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‘CHILDREN’S VOICES’: Budding artist from Ricky illustrates film about leaving Ukraine

 Published on: 24th April 2024   |   By: Sophia Sheera   |   Category: Uncategorized

A student who came to Rickmansworth from Chernihiv two years ago has animated a film about the “hopes” and “grief” of fellow children displaced from Ukraine.

Budding illustrator and animator Eliza Horban,17, is currently studying for her GCSEs at the Royal Masonic School for Girls (RMS) in Rickmansworth, alongside attending the Hilltop Ukrainian Support Community outside of school hours. When an older member of Hilltop decided to put together a film about Ukraine, she approached Eliza, whose artistic talents were already well-known.

Eliza said: “The main character in the story is an artist who represents all of the children from Ukraine who lost a part of their childhood and the dreams that we ‘painted’ for ourselves, but who still hope for a good future despite everything that happened.

“According to the plot, Britain glues together a picture that was damaged by the destructive force of lightning, where the lightning symbolises Russian invasion and missile attacks. We want to believe that someone cares about our hopes and dreams, because it is very difficult to live in uncertainty and alone with our problems and grief.”

The film’s director sent Eliza an outline of the plot at the beginning of 2024, and by January 22, the self-taught artist had already put together 56 drawings, ready to be animated.

“This happened during the mock exam period, so it actually made me very tired,” recalled Eliza. “But I felt a responsibility to do it because the message is very important to many people.”

In the future, Eliza hopes to study animation at West Herts College in Watford. In fact, the she had already earned a place at an arts college in Ukraine before Russia invaded the country.

The film was released on the second anniversary of the war in Ukraine, on February 24, 2024, in the Elgiva Theatre. To watch the film online, see

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