ABOUT CHOCOLATE MOOSE MEDIA

Chocolate Moose Media is an animation and documentary creator specializing in social and behaviour change media productions to better the human condition

Established in 1995, we create our international productions from offices in Ottawa, Canada and Geneva, Switzerland

Firdaus Kharas

Firdaus Kharas – Founder & Chairman

Firdaus Kharas, FRSA, DHum (hc), LLD (hc) is a world-renowned creator of mass communications, author, speaker and thought leader on creativity and communications. He is a global leader in using animation for social change. He is the author of an upcoming book on creativity.

His work focuses on creating innovative solutions for some of the world’s toughest issues by affecting societal and individual behavioral change through human-centered communications across many cultures and countries to better the human condition.

"

…a worldwide expert on behavior change communications

Mipcom News

"

Empathy, ambition, compassion, intelligence and determination are all traits the renowned social innovator and humanitarian, Firdaus Kharas, possesses

CHAIM Centre

"

Kharas and his team are connecting important messages with mass audiences

New Empire Builders

"

…his innovative work…(in) public health and children’s rights in a global context

Honorary Doctor of Laws citation, Carleton University, Canada

"

…one of the world’s top animation producers

Centre for HIV/AIDS Networking

"

…one of the world’s top animation producers

Centre for HIV/AIDS Networking

"

…Kharas’ work justly fills the void where before… there was a lack of effective strategy

Blogcritics

"

Fully animated, with their memorable casts of animated characters and polyglot audio dubs… his public service announcements are designed for mass appeal. Enduring protagonists deliver clear messages, usually through a series of comic encounters.

UNEarth News

Work

  • Creator and Director of a video for refugees on COVID-19 virus understanding and prevention
  • Director of an animated video on the effects of rape on women in Africa, A Plea To My Father
  • Director of an animated video on sexual harassment within churches worldwide
  • Director of several videos and audio podcasts on the United States refugee system
  • Creator and Director of here animated shorts to build awareness of migraines
  • Creator and Director of two animated videos on issues faced by teen-aged refugees in Ecuador
  • Creator and Director of two animated videos on the dangers of asbestos
  • Co-Creator and Director of three animated videos on Ebola containment, prevention and stigma
  • Creator and Director of an animated video on global Polio vaccination
  • Creator of a series on the rights of children with diabetes
  • Creator of an animated series on values for young children
  • Creator of a whiteboard animated video on violence against children and young women in Malawi
  • Creator of The Solar Campaign designed to get people without electricity to switch from harmful sources of light like burning kerosene to clean solar lights
  • Director of a documentary on women from conflict zones
  • Co-producer and Director of two animated shorts designed to encourage universal birth registration
  • Creator of No Excuses, an animated campaign to prevent domestic violence throughout the world (launched at the United Nations in New York, USA)
  • Producer of the iconic television series George of the Jungle (distributed by DreamWorks)
  • Director of No Thanks, We’re Fine, two videos for caregivers to people with dementia
  • Creator and Director of Nature For All, an animated video designed to get people to interact with nature
  • Audio Producer for the pre-school series Ella Bella Bingo
  • Producer and Director of Pedro: A Child Without A Country, a documentary on an unaccompanied child refugee claimant going through the Canadian refugee determination system.
  • Director of The Three Amigos, an animated series to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS
  • Creator of Buzz and Bite, an animated series to prevent malaria infection
  • A series of individual documentaries on Canadian children at risk
  • Creator of Nan and Lili, the 300-episode first animated pre-school series in Arabic
  • Director of Magic Cellar, the first animated series based on African culture
  • Executive Producer of Honk, Toot and Swo-Swoosh, the early learning pre-school children’s series

Dedicated to capacity building

For over 25 years Firdaus Kharas has been committed to improving the skills of media professionals around the world sharing his expertise, pro bono, via workshops, seminars and multi-month courses, particularly in Asia and Africa. Kharas’ commitment to sharing his vision and methodology also includes meeting with students, lecturing on mass communication, and speaking at festivals of film and television.

