EVERYTHING'S FINE, 14min,. USA
Directed by Christina Hulen
A young teacher suffering from trauma induced memory loss finds herself spiraling dangerously out of control as the impending anniversary of the event nears, threatening to destroy her carefully crafted veneer of normalcy, her relationships and her life.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film? There was an amazing confluence of events that led to this film. This film was born out of a conversation with the lead actress, Charlotte Rothwell. It was the height of the Covid lock down and we were discussing Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, specifically my own struggles with PTSD. She asked if I had ever written about it. Given the times, I thought it was an especially relatable topic, though I had no interest in writing anything autobiographical. As we were speaking, breaking news came over the television of a mass shooting in Colorado. If you're asking yourself which one, that's the point? That same week my brilliant friend Staci Witt called me and asked me to write something for her to produce.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film? It took almost exactly two years. It was written and cast quite quickly but the fundraising took time. It was important to us to have a very egalitarian set. We made the decision quite early on that everyone from set PA to lead actress would get the same day rate, which was SAG minimum. We were fiscally sponsored through Film Independent and also made the choice to raise the funds through private donations and grants rather than crowdfunding.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!? Powerfully relevant.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film? We had some massive sound issues that only became fully apparent in post. That's why winning the best sound and music award is so gratifying. We had an extraordinary post sound team that managed to not only clean up troublesome areas, but design sound FX that helped drive and set the tone for the flashbacks. And, our brilliant composer, Ken Belcher tied it all together with his moving score.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video? Relief, honestly. My imposter syndrome is strong. I was very happy that they noticed the small moments and appreciated the cast and crews amazing efforts. They all had very articulate, thought out feedback. It was especially nice to hear that the structure of parsing out information to the audience so they would be on the journey with Hannah to piece together her past, worked for them.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films? I was quite young when I knew I wanted to work in entertainment. I started in theatre as a lighting and scenic designer, which led to working in film and television. I'd always been a writer and it was a natural progression to start writing and directing film.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life? That's a tough one. It's probably something like The Princess Bride. If it's on, I'll watch it.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career? All festivals can benefit by providing more one-on-one industry connections.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site? So far, it's been a great platform for submitting films quickly and easily.
10. What is your favorite meal? Can I get corny, now? Any meal shared with someone I love.
11. What is next for you? A new film? Right now, I have 3 features looking for financing and producing partners. I have plans to make another short in the new year and there is a new feature floating around in my head.