Short Film "Willa" is a Must-See!

A brief look at the short Dollar Baby film "Willa".
Despite Stephen King's large fanbase, many have not seen several of the films based on his stories. These projects are affectionately called "Dollar Baby" projects and are meant to screen solely at film festivals. For just one dollar aspiring filmmakers can acquire the rights to select Stephen King's short stories and turn them into a film. One such project is 'Willa', a short film by Mikhail Tank.

Willa is the story of a man and his fiancée, discovering the truth about themselves and their fellow train passengers after an accident leaves them stranded. It has been screened at four festivals so far with this past month's 'The Valley Film Festival' being the most recent. Previously, it has screened at the Dollar Baby Film Festival at Comicpalooza and Phenom Film Fest. The film also won an award at the Russian Dollar Baby Film Festival for being one of the top five Dollar Baby films chosen by the audience this year.

Willa would be best classified as an experimental film. There is no live action or animation. Instead, hand drawn pictures move across the screen as Mikhail and Jessica Manherz, the co-producer and editor, speak for the characters. This may not be something audiences are used to watching, but I assure you it was inspirational. A unique take on filmmaking that hopefully some other filmmakers will take note of.

Chelsea Burdick's artwork is simple yet haunting, the music by Daniel Levin dark and foreboding, and the editing moved deliberately slow to give the film a somber, mournful mood. Despite the film running only five minutes long, it is evident that the filmmakers took their time to tell this stunning, melancholic story. Keep an eye out for the next screening of Willa!
Published: 12/11/2013
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