Sony Pictures Animation And Sony Pictures Imageworks Partner With The Kevin Love Fund To Launch Animated Short ‘The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story’ And New Mental Health Focused School Lesson Plan

Watch the short film next Wednesday March 27th

CULVER CITY, CA – March 21, 2024 – Sony Pictures Animation (SPA) and Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) have partnered with the Kevin Love Fund (KLF) to digitally release the animated short film, The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story, that will be incorporated into KLF’s new mental health focused lesson plan, “The Hero Within.” The lesson plan invites students to tell their own story through the lens of mental health awareness via an interactive curriculum including a creative storyboard activity.

The short will launch on Sony Pictures Animation’s YouTube channel at 6am PT on Wednesday, March 27th.

The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story was developed and produced in the inaugural year of Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Imageworks’ Leading and Empowering New Storytellers (LENS) program, a 9-month leadership training program that provides candidates from underrepresented groups with an opportunity to gain valuable leadership experience in animation. The final deliverable of the program is an all-original short film, set in the existing world of a feature produced by SPA and SPI.

“Miles represents so many of us doing the best we can in our day-to-day lives,” said Jarelle Dampier, director of The Spider Within. “We don’t often realize all that we’ve been through until our own body forces us to become aware of its experience. My intention is that The Spider Within can motivate deeper conversations amongst friends & family about their own mental health journeys - and I hope it feels like a love letter to those who adore Miles Morales.”

“My hope for the short film would be for everyone, especially young people, to understand that your feelings are valid and that you are not alone in this,” said KLF founder, professional basketball player and mental health advocate, Kevin Love. “You see it with Spider-Man in the short film, where Miles has a trusted confidante. He is able to take a walk with his dad and express what he’s going through. We can all learn from that – how important it is to reach out to someone, express your true emotions, speak your truth, and not hold everything inside.”

The KLF education team developed the new lesson for their free, evidence-based curriculum to encourage students to share a challenging experience from their lives by writing and illustrating their own series of storyboard panels, similar to the way the LENS team used storyboards to develop an early version of the story portrayed in The Spider Within. KLF’s creative arts mental health curriculum launched in the fall of 2022 and currently has 15 lesson plans. The curriculum, which is offered in three languages, has been taught to over 55,000 students so far, and is now available globally. Proceeds from the campaign will benefit the Kevin Love Fund and the scaling of their educational curriculum.

The LENS program is backed by Sony Pictures Entertainment’s global, multi-pronged racial equity and inclusion strategy, Sony Pictures Action. The program’s goal is to provide creatives who have traditionally lacked access to leadership roles with a first-hand opportunity to deepen their understanding of every element of the animated filmmaking process including production design, animation, visual effects, lighting, sound, and various post-production processes. Through the program, participants strengthen their ability to effectively articulate their film’s creative vision and collaborate across a variety of disciplines.

In the genre-bending thriller The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story, Miles Morales struggles to balance his responsibilities as a teenager, friend, and student while acting as Brooklyn’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. After a particularly challenging day living with these pressures, Miles experiences a panic attack that forces him to confront the manifestations of his anxiety and learn that reaching out for help can be just as brave an act as protecting his city from evil. 

The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story is directed by Jarelle Dampier and written by Khaila Amazan, and produced by LENS program creators Michelle Raimo-Kouyate and David Schulenburg. Rounding out the LENS team are Clara Chan who served as vfx supervisor and Joe Darko who served as animation supervisor.

The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story will launch Wednesday, March 27th on Sony Pictures Animation’s YouTube channel.

About the Kevin Love Fund 
When professional basketball player Kevin Love publicly shared his personal story about challenges with mental health after a public panic attack during a game, he had no idea the movement it would create. One by one, fans and other high-profile celebrities began to share their own stories of fear and struggle. Quickly, a national conversation had begun.

Love established the Kevin Love Fund (KLF) in 2018 to inspire people to live their healthiest lives while providing tools for both mental and physical health. Through a unique combination of education, research, grantmaking, and advocacy, KLF is breaking the stigma around mental health and ensuring people who are suffering have the support needed to thrive. The Kevin Love Fund is a fund of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. To learn more, visit our website:

About Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated entertainment for audiences around the world. The studio's latest theatrical release is "Spider-Man™: Across the Spider-Verse," the highly-anticipated sequel to the Academy Award®-winning "Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse" and the second film in the Spider-Verse trilogy.

The division is also behind the visually-groundbreaking and critically-acclaimed "The Mitchells vs. The Machines," the hit film series "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," and "Hotel Transylvania," and the upcoming 2D adult comedy "Fixed" from visionary director Genndy Tartakovsky.

In 2023, the studio released its first two series - "Agent Elvis," an adult animated action comedy, and "Young Love," which expands on the story and characters introduced in the Oscar®-winning short film, “Hair Love.”

Sony Pictures Animation, which was founded in 2002, is a division of the Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group for Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Tokyo-based Sony Group Corporation.

About Sony Pictures Imageworks
Sony Pictures Imageworks is an Academy Award®-winning visual effects and animation studio known for photoreal live-action visual effects, dynamic creature and character animation and full-CG features. Having created visually stunning images for more than 100 live-action and animated productions over its 30-year history the studio is also a leader in technology, developing software and tools that have helped solve industry-wide challenges and deliver spectacular visuals to the big screen.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. Sony Pictures Television operates dozens of wholly-owned or joint-venture production companies around the world. SPE’s Motion Picture Group production organizations include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, 3000 Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, Sony Pictures International Productions, and Sony Pictures Classics. For additional information, visit