The action-adventure short film, which marks Penn’s directorial debut through her company Upenndo! Productions, features the 22-year-old’s own animation.
“’Asali’ made sense as our first major production because it integrates two of my biggest passions — animation and the environment,” Penn said in a statement. “My goal with Upenndo! is to dive into new worlds that reflect the interconnectedness of people and our planet, from a story-driven and action packed perspective.”
“Asali” follows a group of pollinators and an environmental scientist as they uncover secrets in hopes of saving their home from a deadly force. The animated short is executive produced by JuVee Productions’ Julius Tennon alongside Davis.
“We at JuVee have seen the way Maya is passionately ushering in a new generation of authentic and engaged storytelling, using unique animated projects like ‘Asali: Power of the Pollinators’ as a vehicle that pushes culture forward,” said Rob Williams, senior vice president of theatrical motion picture at JuVee Productions.
Penn is a global activist, artist and entrepreneur known for her sustainable brand Maya’s Ideas. She is also the author of “You Got This!” and was named part of Oprah Winfrey’s Supersoul 100 at age 16. During the Obama administration, Penn was commissioned to create an animated film for the opening of the first-ever digital report presented by U.S. Congress. Through Upenndo! Productions, she aims to capture stories spotlighting sustainability and social impact.
“Asali: Power of the Pollinators” has no official release date announced.