DYSMORPHIA, 13min., USA, Thriller/Horror
Directed by Amy Geist
After Isabella fakes cancer to pay for cosmetic surgery she is haunted by a menacing shadow figure.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I had an eating disorder for 20 years and am still in recovery. Whenever I see depictions of eating disorders they are all very clean, clinical, and made to be very digestible with a happy ending and none of this represented my experience. I wanted to make a film that represented the internal experience of an eating disorder and horror was the best way to do that!
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
This film had a very long journey! The very first version of this film was created in January 2020 -- and then had to be reimagined after the pandemic and other extenuating circumstances halted production. It then went through a long series of rewrites and false starts before going into production at the end of 2021. Post production took a little over a year. It was definitely an exercise in resilience and endurance.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The biggest obstacle was dealing with my own internal imposter syndrome and trying to create the courage to do something I had never done before. Trusting the people around me to support me and my project. I had to be vulnerable in ways that I hadn't yet had to be as an artist especially when it came to crowdfunding and asking for people to support the project through donations. I would love to say money was our biggest obstacle but it was really my own discomfort with asking for and accepting support from my community.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was so excited! So excited to see that the things I had tried to communicate with the film were coming through. Beyond any other feedback this was the most thrilling to me because when you spend so much time with a story sometimes it's hard to see it from an outside perspective. To determine if the audience will be able to really receive what you're trying to communicate. So, to have people really absorb the message of the film (and get scared along the way) was very exciting.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
When I was 14. I've always been an indoor kid and movies were my hobby. I started making some VERY home made movies with my friends in high school and the experience of bringing a story to life with a group of artists went to the core of me. It took quite a few years to truly allow myself to realize it but it's been with me since I was a kid.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Oh my gosh! What a tough question. I would say Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Labyrinth (yes the one with David Bowie).
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 think it's amazing that you send our work out to industry professionals! I think an opportunity to network with some of those folks that responded positively to the film would be great! Overall, though, this festival experience has been AMAZING and extremely helpful to my career.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
It was great! Super easy!
10. What is your favorite meal?
Peanut butter and vegan bacon sandwich with fries! Hah
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I'm currently in post-production on a comedic short that I shot in February 2023. I'm also in talks to direct two new shorts and I'm currently in the early stages of writing a horror feature.