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3 December 2018

Signs of Santa.

by Jason Stone

Huawei: “StorySign” - 1 min 50s

Every Christmas there's a film which swerves into view at the last minute and catches the public's imagination, and this year the honour may belong to this immensely sweet ad for Huawei. It's a purpose-driven piece of advertising which introduces us to a new technology which helps deaf children to learn how to read.

Directed by Chris Overton - who won an Academy Award earlier this year for his short The Silent Child - this film centres on a little girl with hearing difficulties who is Christmas shopping with her father, when she catches the eye of a kindly man with a white beard.

Unless you're completely unfamiliar with the tropes of Christmas movies, you will have a fair idea of who he is and what's coming next.

Sure enough, she next encounters the man when he's wearing his famous red costume and delivering presents to her house. Santa is magic, of course, but this isn't a daft fantasy and he isn't about to restore her hearing. Instead he uses his knowledge of sign language to read her a story, which turns out to be a cipher for a new app developed by Huawei, which translates words into sign language. By doing so, it aims to help deaf children keep pace with their hearing contemporaries when it comes to reading.

It's a brilliant use of technology and has the potential to make a real difference to deaf children.

The story is told with expert sensitivity by Overton... he imbues it with sentimentality without lapsing into pathos, and to judge by the first few comments on YouTube, even the snarks of social media are finding that they're unable to resist its charm.

Creative Agency: FCB Inferno Ⓟ Ⓦ
Creative Director: Martin McAllister
Senior Creative: Ben Usher / Rob Farren
Managing Partner: Hollie Loxley
Account Director: Hannah Thorn
Business Team: Joseph Pirrie
Strategy: Chris Baker
Senior Producer: Alison Cooper
Agency Prod Man: Bridie Scriven
Film Production: Dog Eat Dog Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Chris Overton
Executive Producer: Mark O'Sullivan / Harvey Ascott
Cinematographer: Dan Holland Ⓦ (WPA Ⓟ Ⓦ)
Editor: Stephen Dunne Ⓦ @ tenthree Ⓟ Ⓦ

David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.