AudPop’s staff pick film and AudFests’ 2018 Love Shorts Film Festival Official Selection, Deep Blue directed by Joe Nankin tells the story of a young Mennonite woman who harbors a secret romance on the eve of her baptism.
Deep Blue was a labor of love shot over the course of 4 days in the Central Valley of California. Thinking back on it, the biggest challenge was a conceptual one. How do you responsibly tell the story in a community you are not a part of (especially a religious one)? What steps can you take to not caricature, to not exploit and, most importantly, to not pass judgment? It required a sensitive hand and great consideration. Our goals became to maintain deep empathy with all points of view/readings of the film, give complexity and depth to each character and to pay detailed attention to authenticity. It was a very careful balance to present a life “as is” and I’m not sure if we truly succeeded. Perhaps pure objectivity is impossible, but it’s worth the effort to be as creatively respectful as one can while telling someone else’s story.
This was an ambitious project that absolutely would not exist if it were not for the talents and help that were gifted by the many people involved. Every single contribution, be it crew, cast or the good people of Sutter and Butte County felt miraculous to me. I was so humbled and grateful to even get to make the thing.
The AudPop platform is wonderful. Films can often get closed off behind the regulations of Film Festivals. Especially with shorts, Festival premiere requirements or release status can hide films and filmmakers from audiences, save the select few who attend festivals. The Audience Awards/AudFEST is a great marriage of traditional Film Festival and online streaming which opens up the opportunity to filmmakers to get their films seen and championed at the same time!
Check back every Thursday for a hand-selected AudPop staff pick and get caught up with last week’s picks: audpop.com/staffpicks
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