02 April 2019

The Moment, a division of The Creative Engagement Group (TCEG), has created five new animated short films for BBC Ideas, looking at how famous thinkers from the past would interpret contemporary issues and phenomena.

What would Freud make of the selfie? How would Greek poet Sappho view today’s attitudes towards sexuality? If Plato were alive today, what would he think of the modern referendum? Who knew that 19th century nurse Florence Nightingale was also a statistician? Each film addresses its own thought-provoking question.

Finally, we examine how French writer and feminist Simone de Beauvoir could have reacted to the #MeToo movement.

Each film has been produced, illustrated and animated inhouse by The Moment’s and TCEG’s teams in Plymouth, London, Manchester and the USA. They also worked alongside academic experts to ensure that each film had a solid theoretical background.

Alice Kilpatrick, co-head of film production at The Moment & TCEG, said: “We have loved collaborating again with BBC Ideas to produce five more films. It’s such an interesting project – bringing together thought-provoking thinkers from the past to create fresh perspectives on the big issues of today and bringing them to life in a creative, intelligent and watchable way.”

The commission comes following the success of an earlier animation created by The Moment, following an open call from BBC Ideas. That film, created in conjunction with academic Angie Hobbs and in partnership with The Open University, looked at what philosopher Michel Foucault would make of the rise of fake news.

BBC Ideas is a new short-form digital video project from the BBC focused on “short films for curious minds.” The brief for content is to create short videos that teach the viewer something or bring them a new perspective on an existing idea, person or subject. Initially, the platform was to run for a year, but this has now been extended.

Along with the Foucault film, The Moment has had a separate film, ‘Cognitive Bias: Is your brain your own worst enemy?’ also featured on BBC Ideas.

Check out the films here 


1. Sigmund Freud on the Selfie
– Collaborator: Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, psychologist and author
– Producer: Rich Thompson
– Animator: Tom Donachie

2. Simone de Beauvoir on MeToo
– Collaborator: Beatrix Campbell, writer and broadcaster
– Producer: Lauren Pouchly
– Illustrator: Simone Zahradka
– Editor: Bertie Sumner

3. Sappho on Sexuality
– Collaborator: Prof Margaret Reynolds, Author, The Sappho History
– Producer: Lauren Pouchly
– Animator: Joe Beblavy

4. Florence Nightingale on Big Data
– Collaborator: Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, statistician
– Producer: James Quinn
– Key Animator: Leo Matcham
– Illustrator: Simone Zahradka
– 2nd Animator: Robin Greenwood

5. Plato on Referendums
– Collaborator: Lindsey Porter, Honorary Research Fellow in Philosophy, University of Sheffield
– Producer: James Mansell
– Key Animator: Robin Greenwood
– 2nd Animators: Michael Hall & Leo Matcham


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