Kharas’ humanitarian work in countries other than his own includes organizing and leading a multi-faceted program in South Africa to train South Africans in producing, writing and animating.  This capacity-building training aims to create a vibrant long-form animation industry capable of world-class story-telling.

ISSUES IMPACTED

Capacity building: Creativity, mass communications, animation production, media distribution, overcoming barriers to communications

Culture: Preservation of culture, especially in Africa, the Middle East and Asia

Education: Early childhood and middle children’s education, street children, children at risk, training in mass communications, literacy promotion, cyber-security

Environment: Conservation, kindness to animals, interaction with nature, climate change, water management, solar power, sustainable energy for all

Governance: Universal values, human rights, children’s rights, rights of children with diabetes

Health: COVID-19 understanding and prevention, Ebola containment and prevention, HIV/AIDS prevention, malaria prevention, polio eradication, clean energy, solar energy, Type 1 diabetes, dementia, Vitamin A deficiency, immunizations and vaccinations, dangers of asbestos, migraine disease, obesity in children, stigma against Ebola survivors, Zika prevention

Human Rights: Universal rights, children’s rights, rights of children with Type 1 diabetes, gender-based rights, sexual violence, long lasting effects of rape, sexual harassment, sexual harassment within churches

Maternal health: Pregnancy, infant mortality and health, health from pregnancy through the first 100 days of life, safe births, birth registration

Migration: Refugees, child refugees, refugee systems, displaced persons, asylum determination, causes of refugees, refugee camps, legal rights of refugees

Universal Values: Anti-racism, gender equality, honesty, anti-bullying, cultural tolerance, attitudes towards victims of rape

Violence: Violence against children, violence amongst teenagers, rape within families and conflict situations, various forms of sexual abuse, using culture as a justification for violence, perceived right to commit violence within families, gender-related violence, attitudes towards rape victims

    • Firdaus-Kharas-at-UN-launch-of-No-Excuses-campaign.png
    • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    • 0131
    • With-the-Peabody-Award.jpg
    • Firdaus-Kharas-with-awards.png
    • 045.1
    • Firdaus-Kharas-American-InterContinental-University-London.png
    • Firdaus-Kharas-talking-with-villagers-in-Bangladesh.png
    • Firdaus-Kharas-with-Masai-man.png
    • Firdaus-Kharas-head-shot.png
    • High rez Explaining solar energy to Masai women
    • 008
    • 007
    • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    • Firdaus-Kharas-iHeed-talk.png
    • Firdaus Kharas talking about Culture Shift
    • 006
    • 069
    • 010
    • 011
    • 071

    198 countries, 371 language versions, 4,000+ productions with over a billion viewers

    Firdaus Kharas began creating media in 1995, founding Chocolate Moose Media, a hybrid social enterprise making for-profit television series and not-for-profit media campaigns. He also established television production companies in Canada and in Asia including partnerships with the Royal Family of Malaysia, the News Corporation and UTV of India.

    TTo date Kharas has created, directed and produced over 4,000 animated behavior change communications shorts. The animations have been seen by 198 countries, adapted into 355 language versions, reaching more than a billion people in their own language. Wishing only to positively influence viewers, Kharas distributes his campaigns free of charge to any requester located anywhere in the world. “I’m just trying to make a small contribution”, said Kharas to the Globe and Mail.

    Kharas’ firsts in long-form television include the:

    • First pre-school animated series in Arabic
    • First animated series based on African culture
    • First animated pre-school series in Holland
    • First English-language daily hour-long drama in Asia

    Media

    Firdaus Kharas is profiled in several publications including in many articles and Canadian Who’s Who.

    He has been profiled over 500 times by the world’s press, from The New Yorker, Reader’s Digest, MacLean’s and The Atlantic magazines to Rush Limbaugh’s radio show and dozens of other media around the world in several languages. His methods, particularly his methodology of linguistic adaptation and ability to create mass communication across cultural boundaries have regularly been the subject of academic study by students. Kharas and his work are noted in many books and publications and his work is in the permanent collection of several museums including the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest.

