As far as we’re concerned, it isn’t Christmas until Manchester City Council’s in-house design studio, M–Four, reveals its annual festive campaign. And this year, the team has once again collaborated with Kilogramme to create an animated film that reflects on how the city has come together during a global pandemic.

It makes quite the contrast to previous instalments, as Chris Jennings, lead designer at M–Four explains: “Traditionally, our festive film would highlight the attractions, events and days out that make Manchester such a special place at this time of the year. This time, of course, many of these events have had to be cancelled or postponed because of the pandemic.”

With that in mind, the film’s theme for 2020 is one of shared experiences. It takes a jovial look at the challenges we’ve faced, including the precarious balancing act of working from home while home-schooling, video calling family to stay in touch, learning new skills – baking in particular! It also pays tribute to our clapping for carers, and remembers how the region pulled together, supported one another and showed true Mancunian spirit.

Speaking of the brief, Jon Turner, director at Kilogramme, said: “We got everyone from the studio together (virtually) to share some of the experiences that were relevant to us, our friends and families and began to build a story. It was hard to whittle the choices down, but the final combination of funny and touching moments are experiences that we felt would be familiar to a wide range of people across Greater Manchester. The resulting film is one we are very proud of, and it will hopefully bring a smile to the face and maybe a tear to the eye of everyone who watches it.”

Craig Green, lead designer at M–Four, adds: “We recognised that despite the challenges faced this year, the city is full of hope and determination. I think viewers will identify with some of the funny and touching moments they’ll see in the animation.”

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