My thoughts this remembrance Sunday turned to the extraordinary true story of Dorothy Kibbat and her marriage to the late Willi Kibbat, a German soldier and British Prisoner of War. Dorothy slowly told me her story a year ago during the course of a couple of audio interviews for a very special film about the oral history of Yorkshire told by two of the oldest residents of Masham, who have lived through an extraordinary period of change.
The film, about two lifelong friends, simply called “Betty and Dorothy”, was animated by some of the regions youngest residents, pupils at Kell Bank Primary School. These projects are always incredible to be part of, but this making this film profoundly changed my understanding of the human stories in World War 2. I felt incredibly privileged to spend a few hours with Dorothy and Betty, during which time we were able to piece together a story which remained had remained private for most of her lifetime. It was an extraordinary piece of trust placed on me by Dorothy and her dear friend and an incredible honour and responsibility. Premiering at Masham Arts Festival last year, it is nominated for Best Film by Young Animators at Bradford Animation Festival this coming Saturday at 12pm, and Dorothy and her family will be there along with pupils who made the film.
Rather incredibly, films made by young people I’ve mentored have won this prestigious international award for the last 4 years. The competition, as always, is fierce. All I can say, is I’ve honestly never been more proud of a film I’ve mentored. It is a beautifully tender and powerful story and I wish the pupils at Kell Bank all the luck in the world this Saturday.