    Awards

    Firdaus Kharas has been internationally recognized more than 110 times for his humanitarian efforts. A sample of the honors he has received includes:

    • Peabody Award (the equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize)
    • World’s 50 Most Talented Social Innovators
    • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)
    • Best Global Informative Short Film Producer
    • United Nations Peace Medal
    • Honorary Doctorates & Distinguished Alumnus Award from two alma mater universities
    • Honorary Fellowship
    • Humanitarian Outstanding Achievement Awards
    • Global Development Award
    • End Malaria Award
    • ReelWorld Trailblazer Award
    • Golden Eagles
    • Telly Awards
    • Gold, New York Festivals
    • Silver Hugo
    • Muse Creative

    A man whose work has been described as “ground breaking” (Africa Film & TV), “remarkably cross-cultural” (The Globe and Mail), and “one of the richest veins of culture” (The New York Times), Kharas is the subject of a television documentary, Firdaus Kharas: the Animated Activist (Chispa Productions).

    Kharas’ work has been strongly and publicly supported by Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Of Kharas and his work, Archbishop Tutu has said “We need efforts like yours… a powerful communicating tool to encourage people to change their behavior… an outstanding contribution…”.

    Documentaries

    Kharas has produced several documentaries related to human rights, in particular on children’s rights.  He has also completed two behavior change films related to dementia and a documentary on a child refugee claimant.

    • Peabody-Award-023.jpg
    • Peabody-Award-015.jpg
    • 0030
    • 016
    • 015
    • 014.1
    • 2007_NY_Festivals.jpg
    • 012
    • 018
    • 066
    • 020
    • 028
    • 023
    • 024
    • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    • 074
    • 008.5
    • 025
    • 0040
    • 070
    "

    …his innovative work…(in) public health and children’s rights in a global context

    Honorary Doctor of Laws citation, Carleton University, Canada

    "

    Empathy, ambition, compassion, intelligence and determination are all traits the renowned social innovator and humanitarian, Firdaus Kharas, possesses

    CHAIM Centre

    "

    …a worldwide expert on behavior change communications

    Mipcom News

    "

    Kharas and his team are connecting important messages with mass audiences

    New Empire Builders

    "

    …one of the world’s top animation producers

    Centre for HIV/AIDS Networking

    "

    …one of the world’s top animation producers

    Centre for HIV/AIDS Networking

    "

    …Kharas’ work justly fills the void where before… there was a lack of effective strategy

    Blogcritics

    "

    Fully animated, with their memorable casts of animated characters and polyglot audio dubs… his public service announcements are designed for mass appeal. Enduring protagonists deliver clear messages, usually through a series of comic encounters.

    UNEarth News

    Firdaus Kharas is a renowned global speaker. Speaking engagements include:

        • TEDx talk
        • World Humanitarian Summit
        • Game-Changers Summit, USA
        • Media For Social Impact Summit, United Nations
        • Global Health and Innovation Conference, Yale University, USA
        • United Kingdom Department for International Development
        • InfoPoverty Conference at the United Nations
        • WAEE, Saudi Arabia
        • Global Mobile Health Education Conference, Ireland
        • Mobile Health Summit, South Africa
        • Children’s Media Conference, England
        • Lake Geneva Innovation Society, Switzerland

    Firdaus Kharas regularly sits on international juries for academies and festivals, including:

        • Head of the Animation Section Jury, Banff Television Festival
        • Head of the International Jury, Cairo International Film Festival For Children (a retrospective of his work was shown during the festival)
        • Final selection International Jury, International Emmy for the Children and Young People Programs category
        • Regional jury, International Emmy (Documentaries category)
        • Jury member, Ontario Arts Council’s grants to Established and Mid-Career Professionals

    Hands on, in-country

    Firdaus Kharas has been instrumental in strengthening the media industries in Holland, India, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa, by creating original television series in each of those countries and by training thousands of media professionals on his projects. Kharas has conducted in-country research for his humanitarian projects including talking to hundreds of mass rape victims, children’s rights activists, torture survivors, and doctors in small villages coping with epidemics. He has visited animation studios in Asia, war zones in Central America, refugee camps in South-East Asia, and medical facilities, NGOs, and youth centers in Europe, Africa and Asia.

