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[Interview] – Emily Ann Hoffman – ‘Nevada’ – A Short Film

 

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Posted July 8, 2018 by

 
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Emily Ann Hoffman’s comedic animation shares the intimate story of a sexual encounter gone wrong. Having premiered at Sundance, this wonderful stop-motion animation has been selected for over twenty high profile film festivals, including the latest Palm Springs International Shortsfest and Edinburgh International Film Festival 2018.

A young couple’s romantic weekend getaway is interrupted by a birth control mishap in this stop-motion animated comedy.

“Nevada was born from shared and personal experiences of taking emergency contraceptives. Accidental pregnancies are a tale as old of time and a constant topic of political controversy — controversy that has led to shame and propagation of infinite mythologies surrounding birth control, emergency contraception, and abortion. Nevada aims to share an extremely common experience and to bring light, normalcy, and humor to the ways partners navigate the emotional, financial and physical burden of preventing pregnancy.

Emily Ann Hoffman is an award-winning animator and filmmaker who already has three films under her belt, Nevada (Sundance 2018), Ok, Call Me Back (Slamdance 2018), and The Emily & Ariel Show (LA Film Festival 2016). Hoffman recently graduated from the Emerging Artist Fellowship at the prestigious Jacob Burns Centre, is a screenwriting mentee with Sundance’s Feature Film Program and has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Producer Sean Weiner’s credits include Kitty & Ellen, Ok, Call Me Back, and Nevada.

Nevada will screen at both Edinburgh and Palm Springs in June.

Interview:

To begin with, tell us about your latest film, ‘Nevada, what is it about?

Nevada is a stop-motion animated comedy about a young couple’s romantic weekend getaway, interrupted by a birth control mishap. The couple is faced with the sticky situation of discussing emergency contraceptives, babies, and their relationship.

How did you get involved with the film? Where did the idea come from?

The idea for the story came from personal and shared experiences of taking emergency contraceptives. It was a situation not uncommon to my group of friends in college, but there were still elements of shame and secrecy to seeking out and discussing these topics, despite how relatable the experience is to many couples. I wanted to illuminate our experiences in order to destigmatize these ideas of contraception and a woman’s choice. As writer/director/animator, I was involved with the film from conception (pun intended) and had the pleasure of enriching my filmmaking experience through the mentorship of the Creative Culture fellowship at the Jacob Burns Film Center.

Tell us about the cast, who are the lead performers?

I found the lovely Chet Siegel (Zoe) through my producer, Sean Weiner. Sean had worked with Chet at UCB, where she has been performing improv for years. Chet has an incredibly sharp wit and dark sense of humor, but also an amazing ability to quickly transform into character, carrying emotion and weight in her performance. She connected us with Jonathan Randell Silver, who played Eli. Jonathan has been acting his entire life, which is evident in the sincerity and earnestness he brings to each of his roles.

What are your influences as a filmmaker?

Visually, Wes Anderson is a constant icon of aesthetic inspiration. His impeccable control of art direction has certainly influenced how I think about my shots, particularly in stop-motion because of the unending ability to control every detail. In regard to story, I was very inspired by Gillian Robespierre’s Obvious Child, which is, to be blunt, a romantic comedy about abortion. There are endless rom-com-type stories about accidental pregnancy, but I had never seen a film that truly explored and celebrated this difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy.

What advice would you give any up-and-coming filmmakers, trying to crack the industry?

Work on your next idea in any free time you have and be ready to talk about it or share it. You never know when an opportunity to make your dream project will come along. And be nice to everyone!

When & where can we expect to see ‘Nevada’?

We’ve been all over the country and world which has been very exciting. Most of our big festivals are behind us, but there will still be some screenings in New Jersey, Las Vegas, Texas and Mexico in the coming months. And it should be on vimeo by the end of the year!

What is the next step for you? Do you have any other films or projects in production?

I have a new short film, Bug Bite in the final stages of post-production now.  It’s a mixed media (live-action and animation) comedy about a millennial and a bed bug who form a unique bond as they simultaneously contend with toxic masculinity. I intend to write a feature film based on the same concept — a young woman befriends a bed bug as they both contend with toxic masculinity.

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Interviewed By:

Adam Snowden
@FilmDebate
Company Founder & Managing Director

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