We Are Fireflies

We Are Fireflies is an experiment in graphic auto-biography and a glimpse into the invisible forces that have shaped the lives of a mother and daughter.

  • Sophie Smiles
  • Sophie Smiles
  • Sophie Smiles
  • Rupert Cobb
    Audio Engineer
  • Sophie Smiles
    Key Cast
  • Wendy Smiles
    Key Cast
  • Dorette Engi
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    7 minutes 17 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 12, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of Westminster
Director Biography - Sophie Smiles

Sophie Smiles is a musician and illustrator with a long term interest in graphic novels and a recent graduate in Illustration and Visual Communications (BA Hons). Her research into graphic autobiography inspired her to share her own personal experience of trauma, culminating in her debut animation short ‘We Are Fireflies’.

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Director Statement

Making this animation has been a powerful experience in reconstructing fragments of memory into a meaningful narrative. I used hand-drawn illustrations, narrative ambiguity and voices to help the viewer connect and free-associate with our darker selves. It's a story about the impact of inter-generational conditioning and trauma on the development of self-identity and mental health.