Prepare to be moved by Garath Whyte’s beautiful short film, Roots will Remain - which tells the story of a determined sunflower making its way toward the light. Experience it for yourself on YouTube.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Garath to discuss the inspiration behind the film, his thoughts on the symbolism of the sunflower, and the affinity he feels for the work of Sunflower Relief.
Hi Garath, thanks so much for talking to us. Tell us a little bit about the inspiration for your beautiful film.
Thanks for having me! Like everyone else, I was watching what was happening on the news and couldn't believe the tragic scenes I saw in Ukraine. I knew I wanted to help in some way, and filmmaking is what I know. I knew if I could find the right idea, I should try to make a compelling film, help people feel connected to the situation, and compel them to stand with the people of Ukraine.
What connected you to the people of Ukraine?
I was in awe at the spirit, strength, and resilience of the Ukrainian people, every single person is fighting for their freedom. I truly believe the people will not give up until all the Russian forces have withdrawn and I’m honoured to have been able to capture some of that spirit in my film.
For me, Roots Will Remain is not just a film, it's a tribute to the people of Ukraine, their strength, and their resilience. It is a reminder that even in the darkest of times, hope can still be found.
Why did you choose the Sunflower?
The sunflower is Ukraine's national flower, and during this conflict, it has become a symbol of hope. The sunflowers' perseverance perfectly embodies the determination, and resilience of the Ukrainian people in the face of tragic events still ongoing in their country.
Tonally, I knew the juxtaposition of the beautiful yellow colour of the flower, against the ugliness of a conflict zone, was part of the message I was wanting to convey.
What message would you want to send with this film?
Everyone can help in some way. Whether it's sharing videos like this, or donating to charities such as Sunflower Relief, there is a part everyone can play in this tragic situation. I hope the Ukrainian people who watch this film see something of themselves in it, the strength and resilience they possess. Every Ukrainian should be so proud of what they have achieved so far.
Thank you so much Garath, your film is truly breathtaking and left a lasting impression on the team at Sunflower Relief.