URCHN is a film and animation studio developing a sustainable business practice rooted in free/libre tools and culture. It is perhaps the first studio outside the Blender software’s own to take up the experiment of producing ambitious and costly computer animated films CC-licensed to the public. Using a business model organized around commonwealth, our goal is to explore the versatile medium of animation independent of typical commercial pressures that restrict it to genre. Enhancements we develop to the free/libre and open source software (F/LOSS) toolset and production pipeline support the creation of varied independent works. At the same time, our participatory media encourage literacy in the underlying tools and systems that aid or impede expression to influence how we assemble not only in culture, but as a global society.
Fateh Slavitskaya – Executive Director
Resident film geek and evil genius, Fateh founded the URCHN libre media group to explore new modes of producing film and animation. She oversees and develops its programs as a creative partner responsible for screenwriting, producing, and design. Her work with Bassam has been supported by grants from private donors, the Robeson Fund for Independent Media and the Massachussetts Arts Council. She is the architect of the Tube Open Movie’s public campaign, which in its first 1.5 weeks raised over $30K in essential production crowdfunding.
Bassam Kurdali – Creative Director
Bassam is a 3D generalist filmmaker whose 2006 short, Elephants Dream, was the first ‘open movie’. It established the viability of libre tools in a production environment and set precedent by offering its source data under a permissive license for learning, remixing and re-use. His character, ManCandy, began as an easily animatable test bed for rigging experiments. Multiple iterations have been released to the public, and Bassam demonstrates him in the animated tutorial video + short, The ManCandy FAQ. Under the sign of the urchin, Bassam is continuing to pursue a model of production that invests in commonwealth. He teaches, writes and lectures around the world on open production and free software technique. Raised in Damascus, Bassam trained in the United States as an electrical and software engineer.
61 Gothic Street
t: +1/ 413/ 512/ 0629
e: hello [ at ] urchn [ dot ] org