*Online Premiere* It turns out that Agatha’s mom is still too insane for a family celebration, but the show must go on. Written and directed by Anya Alekhina (her second short on NoBudge in as many months — see also “Decompression”), “A Celebration,” is part absurd comedy, part disturbing Christmas story concerning a mentally ill mother and wife, and her anxious family. When the mom arrives home after a stay at the psychiatric hospital, her hands and face are covered in a sticky substance, and she’s not able to speak. The chaperoning doctor informs that she’s stabilized now, and could very well improve around family and friends. But the Welcome Home party planned with the neighbors is creating more tension than anything, and as mom picks through trash in the middle of the street and swats at Christmas tree lights with a aluminum pan, Agatha grows frustrated and the success of the party is thrown into question. It’s a strange, distinct vision from a promising young filmmaker and her team of collaborators — notably Artemis Shaw and Prashanth Kamalakanthan, both talented filmmakers in their own right (see “Aquaculture,” and “Houseplants”). [Watch on YouTube]. (13 minutes). Written and directed by Anya Alekhina. Produced by Artemis Shaw and Moshe Shpringer. DP: Prashanth Kamalakanthan. Design: Lorenza Astengo. Starring Alexis Lariviere, Guenevere Donohue, and Marshall Sharer.
For more on the film, read our interview with director Anya Alekhina about making a film in America as a non-native, creating disturbed characters, and working closely with collaborators. [NoBudge Members Only]