Dante, a pianist, unknowingly accepts a last-minute wedding gig on a plantation. While tuning the piano, he encounters the unexpected, as fragments of the past are brought to light.
Three Questions for the Director
1. Short Film has a unique way of telling stories and exploring themes. What is it that fascinates you about the short format?
Naledi Jackson: I love the short format for its efficiency in storytelling. I’m a screenwriter too - in fact, most of my work so far has been television writing, which means spending endless hours developing plot and character over ten one-hour episodes. The short format is merciless — you have to place your audience in the emotional centre of the character immediately, and then take them on an unexpected journey in a very short time. I find that challenge exciting.
2. The program your film is selected for is called “Genre Now! Slashing the Patriarchy": What connection do you see between your film and that title?
Naledi Jackson: Slavery was an institution founded by patriarchs. And yet, every year, people still hold weddings at these old plantation manors - places I see to be haunted houses and the truest expression of absolute horror. I find this phenomenon incredibly disturbing. My film seeks to be an interrogation of this, from the point of view of a musician at the wedding.
3. What film has inspired you most to make films yourself and what part of it do you see in your own work?
Naledi Jackson: When I watched E.T as a kid, I knew I had to make films later in my life, or at least be a storyteller in whatever way that I could. Spielberg has such a gift for creating empathy in unexpected places, and that’s something I keep striving to do in my own work - both in screenwriting and filmmaking. Genre is great in that you can create these moments of connection that exist outside normal realms. Or conversely, you can create moments of horror out of experiences that should be perceived as 'normal.' Allowing an audience to step into the shoes of a character ( or creature!) and experience a new POV in a way that sticks with them is probably why most people get into filmmaking, myself included.
Actor: Mouna Traore, Dalmar Abuzeid, Aurora Browne
Screenplay: Naledi Jackson
Director of Photography: Daniel Grant
Score: Tom Third
Producer: Priscilla Galvez, Jeff Pavlopoulos
Director: Naledi Jackson
Sales Agent: Priscilla Galvez
Editor: Christine Armstrong
Sound Design: Kelly McGahey
Sound Mixing: Scott Hitchon
Art Design: Jeremy Cobourne