This is Part 2 of a two part blog series! See Part 1 here…
This Thursday September 27 at 7pm filmmaker/scholar Laura Ivins and I will present an evening of animated shorts by women filmmakers from around the world at the Indiana University Libraries Screening Room at Herman B. Wells Library on the Bloomington campus. We are really excited about this program and can’t wait to share it with film lovers who are able to join us in person, but we also want to celebrate these films and filmmakers within the broader context of the 4th Annual #DirectedbyWomen Worldwide Film Viewing Party, so I’m sharing glimpses into the work in this blog series including stills, behind the scenes images, teasers/trailers, and—where available—filmmaker responses to a single question…
“Could you please tell us about a moment during the making of your film when you could feel your vision coming together or when you overcame a challenge in a satisfying way?”
I hope this sparks your curiosity about these filmmakers and their work. Hope to see you at the Wells Library Screening Room on Thursday if you are in the Bloomington, Indiana area.
My Darlin’ directed by Edyta Szewczyk (Edy Szewy)
The film was coming together scene by scene and I didn’t have a script beforehand, just the song; with completion of each scene, the next idea would come, in random order, so the final film was an unknown even to me, but it fused together well. A fun fact about the it is that I intertwined my 5 year old son’s drawings in the animation because they represent childlike simplicity, something that’s missing in the adult life full of responsibilities, desires and disappointments. My Darlin’ is really just a poke in the eye of heartbreak.
Tales of the weary, where sense of humour meets self destruction.
Story of Aishan directed by Hong jia bao
The is an animated documentary I made for my friend, who has suffered blindness since she was born. Light is the only thing she can perceive through her eyes.
In this animated documentary, fragments of our conversations have been edited. All I want for this documentary is to let more people know about the hard life of my friend.
Follow Hong jia bao on Vimeo.
Pitiguá directed by Paula Martínez Cirilo
I’ve had the idea for this film for almost 5 years before making it—it was always on the back of my head. I really wanted to create this awe-striking, fantastical fable full of texture and color, with an open interpretation to the audience, but I had no idea who the characters would be. However, the missing piece came to me by observing my local wildlife: how the small but brave pitirre (grey kingbird) always chased away the big and scary guaraguao (red-tailed hawk). The dynamic between these two birds always held a great significance to the Puerto Rican culture, perhaps because we identified ourselves with the tiny but strong pitirre. I felt like their story needed to be told through the vibrant colors that my latino culture already offers.
A grey kingbird and a red-tailed hawk fight against each other for the light that makes the night and the day.
Panic Attack! directed by Eileen O’Meara
I’ve been making hand-drawn animation about subjective states for some time.
I wasn’t sure what my next film would be, and if I should move on to computer animation.
I was in the car, freaking out and overwhelmed by repetitive anxious thoughts when I thought: What if I use these intrusive thoughts to make a movie? Maybe then they won’t have so much power over me.
If I make a movie about this unbridled anxiety, could I look forward to these thoughts—instead of dreading them?
So I decided to incorporate the repetitive voices in to a new project—”Panic Attack!”
Instead of using computer animation, I decided to make it completely hand-drawn, with thick jiggly lines reflecting the agitated state of mind.
I wanted it to be all one shot—a single sequence of transforming drawings going back and forth between reality and her imagined fears. With no edits—just one scene melting in to the next, I hoped to show the fluidity between mental states, and how sometimes our obsessive thoughts can seem even more real than the outside world.
Panic Attack! is a hand-drawn animation from the point of view of a woman having a panic attack. I wanted the transitions between reality and her imagined fears to be seamless, so there are no edits — it is one continually transforming drawing.
Derma directed by Antonia Neatby
A meditation on acne.
Mothers and Daughters directed by Gabriella Marsh
So this film is about my mum and gran—it’s super personal and I think there were times when I was making this film that I definitely let myself get too attached to subject and was unable to look at the film objectively.
Since I moved away to university and up until her death my grandmother and I had been exchanging lengthy, almost prose style emails (she the pre-internet accustomed letter writer, I the pretentious 18 year old showing off my undergrad status) so I had over four years of conversations archived to help me build her character. Using this I whipped up scripts and found two actresses to record with me as the voices of my grandmother and mother. They were both highly enthusiastic and eloquent voice actors and performed perfectly everything I asked of them but I was unhappy with the result. I thought their voices were too posh and too ‘actor-y’ and a million miles away from the way from the women they were meant to represent.
I was quite embarrassed of the whole thing which I felt didn’t create the familiar, human relationship between these three women that I wanted to communicate.
Over Christmas I reworked the script a dozen times into a sort of invented conversation and decided to record again using my mother and a close family friend as the other two voices. I now realise that two minutes is never going to be enough time to accurately represent a relationship as intricate as the one between my mother, my grandmother and my teenage self but I do feel that I’ve managed to capture at least some of the sentiment between the three and that my directing skills have come a long way through the process. I think the fact that I had to go back on three separate occasions and record really made me aware of how I wanted every line of dialogue to sound and this pushed me to ask for it. It was also hugely helpful to speaking to my mum about the types of things her mother might say and I think one of the best moments in the dialogue is actually one of her completely improvising.
Mothers And Daughters is a short film depicting the tensions between a mother, her unresponsive teenage daughter and her demanding elderly mother. It explores some of the pressures we put on our mothers: we expect them always to be a slave to their families, showing us nothing but love and affection, but we ask that they do it without complaint and then negate to show them gratitude.
They Call Us Maids – the Domestic Workers’ Story directed by Leeds Animation Workshop
They Call Us Maids – the Domestic Workers’ Story is a hand-painted animated film about migrant women workers and modern slavery.
Leeds Animation Workshop is a women’s collective… independent and not-for-profit…making and distributing short animated films since the late 1970s. Congratulations to Leeds Animation Workshop on 40 years of accomplishments!
349 directed by Kristen Lauth Shaeffer
Created with hundreds of pencils and hundreds of hands, 349 is a collaborative animated film that explores the idea that we’re all imperceptibly connected.
Follow 349 on Facebook.
Thanks to every director who offered her animated short for consideration.
It was an honor to receive your work.
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Indiana University Libraries Screening Room
Herman B Wells Library (048)
Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Free and Open to the Public