Short

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10 to 15 min.

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Countergrowth

Countergrowth

Mourning her mom's suicide, Mari (16) feels lost and conceals her conflicting emotions from everyone. But when she starts to transform into a living funeral bouquet, she is pushed to express her pain.

Sixteen-year-old Mari loses her mom to suicide, something she hasn’t fully grasped. So she keeps her detached dad and best friend Kath at length— they won’t get it anyway. Mari even ignores the unpleasant rash the funeral flowers caused. But her grief can’t be ignored when it starts bursting in flower-form out of her rashy skin. Panicked Mari hides, cuts, and pulls out her grief-flowers; though painful, she feels a sense of control. Mari pushes those who notice away, isolates herself, and lets her grief-flowers to take over her body and home. When forced to return to school, flowers and all, she gets met with utter bafflement. Embarrassed Mari gives up, goes home but makes a frightening discovery. Dad is completely rooted in his own grief. Not wanting to meet the same tangled fate, Mari fights for her escape and flees. In a last ditch effort, she confides in Kath and pours all her incomprehensible emotions out. Kath’s genuine and heartfelt compassion finally helps Mari embrace her pain

Director’s statement
At sixteen, I lost my mom to suicide; it’s stigma left little space to progress my grief. It’s a hard conversation to start when the subject gets kept at an arm’s length. That’s why I want to craft space through film and open up the discussion around lasting impact of sudden loss; offering recognition to those who feel left behind. And also to those who, for whatever reason, can’t let themselves be comforted in their grief. For these people to see it, I am already actively looking to reach a wider audience.

COUNTERGROWTH centers themes of opening up, voicing difficult emotions and (re)connection— therefor getting the opportunity to (learn to) present while still developing the project feels highly fitting. Plus, my film touches on universal topics in a distinct way; all the while highlighting mental health issues that are often overlooked, thus adding diversity to how grief is shown in animated movies. All this makes COUNTERGROWTH, in my opinion, an excellent addition to your program.

Director and Scriptwriter
Mackenzie Fincham
mackenzie@redredblush.com

Country of production

Netherlands

Target audience

13 - 17 years old, all genders

Animation Technique

Drawing

Production company

Spotted Bird

Looking for

Co-producer, Sales agent / distributor, Broadcaster, Animation studio, Post-production studio, Animator(s), Sound designer

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CEE Animation is supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and co-funded by state funds and foundations and professional organisations from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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