Instructor's Work to be Seen at UN's Convention

UN Posters 

Animation Instructor Work to be Part of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru

Riverside City College animation instructor Will Kim has been busy outside the classroom.

Kim recently completed work on two projects. One, Symphony of the Soil, has received the New York Times Critic’s Pick and the other, Amazon Gold, will be shown as part of the United Nations’ climate change conference (Framework Convention) in Lima, Peru in December. The film covers the global warming effects on the Amazon, and has aired on PBS as part of its series on The Price of Gold: Illegal Gold Mining in the Amazon.

Kim hired his own animation team for both projects. He didn’t have to look far, reaching out to former RCC students Roseanne Tan, Andrew Aviles, Seyha In, and Leon Lam.  

“The fact that I was given complete artistic freedom in terms of the style of animation, animation techniques/mediums (watercolor in these particular cases), and character/environment design made both projects a great opportunity,” Kim said. “This sort of freedom is rare when you work for feature films, but I think I got lucky because I met the directors (Ruben Aaronson: Amazon Gold and Deborah Koons Garcia: Symphony of the Soil). They respected my art and animation and trusted my decision makings in creating animation and scenes.”

Amazon Gold, narrated by Academy Award winners Sissy Spacek and Herbie Hancock, is a disturbing account of a clandestine journey into the Amazon rainforest. War journalists Ron Haviv and Donovan Webster, led by a Peruvian biologist, uncover the savage unraveling of the pristine rainforest. They bear witness to the apocalyptic ecological destruction caused by illegal gold mining. An animated rodent (Agouti) springs to life to tell the story of his ecosystem. Amazon Gold reaffirms the right of the rainforest to exist as a repository of priceless biodiversity.

Symphony of the Soil is a 104-minute documentary film that explores the complexity and mystery of soil. The film examines the complex relationships between soil, water, atmosphere, plants and animals. It also explores our human relationship with soil, the effects of agriculture, deforestation and development, and the latest scientific research into soil’s role in sustaining a livable environment. Filmed on four continents and featuring renowned scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil highlights possibilities of healthy soil leading to a healthier planet. By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource.