- Pioneering UK tech company Celestial recreate Amnesty’s iconic Picasso dove and Candle logo in one-off film using innovative propriety technologies to control Drone Swarms to celebrate Amnesty’s 60th anniversary
- Film shows 3D drone-powered dove fly from Sydney Opera House to Palais de Chaillot travelling across five global iconic landmarks
Amnesty International France and Art for Amnesty commissioned Freedom Flight – a two-minute film backed by Sting, Bono, The Edge, and Peter Gabriel to inspire new audiences to stand up for universal human rights
- Celestial create spectacular light displays using cutting-edge drone technology to cast life-like imagery in tech-driven art form, first seen at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2021 event
[Friday, 28 May 2021] Today, Amnesty International France and Art for Amnesty release a new film Freedom Flight, created by and based on the unique drone art of pioneering UK technology company Celestial.
Freedom Flight was shot in five historic landmarks to celebrate Amnesty International’s 60th anniversary.
The film recreates Picasso’s iconic “Dove of Peace” – the intentionally simplistic drawing that is one of the world’s most recognisable symbols of peace – using hundreds of drones made possible by Celestial’s cutting-edge creative technology, combined with cinematic photography, music, and poetry. The film features powerful narration from Angelique Kidjo, Jane Birkin, and Nazanin Boniadi, and a new orchestral version of Peter Gabriel’s haunting human rights anthem ‘Biko,’ provides the soundtrack – a piece that Gabriel personally tailored to the tone and message of Freedom Flight, which he calls the “Dove of Love”.
The unique creative concept employs drones as pixels to create live immersive art, a new frontier in the entertainment industry pioneered by Celestial to evoke powerful symbolism of Amnesty’s six decades campaigning or universal human rights.
“Freedom Flight” tells a profound story of connection and solidarity, which aims to inspire new audiences to stand up for universal human rights. In the film, Amnesty activists ‘release’ bird-like lighted drones into the sky which join with scores of star-like drones, representing Amnesty activists taking action around the world.
These stars then morph into the Picasso-designed Amnesty dove, which flies majestically over Robben Island in Cape Town, Sydney Opera House, Jama Masjid Mosque, New Delhi, Plaza del Zócalo, Mexico City, before finally transforming into the iconic Amnesty candle in barbed wire over the Palais de Chaillot in Paris.
A specially commissioned poem, ‘Ode to Amnesty’, tells the story of Amnesty International’s journey since its inception in 1961. The poem has been translated into multiple languages including French, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Hindi, and Bengali, giving the film a truly global reach.
Celestial creates astonishing large-scale live and multimedia artworks using drones as pixels, deploying innovative propriety technologies to choreograph its UK-based drone swarm into stunning images and light shows in the night’s sky. Celestial received global recognition for creating the spectacular light show and accompanying film Fare Well in locations around Scotland at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2020. As well as Amnesty, Celestial’s current projects include creating original work for Greenpeace and Manchester City FC. A sustainable, dynamic and technologically advanced alternative to both fireworks and traditional light shows, Celestial deploys unique technology to create immersive events and cutting-edge films.
Nick Kowalski, Tony Martin, and John Hopkins, founders of Celestial, who created this film, are proud to be involved with the project. They said:
“Celestial is built on strong ethical values. We want to use our tech for good and place messages of hope into the sky using our ground-breaking creative technology. We believe in the Amnesty cause and this project felt like the perfect opportunity to showcase our innovation and inspire people to stand up for human rights.”
Freedom Flight has been produced by Art for Amnesty in collaboration with Amnesty International France and has received financial support and backing from Sting, Bono, the Edge and Peter Gabriel as well as several Amnesty International sections
Peter Gabriel, an Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience and longstanding champion of the human rights organisation, said:
“Now more than ever, we need as many people as possible to start taking injustice personally and to get involved in any way they can. I have been a member and supporter of Amnesty for over thirty-five years and am proud to play a role in helping to make this happen.”