HUNTER PARK PRODUCTIONS, Freehold / NAMI NYC / 2021
Write a short summary of what happens in the film.
Inside & Outwards explores mental health through the lens of COVID isolation, celebrating the inner strength that came out when the pandemic kept us indoors. With recovery still in motion mental health struggles are a common thread in cities across the world. Weaving together a series of vignettes; the film showcases a diversity of archetypes and environments while highlighting the universal struggle of loneliness and depression brought on by the pandemic. The uniquely curated living spaces are turned inside out, creating a visual juxtaposition between interior and exterior; allowing our protagonist to emotionally transcend the confines of four walls.
The film encourages us to love ourselves, embrace our struggles while not losing sight of significant challenges around us. We may all be in this together, but it takes courage to do it alone. Narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker, scored by Sufjan Stevens featuring a diverse spectrum of 10 talented artist.
Cultural / Context information for the jury
The film was specifically crafted to convey universal messaging as the mental health struggles were pervasive not just in NYC where this was filmed but across each city across the globe. There is a line referencing perhaps regionally specific to the US " So when the day comes to a close and you clap for all the heroes" this is in reference to 7:00 PM, New Yorkers and people across the country, stepped outside their homes to clap for the frontline hospital heroes working tirelessly to save lives while risking their own.
Tell the jury about the ambitions & challenges of production process.
The environment, cast and production design were all critical components in capturing the authenticity of the film. It was important to really cast talent all struggling with mental health issues; facing unemployment, isolation and depression as a result of the pandemic. Casting was done entirely through Zoom, spending hours with each individual to better understand their struggles and giving us virtual tours of their homes so we could emulate their worlds on film. Meticulous attention to detail for the design of the characters spaces for taken into account. Dollars were thin and our crew size limited to 10 but our talented team tapped their resources, shopped online yard sales high and low to perfectly craft each living space. The team built elaborate sets on a Brooklyn rooftop to maintain Covid protocols while also turning living spaces inside out, the absence of walls granting an intimate and unobstructed perspective.
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