rebecca Perrone

2D Clean Up Artist: Joe Cheng

2D Clean Up Artist: Chiara Sgatti

2D Clean Up Artist: Sasha Balan

2D Clean Up Artist: Judit Boor

2D Clean Up Artist: Joanna Boyle

2D Clean Up Artist: Andreia Serrano

VFX Artist: Paul Cousins

Lead Compositor: Jesse Richards

Compositor: Adriano Vessichelli

Compositor: Bethany Levy

Compositor: Guillaume Cassuto

Compositor: Daniele Baiardini

Editor: David Slade


Musical composition & soundscapes: Matthew Herbert

Sound Design: Resonate

Genres: Animation, Storytelling

Categories: Short Films and Music Videos, Short films

Nexus Studios, Thu, 05 May 2022 10:40:52 GMT DF

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