    Kharas’ campaigns can be found in 390 language versions to date on the internet, including on the UN’s YouTube Channel. He has also appeared on television shows and radio programs in every continent.

     

    Promoting policies of change

    A member of several high level Canadian trade missions, Kharas has discussed broadcasting and content policies with foreign government Ministers and senior officials from around the world. Kharas was instrumental in impetus for film and television co-production treaties between Canada and South Africa, Singapore and India.

    Education

    In addition to honorary doctorates, Firdaus Kharas has earned nine degrees and certificates from eight educational institutions including:

    • American University, USA
    • Carleton University (Norman Paterson School of International Affairs), Canada
    • Harvard University (Kennedy School of Government), USA
    • London School of Economics (LSE), UK
    • Stanford University (Center for Social Innovation, Graduate School of Business), USA
    • Thiel College, Pennsylvania, USA
    • University of Ottawa (MBA and Law faculties), Canada
    • Waterloo University, (School of Peace Research), Canada

     

    Early life

    Firdaus Kharas was born in Calcutta, India during its most turbulent period of social upheaval. He was first introduced to progressive causes by his mother who taught him the realities of disenfranchised people and at the age of eight was taken to Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying. Kharas’ love for creative content began as a young boy when he started writing plays and acting in school productions. Not only a creative but also an intellectual, at age 17 he was the first recipient of the Rotary Club of Bombay’s international exchange-student scholarship.

    Firdaus Kharas has been a Canadian citizen for over 40 years.

    Before mass media

    Prior to his present work in media content, Firdaus Kharas was Executive Director of the United Nations Association in Canada where, for his work he was awarded a United Nations Peace Medal by then UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar. His focus then turned to refugees and he served as policy adviser to the Honourable Barbara McDougall, Canada’s Minister of Employment and Immigration, before being appointed Assistant Deputy Chairman of the Immigration and Refugee Board, where his mandate was the help clear up the backlog of more than 121,000 refugee claimants from 115 countries. In 1995 his desire to impact social problems drew him into the private sector, into media.

     

    A published author

    Kharas has published over twenty widely-distributed papers and articles on international issues such as using mass communications, disarmament, development, international finance, and strengthening the UN system. He has also consulted to global corporations and the governments of developing countries such as Togo, and wrote a widely-used manual on Canadian immigration.

    • Firdaus-Kharas.png
    • prez.jpg
    • 110
    • 0661
    • 060
    • 056
    • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    • 055
    • 053
    • 073
    • 052
    • 0041
    • IMG_1525(1)
    • 050
    • 0051
    • 3_amigos_launch.jpg
    • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    • 054
    • un5.jpg
    • 070.1
    "

    …his innovative work…(in) public health and children’s rights in a global context

    Honorary Doctor of Laws citation, Carleton University, Canada

    "

    Empathy, ambition, compassion, intelligence and determination are all traits the renowned social innovator and humanitarian, Firdaus Kharas, possesses

    CHAIM Centre

    "

    …a worldwide expert on behavior change communications

    Mipcom News

    "

    Kharas and his team are connecting important messages with mass audiences

    New Empire Builders

    "

    …one of the world’s top animation producers

    Centre for HIV/AIDS Networking

    "

    …one of the world’s top animation producers

    Centre for HIV/AIDS Networking

    "

    …Kharas’ work justly fills the void where before… there was a lack of effective strategy

    Blogcritics

    "

    Fully animated, with their memorable casts of animated characters and polyglot audio dubs… his public service announcements are designed for mass appeal. Enduring protagonists deliver clear messages, usually through a series of comic encounters.

    UNEarth News