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Produced by SEPPIA and ARTE France, “A Camel Remedy: The Nanobody Revolution” is a 52-minute documentary that stands out for its hybrid narrative approach, blending 2D and 3D animation with live-action footage. Aired in January 2024 on ARTE (France), it tells the success story of the discovery of antibodies produced by camelids, mammals with superpowers. 

A SEPPIA and ARTE France co-production in Partnership with Dada! Animation 

Extrait du documentaire animé Remède de Chameau

The production of A Camel Remedy is the result of a partnership between Dada! Animation, SEPPIA, and ARTE France. This represents the second collaboration between Dada! Animation and SEPPIA, focusing on the graphic creation of animated sequences for documentary projects and interactive experiences. Directed by Marc Jampolsky, the documentary reveals how the recent discovery of unique antibodies in camels and llamas could pave the way for new treatments for diseases such as influenza, AIDS, or cancer. The documentary relies on a mix of live footage and animated sequences in 2D and 3D, enhancing its narration and clearly illustrating its scientific points. 

2D and 3D Animation at the Heart of Documentary Narration

Extrait du documentaire animé Remède de Chameau

To bring to life the explanatory sequences of A Camel Remedy, Dada! Animation deployed three distinct animation techniques, each serving to illustrate certain biological and historical-scientific aspects of the story. The use of animation thus makes it easier to access abstract scientific concepts, but also to create an engaging visual narrative that supports the storyline: 

  • The black and white 2D animation sequences, close to illustration, helped visually represent certain historical scenes, especially those linked to researchers’ discoveries. 
  • 3D animation sequences were used to illustrate molecular phenomena at the scale of the cell and its environment, to clarify their mechanisms of action. This is the case, for example, with the depiction of a nanobody amidst cells within an organism. 
  • Adopting the aesthetic codes of Asian tales and legends, the 3D animation sequences (rendered in 2D) in color have illustrated a legend that immerses the viewer in the historical twists and turns of science and the essential concept of serendipity. 
Excerpt from the Documentary A Camel Remedy on the Etymology of Serendipity* 

About the Animated Documentary “A Camel Remedy” 

The documentary explores the scientific odyssey of the discovery of “nanobodies” that began in the 1990s at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. The students’ refusal to give their blood for an experiment, fearing contamination by HIV or hepatitis, paradoxically leads to a revolutionary discovery: nanometric antibodies in camel blood, capable of reaching places others cannot. Adapted for human use, this discovery paves the way for major advancements in the treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, AIDS, or cancer. 

The documentary “A Camel Remedy” is available on until February 28, 2024. 

Production: SEPPIA, ARTE France 
Broadcast: ARTE 
Director: Marc Jampolsky 
Duration: 52 minutes