Ten years in the making and completed with the help of 350 volunteers across 35 countries, “MILA” is a powerful CG short about a young girl’s witness to the WWII bombings
“MILA” is a war story told from a child's perspective. While the film is inspired by true events that occurred in Trento, Italy, in 1943, Mila represents all children, in any war, of any time. In the film, the character of Mila represents the best of humanity. Although she has lost everything — her family, her house, and her peace — she still clings to hope. It’s rare that animation takes on serious, complex matters such as war; however, director and writer Cinzia Angelini believes animation is the perfect medium to tell this story because while it's civilians who are the first to be hit, it’s their children that are the last to be remembered.
The “MILA” team comprised four core groups – U.S., Italy, Canada, and U.K. Professional artists in Italy, Australia, Mexico, India, France, Belgium, Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, Nigeria, Egypt, Brazil, Spain and more contributed in a variety of ways voluntarily.
Cinzia said, “I am deeply honored and immensely grateful to be at the helm of such an incredible group of volunteers, who believed in me, in Mila, and all that she represents. This has always been a team effort, supported by countless people who encouraged, contributed and became a part of our international, multi-cultural crew. I thank each of them from the bottom of my heart.”
Over the years, “Mila “gathered sponsors and partners including Pixel Cartoon, IbiscusMedia, Autodesk, Toon Boom Animation, SideFX, Aniventure, UNICEF Italia, Dog Head Animation and Skywalker Sound. In 2019 Cinesite announced their partnership with the project to complete the production of “Mila.”
The CG short has not only rallied a global collective to illustrate the hearts, minds, and everlasting hope of children in warzones, but has also spotlighted women in the animation industry. 30 percent of the film’s crew was female, and many held leadership roles including Writer/Director, Producer, Executive Producers, Script Supervisor, Head of Lighting, Rigging Supervisor, Character Effects Leads, and Co-Production Managers. “I am so happy that I work in a studio that really cares about supporting women in the industry,” Angelini notes. “And I'm also happy that I was able to give back... with advice or with recommendations or with networking to help people that were on the film for many years get something out of it. Many people that started as students with us are now professionals and were able to have portfolios thanks to Mila. We didn't want to just take from the community, so we gave back as much as we could.”
Originally from Italy, Cinzia moved to Los Angeles in 1997 and has worked as a 2D/3D animator and story artist for studios like Dreamworks, Disney Animation Studios, Warner Brothers, Sony Imageworks, Illumination Entertainment, and most recently, Cinesite. Her work includes “Balto,” “Prince of Egypt,” “Eldorado,” “Spirit,” “Sinbad,” “Spider-man 2″ (Best Visual Effects Oscar Winner, 2005), “Open Season,” “Meet the Robinsons,” “Bolt,” “The Minions Movie”, “Despicable Me 3”, “The Grinch,” and “Abominable.” She presented her talk “Bridging cultural diversity through the magic of animation” to a world-wide audience for TEDx, in the U.S. and again in Italy. Cinzia is currently co-directing the animated feature HITPIG with David Feiss, set in a futuristic cyberpunk world the story follows a grizzled porcine bounty hunter Hitpig (Peter Dinklage) who accepts his next hit: Pickles (Lilly Singh), a naive, ebullient elephant who has escaped the clutches of an evil trillionaire. The film is produced by Aniventure and is currently in production at Cinesite. It’s scheduled for release in 2022.