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Academy Award winning writer, director and animator Alan Barillaro (PIPER, WALL-E) award winning South African directing duo Tulips & Chimneys and Passion Planet have teamed up to create an a nature-sound-driven animated film that transports you through an Alice in Wonderland type adventure.  Created for Biophonica and Passion Pictures Animation.

Biophonica the film logo


A film that celebrates the natural world and fills children with hope and wonder.

Concept art for Biophonic the film, depicting a little girl sitting in the undergrowth with a squirrel

Biophonica will tell the story of Isla, an 11 year old girl who ends up lost in a world between natural worlds. A long way from home, with only the company of an outraged squirrel from the bottom of her garden, Isla must find her way back to her mother by traversing a kaleidoscope of biomes. Each new world brings a new set of eyes for Isla, as she shapeshifts wildly into flora and fauna along the way. Surviving desert sands as a terrified Jerboa mouse, woodland as a tiny thrush, savannah grass as water itself, frozen glaciers as a shivering hedgehog, and myriad other challenges, Isla’s journey will be fraught with physical danger. To get home, she overcomes her own feelings, as she navigates the grief of losing her father, and finds hope again through the wonder of the natural world, and the friendship of the nut-loving rodent beside her.

For More information contact Debbie Crosscup - Executive Producer at Passion Films:

Nature is an Executive Producer. A portion of all proceeds will go directly to Nature through our partners: The Listening Planet. The Nature Conservancy. Wildlife Conservation Society.

Animation allows us to use art to convey the natural world as it has never been seen before. Our visual approach will constitute an amalgamation of traditional styles blended with contemporary animation techniques. This is a truly global film and we want the look to reflect that, not just by collaborating with a diverse mix of artists but also by working in styles that are reflective of different cultures’ relationships to nature.


We will draw from traditions such as the Balian Batuan school of painting and the mesmerising patterns and colours of Persian miniature manuscript work. Alebrije artists, whose form originated in Mexico City, create patterns that feel alive, and different to anything seen with the human eye. We will be working with Ebru, a Turkish form of painting to create a library of rich textures for bark, leaves, moss and lichen.


The wonders of nature are the key to everything. We will curate and create a sonic landscape and soundtrack that is inspired, written, and scored by Nature herself. Using music and sounds recorded in the natural world by Martyn Stewart, we will create a living musical conversation between nature and our human choir, orchestra, and rhythms.  Whilst we will interpret and play with nature’s melodies, they will always be authored and inspired by nature herself.


The Team


Alan is the Academy Award winning Writer and Director of the Animated Short- Film, “Piper.” Alan has been honored with an ASIFA-Hollywood Award, an ICFF Award for Outstanding Career and in 2018, Alan was recognized by House Commons of Canada for his artistic and cultural contribution to the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario. Alan began his career in animation at 16 years of age and joined Pixar Animation Studios in January 1997 where he worked for nearly 25 years, animating on feature films, from “A Bug’s Life” to “Lightyear.” Alan took the role of Directing Animator for “Finding Nemo” and the role of Supervising Animator for “The Incredibles,” “WALL•E,” “Brave” and “Incredibles 2.” In 2021 he directed the TV Series short, “Chore Day - The Incredibles Way.” Alan has just released his first YA novel ‘Where the Water Takes Us’ which was on the New York Times’ summer reading list. Alan is currently residing in San Francisco with his family.



Tulips and Chimneys is an award-winning collective of designers, illustrators and directors based in Cape Town, South Africa. Working across all mediums and using a range of techniques including 2D and 3D, they create high-end characters, build dazzling worlds, and tell engaging stories. Tulips & Chimneys have directed work for Hendrick’s Gin, Unilever, Knorr and Riot and Ribena amongst others. With a wealth of skills and experience, they are fully equipped to tackle any ambitious project.



Founder of the triple Academy Award winning independent production company PASSION Pictures, a world-renowned studio that over the past 30 years has received many of the highest accolades in the industry for its outstanding work in animation, documentaries, natural history (science and conservation) and commercials. As well as being the creative force behind the studio, Ruhemann remains a renaissance man; a producer, director, writer, artist - a creative vision- ary working across multiple genres. His directorial debut on The Lost Thing won the film an Academy Award for Best Short Animation in addition to many other prestigious festival awards world- wide. As a producer Ruhemann has been an associate and executive producer on a score of internationally acclaimed and award-winning films including the Oscar-winning One Day in September, Searching for Sugarman, Listen to me Marlon and most recently The Territory. As a mentor and industry leader, Ruhemann is driven by a deep desire to find connection through the creative process of filmmaking, finding solace in art and the art of storytelling as a way to find meaning and motivate change. Ruhemann has been at the cutting edge of technological innovation within an- imation since working on the ground-breaking feature film Who Framed Roger Rabbit and this innovative approach to creativity remains at the heart of PASSION Pictures today.



Overseeing all aspects of creative development, Debbie is driving the studio’s continued expansion in Long Form animation working with streaming and studio partners on original features and series. Development deals are in place with major streamers across PASSION Animation’s original projects. In developing original animated programming, Debbie is instrumental in discovering and nurturing new and talent ensuring the studio’s output reflects the core values of telling unique and original stories that have both a clear voice and vision. With over 17 years in the industry, winning a Latin Grammy, Annie Awards, Cannes Lions, and British Arrows among others, Debbie has been at the forefront of some of PASSION Animation’s most successful and award-winning commercial campaigns; from the first appearances of Aleksandr the Meerkat for Compare the Market and Harmonix “Rock Band Beatles” trailers to the blockbuster CG commercials for Loteria Nacional’s “Justino”, McDonalds “Reindeer Ready”, Erste Group’s “Henry the Hedgehog” and SK-II “Simone Biles vs Trolls”. Debbie has also produced several Gorillaz music videos and stunning technology, led live events for Burberry in Beijing and Taipei.



At Passion Pictures, David Allen masterminds a film department focusing on natural history, science and specialist factual output across both landmark television and feature documentaries. With five Emmys and twelve Wildscreen Pandas to his name, David is recognised as one of the leading producer/directors in his field. His Productions include authored single films for BBC and PBS such as Emmy and Golden panda winning My Life as a Turkey and My Garden of a Thousand Bees; and landmark series for PBS and National Geographic Earth: A New Wild, and Evolution Earth and The Molecule that Made Us. And theatrical docs such as Emmy award-winning Serengeti Rules and Wilding a drama doc based on the bestselling book by Isabella Tree.



Having started her wildlife film-making career with winning the Best Newcomer award at Wildscreen in 2008, Gaby is now a London based nature history producer at Passion Planet. Working with David Allen, she has produced numerous award-winning films such as My Life as a Turkey for BBC & PBS, Earth: A New Wild for National Geographic & PBS and the VR experience film My Africa. She also runs the development for Passion Planet having previously been Head of Development for Talesmith Productions, where she secured finance for the film Takaya: Lone Wolf. She went on to executive produce this and win the coveted Canadian Screen Award for Best Nature Film. Her most recent projects include the Golden Panda award winning My Garden of a Thousand Bees, a series of short comedy conservation films titled Animals in Therapy for the NGO On The Edge and a drama feature documentary on the bestselling book Wilding by Isabella Tree.


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