WINTRY MIX, 7min., USA
Directed by Christine Veras
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film? I run an experimental animation lab at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). At an event, I connected with the jazz musician and professor at University of North Texas (UNT) Davy Mooney, and playfully suggested that we should collaborate on an animated piece one day. To my surprise, a few months later (December 2022), he contacted me and said that he would like my lab to animate one of the tracks of his new album. I said yes, and we had around four months to create the animation before the album's release in early June 2023.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film? Around four months. The music was already recorded, which helped a lot.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!? Visual music.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film? The challenge was to animate the full 6 minutes while also teaching. Once our semester was over in May, it was crunch time for the animation. Although summer had started, we were lucky to have recorded footage during the winter here in Texas.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video? I was so moved! I kept saying to myself: They got it! It was a great recognition for such a labor-intensive piece.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films? When I was a kid. I always loved watching films and animations, and it was exciting to discover that I could make that my career.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life? Clash of the Titans with animated special effects from Ray Harryhausen. It made a huge impact on me, and I would even repeat the lines together with the characters.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career? I really like the model you have here, and I think it would be nice to expand upon it and perhaps have video recordings of the audience in the theater watching the movies. There are always those moments when they laugh at the right time or are moved and gasp, and that can be really gratifying for a filmmaker.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site? It worked well and smoothly.
10. What is your favorite meal? Din Tai Fung's vegetarian dumplings
11. What is next for you? A new film? Yes, we are now in pre-production of a new animation about the Kindertransport, in a collaboration between the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies and the talented screenwriter Paula Goldberg. Stay tuned.