Daisy Chain, narrated by Winslet, was inspired by the director's son and his experiences with bullying
Kate Winslet has shown her support for one father’s campaign against bullying by lending her voice to Daisy Chain, an animated short film by an Australian writer-director named Galvin Scott Davis.
The five-minute-long tale, narrated by Winslet in rhyming couplets and illustrated by Anthony Ishinjerro, tells the story of a boy named Benjamin and a girl named Buttercup Bree, who uses her magic daisy chains to overcome bullying.
It was inspired, Davis says, by his own son’s experiences with bullying.
“My middle boy was acting quiet and I found out that he’d been bullied. It wasn’t a bad case of bullying but it was enough to make him lose his confidence,” he told Guardian Australia.
“So I sat down and told him a bedtime story off the cuff. And I finished with the line ‘bullying is for people with no imagination’.”
Davis, who works as the director of a digital media agency, initially used his story, which featured a boy named Benjamin and his magical dandelions, to create a successful interactive book app (children using it could “blow” objects off the screen).
Determined to bring the tale’s inspirational message to a wider audience, he went on to approach the funding body Screen Australia, who agreed to help him make Daisy Chain.
The film, which was animated by Frederick Venet and features the music of Hylton Mowday, is now available on YouTube, where children and their parents can watch it free of charge. To date, it has had more than 23,000 views.
One thing the director wasn’t expecting, however, was to secure a major Hollywood star as his film’s narrator.
Davis had met Winslet once previously, on a British film set (back then, he was an aspiring actor) where she advised him to “never give up”.
Encouraged by her message, he decided to contact the 40-year-old actress, who was recently cast as the Second World War photographer Lee Miller in a new biopic, through her agent. To his surprise, she agreed to do the voiceover for his film.
“I contacted her agent and I didn’t think for one minute she would do it,” Davis said. “But she came back and said she would – and she recorded it in two takes.”