Movie Magic in a Box is an animated film which takes you behind the scenes to see the 8½ Foundation’s Catherine Payton wrapping the 2000th film on DVD to be sent to an 8½ year-old child as part of the Foundation’s internationally acclaimed work with schools across Scotland.

For the last twelve months, children approaching their 8½ birthday have been sending hand-written letters to the Foundation, asking for their favourite films from a short list devised by the Foundation’s directors.  Their chosen films are then beautifully wrapped – as the animation shows – and an individually addressed Happy Movie Birthday card is added.

Scottish based not-for-profit organisation, the 8½ Foundation is the brainchild of Tilda Swinton and Mark Cousins and is dedicated to introducing world cinema to children. Its aim is to create a new birthday: a film birthday, at the age of 8½, that celebrates the power of cinema to expand children’s horizons and welcomes children into the wider world of movies.

Movie Magic in a Box from 8 1/2 Foundation on Vimeo.

Mark Cousins, Director, 8½ Foundation commented: “This beautiful little animation captures the magic of what the 8½ Foundation is trying to be.  We are so proud to be sending so many great films to so many kids across Scotland.  We are being asked all the time to replicate the success of 8½ around the world.  It’s great that it started here.

The Foundation’s co-director, Tilda Swinton, echoed this enthusiasm, adding “we are beyond thrilled at the passion and wonder with which so many children are seizing on our invitation to take this beautiful, shared, adventure into magical, unknown cinema.  First Scotland, next, the world…

Iain Munro, Creative Director, Creative Scotland commented: ‘Congratulations to the 8½ Foundation on sending their 2000th DVD.  With investment from our Inspiring Communities funds, this fantastic initiative promises to excite and inspire children, welcoming them into a new world of creative experiences. It’s a great start to the Year of Creative Scotland and a beautiful animation to set the scene.’

The Foundation has touched the lives of many children in Scotland, opening their eyes to the magic of world cinema.  One of the participating children enthused: “I thought that [Our Relations] was really hilarious! I watched it with my mum and we both laughed our socks off. Thank you so much for my dvd’s, for my 8½ birthday.”

A mother emailed to share her and her daughter’s excitement: “My daughter received her movies today. She tore them open a little while ago and I have no doubt we’ll watch all three this weekend… it’s a great initiative – she has been so enthused by the whole thing  – a big hearty resounding thank you.

And teachers are delighted, too: “Thank you for the parcels! There was great excitement when the post arrived and the children took a look inside the lovely red boxes. Everyone remarked how beautifully they were wrapped and I requested that the children wait until they got home to open them with their parents. On Friday many came to school wearing their 8½ badges and news of which films they had received.

You can follow the Foundation on Facebook.