Created by Oz Durose, The Pitch 2020

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'Stone' is the story of a fathers love for his son, a forgiveness that breaks a curse and a death that gives life. 'Stone' is a stylised animated short which follows a son who, through his own actions, has betrayed his father's confidence and fallen victim to a curse that will turn him to stone. As he exhiles himself from his community, the curse spreads through his arm, he is stalked by two menacing creatures, and his bitterness towards his father becomes more apparent. As the curse takes effect upon his heart, the nightmare creatures attack, only to meet the boy's father, who defends his son with his life. Having seen his fathers sacrifice, the love he had for his son, a whisper escapes his lips 'Turn this heart of stone to a heart of flesh'. A magnificent transformation takes place, the son's body glows as is magma, and the stone melts away. The son, now free from the curse, takes up his fathers mantle - a representation of the ideals the son rejected, and steps into a new era, reborn.

Biblical Connection

The themes of forgiveness and sacrificial love are taken from the core of the gospel message, but for the story Ezekiel 36:24-28 is key especially v26; "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Though this hasn't been a prevalent passage in my own faith journey, it has been a source of inspiration for me in the past, having written and performed a short story based on the concept. I believe the core issue of hurt turning to hate and unforgiveness to bitterness is prevalent in our western culture, and the thought of forgiveness and love - the only solution to this curse - is disregarded. Turning the stone heart to a heart of flesh is such a strong metaphor, such a vibrant image, for this important part of mental and spiritual health.