ANAGRAM are May Abdalla and Amy Rose.
We develop and produce experiential documentaries and site-specific works to bring true stories off the screen and into new spaces.
We use technology to make our interventions as invisible as possible. There is nothing we like more than a good surprise.
MAY and AMY have been making award-winning observational documentaries for UK broadcast and festival release since 2005. Between them their work has taken them from the front lines of the Egyptian revolution, to the intimate spaces of women dealing with severe postnatal breakdown. They have considerable experience in accessing people in sensitive situations, and collaborate with their characters to express their stories with emotional depth and a playful lightness of touch. Their films have been screened at over 25 international film festivals worldwide. Beyond the screen, both work on interactive and theatrical projects.
Collaborators involved with Anagram beyond the core team include architects, engineers, set designers, animators, musicians, creative technologists, graphic designers, sound designers and theatre makers.
MAY developed Alternative Reality Games at BBC Current Affairs and consulted for BBC World Service on a series of interactive projects. In 2011, she produced the BBC3 Our War multiplatform site, which involved sourcing 10 years of found footage from across Afghanistan to chart the personal stories of the war. Over 4000 hours of material from military and civilian sources were obtained. The series was awarded a Bafta and Sheffield Doc Fest premiered the site as part of its cross-platform docs showcase. In 2010 she ran “Give Your Vote”, a radical global stunt-come-intervention which used an SMS programme to globalize democracy. British citizens were able to give their votes in the UK election to those who were affected UK polices around the world.
Over 25,000 people were involved as locals organised parallel election campaigns in Afghanistan, Ghana and Bangladesh, including live screenings on the televised debates on Kabul rooftops and a mural paintings on the streets of Accra. The project received worldwide media attention and was endorsed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
AMY worked in television before going to Edinburgh College of Art, where her graduation film was nominated for a BAFTA Scotland New Talent award and selected to screen in the Trailblazing Shorts category of Edinburgh International Film Festival 2009. Since ECA, she has directed shorts and music videos that have screened all over the world and worked as a DoP for various directors. In 2012, she was Assistant Producer and main DoP on Project Wild Thing – a BRITDOC feature documentary on general release in 2013. She also makes documentary theatre, runs wild camps for children in the woods, and manages festival kitchens that cook elaborate food for hundreds of people. She has been designing narrative-driven interactive games for over 10 years – taking them from forests ringing with the cries of small children to the nocturnal antics of music festivals around the UK. She was part of the Stellar Network Interactive Story Innovation scheme in 2013.