Animation Guild

Summer 2019

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Page 17 of 43

A F T E R H O U R S MOVED BY THE CHILD REFUGEE CRISIS, WRITER GRANT MORAN STARTED KEPYR URGING THE FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT COMMUNITY TO GET INVOLVED Like many people, Grant Moran became aware of the Syrian refugee crisis when he started seeing newspaper reports of rafts and boats in the Mediterranean filled with desperate people and disturbing accounts of children's bodies washing up on the beaches. These stories affected him deeply, especially as a person who works in the children's entertainment industry. "The Syrian refugee crisis for me was a window into a much, much larger, vaster and dark issue with child refugees," he says. The number of child refugees was astonishing: almost 50 million of the world's children are refugees—one out of every 200 children on the planet. "I realized, personally, how ignorant I had been, how the worst refugee crisis since World War II is going on in the world right now." Feeling small and hopeless in the face of such a huge humanitarian crisis, he wanted to contribute in some way. So the Emmy award-winning writer, who has been involved in children's and family entertainment for over 20 years, searched for a group within the children's entertainment industry that focused on the crisis, only to discover it didn't exist. "That's the thing that will break the heart of anyone in our business… Children are being robbed of their childhoods." It soon dawned on him that he'd have to be the one to ring the alarm bell. KEPYR—Kids Entertainment Professionals for Young Refugees—was born. Moran's objective was to rally as many people as possible from the industry around this issue and create awareness. The objective was to make it easy for CHILDREN IN NEED "These children have seen and experienced things that no child should ever have to see..." 18 KEYFRAME

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