TEDDY HUGGER, 8min., USA, Fantasy
Directed by Maya Peters
Up way past her bedtime, a young girl overhears an argument between her parents occurring on the floors below. She hides in her bedroom closet until suddenly the door opens revealing her teddy bear who pulls her into a magical forest. Although the teddy bear’s imaginary world is entertaining, she can’t shake the feeling of her hidden fears. The girl has to confront her disturbing reality or otherwise, she cannot return to the real world.
When I was a kid, my parents’ fights could suck all the oxygen out of the room. The more they shouted and screamed, the more I withdrew and turned to my own make-belief worlds to keep me shielded. I created characters and wondrous stories out of my stuffed animals and devised a safe space within my imagination that only I had access to.
While the memories of conflict still remain, those escapist memories of my fantasy worlds proved to me the creative strength children hold.
While my own childhood is one example, I believe that children have a special power. They are natural creators and are able to push the boundaries of reality in a way that is personally delightful - an ability most of us lose by the time we are adolescents. Despite this we often overlook and disregard their abilities and ultimately forget to cherish the role of imagination in childhood.
My intention with Teddy Hugger was to showcase the rich inner world children have, how their wild imaginations can be utilized as mechanisms to protect themselves, and how a penchant for the make belief can help us come to terms with the real world too. My hope is for this film to encourage viewers to understand and heal their inner child, just as it did for me.