A Larnaca production company has had the distinction of being awarded three animation projects with TED-Ed – an offshoot of global conference organisation TED.
Zedem Media, run by filmmaker Michalis Kalopedis, is the first Cyprus-based studio to be featured on TED-Ed.
TED was founded in 1984 with the slogan ‘ideas worth spreading'. Past speakers have included experts in various fields, as well as famous names such as America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama, and British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. TED Talks have been watched one billion times as of November 2013, and viewing figures continue to grow.
The organisation's TED-Ed arm offers a platform for original, educational videos that are offered free online as teaching tools for use in the classroom. The company’s aim of ‘capturing and amplifying the voices of the world’s greatest educators’ is achieved by pairing ‘extraordinary educators with talented animators to produce a new library of exceptional educational videos’.
As one of the ‘talented animators’, Zedem Media have created the animation for videos on the origins of gunpowder (The Deadly Irony of Gunpowder) and the decline of the penguin population (Penguins: Popularity, Peril and Poop). The third topic 'How Fast Are You Moving?’ is due to air at the end of January.
The collaboration came about when the TED-ed team noticed the quality work that the Cyprus based studio is producing and approached them to see if they would be interested in collaborating with TED-ed. Zedem Media Director Michalis says: "I was thrilled when they got in touch with us as I have been a fan of TED for years. This is a wonderful collaboration because the team at TED-ed provide us with plenty of room for creativity. This is great for us because not only do we get to work with interesting topics and distinguished individuals from around the world, but we also help to create a positive social change by making education more fun."
Zedem Media was set up in 2008 by Michalis, who holds an MA in Media and Cultural Studies from London's Middlesex University, and a BA in Arts Entertainment and Media Management from Columbia College, Chicago, USA. The company offers video production and editing services for a wide range of organisations across the island, as well as international corporations and non-profits such as Pearson Education, Dell, TESCO, Amnesty International and Peace Players, as well as TED-Ed.