23rd Animation Division New Face Award

Daughter

Animated short film

Daria KASHCHEEVA [Russia]

Outline

A puppet animation exploring the theme of father-daughter relationships. In a hospital room, a man, accompanied by his daughter, lies on the bed. The daughter recalls a childhood moment when as a little girl she tried to share her experience with an injured bird with her father. A moment of misunderstanding and a lost embrace have stretched out into many years, all the way to this hospital room. She asks herself: Should you hide your pain? Should you close yourself inside your inner world, full of longing for your father to display his? But, at the moment when a window pane breaks under the impact of a little bird, something changes. The film depicts their relationship in para-documentary style with a hand-held camera feel and close-ups.

Reason

There are many works that deal with the issue of rampant miscommunication between awkward parents and their children. This is an affirmation of the fact that, despite being rather predictable, this type of story continues to fascinate people. The film Daughter can reliably be described as an example of this trend. What amazed me about it was the high level of its cinematography. This storyboard work is on par with live-action films. The composition with its hand-held camera feel and shallow depth of field are overwhelming in their authentic immediacy. The changes in its characters’ expressions, too, are conveyed with close attention to detail. According to the creator of the film, eyes were painted directly on its puppets’ faces. This and other details enticed me to see the filming set itself. With such an effort being invested in the composition, I was unable to take my eyes off the film until the very end, even though the story unfolded just as I had expected. (UDA Konosuke)