educate. advocate. support
educate. advocate. support
The creators of Luka and the Lights had to explain ALS to their young kids when dad (age 35) was diagnosed with a form of ALS, a couple of years ago. There was hardly any information available let alone sufficient material. This resulted in writing the script for the short animated film Luka & the lights, produced especially for children of all ages, made by Big Grin Productions.
Luka and the Lights is a silent film - using no language, only sound, to tell the story of Luka, a robot full of life and lights, who receives a diagnosis of ALS. We watch as his lights go out, and his friends rally around him to live his life to its fullest.
Luka shows children and adults, how ALS progresses, in a easy to understand and highly visual way. Using the latest in visual technology, the film serves as a platform for children and families to discuss ALS and share with others.
Luka and the Lights will be made freely available across streaming platforms, and ALS/MND organizations around the world.
Anjo and Sascha - Creators, Luka and the Lights
In May 2017, Anjo’s health is top notch. He serves in the Army and exercises a lot. Despite his efforts somehow it feels like he loses strength. When during an exercise he can’t undo the clasp of his helmet, he begins to worry……after more examinations at the ALS center, I received my verdict. PSMA, a form of ALS, life expectancy 3 to 5 years…. I was 35 years old at that time.
Toby Chochran, CEO, Founder Big Grin productions
With over 15 years in the creative industry in animation, commercial, and gaming, Toby is now telling his own stories. He grew a startup company to 220+ employees. Managed and worked on productions over $500k. Secured a big pitch to work with Shaquille O’Neal, directed numerous games simultaneously to eventually become a Creative Director for a NBC Universal game pitch, which the company successfully landed.
Andrian Ochoa, Producer, writer
Adrian is an award winning Producer, prior to joining Big Grin, Adrian worked at Pixar Animation Studios, Playstudios and Penrose Studios. His credits included Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Wall-E, Cars 2, Monsters University, Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur. He’s also worked on various shorts including Cars Toons, live action shorts and Day and Night.
Melinda S. Kavanaugh, PhD, LCSW
Professor of social work and clinical social worker for over 20 years experience with children and youth in families with neurological disorders, Dr. Kavanaugh served as the content expert for the film
Janna Brower-Schouten, producer
Janna met Sascha as daycare worker for her son, and now their children are schoolmates. In daily life Janna works as a studiomanager for a small AV-company. Making sure people can do their work is what she does. When Janna heard about Sascha's plans with Luka & the Lights, why not try and do the same for her, she thought. Whatever is needed to keep the process going, writing handouts, connecting the right people, making sure Sascha doesn't worry to much, driving Lu