This film is part of Free

Beneath the Surface

A comedy-drama animation about two best friends growing up in the same world but experiencing it completely differently.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 2017 4 mins Not rated


Beneath the Surface is a short stop-motion cut-out and 2D animation fictional film about two friends; Cherelle, mixed-race and Minomi, black, as they reminisce on 25 years of friendship in four minutes with a mixture of voice-over and conversational dialogue. At the heart of it, Beneath the Surface is about the Black British girl experience and existing in our own bodies (even if we don’t want to) in the western world. The film is animated and co-directed by award-winning animator, Jessica Ashman and written and co-directed by Yero Timi-Biu.

The film carves out a fictional narrative about two friends, growing up and co-existing in the same world, but having completely different lives based on prejudices and preconceptions. We explored the character’s access and agency. Yero interviewed multiple focus groups of young black and mixed-race women in the UK who have experienced body dysmorphia, misogynoir, everyday racism and colourism and asked them a series of questions regarding their identity and/or any struggles (if any) they’ve had with themselves. Yero re-wrote these stories by turning them into a short piece of stylised fiction.