“Magda” A short film by Chel White

“(Magda) is a love story so beautiful and incredibly touching in its simplicity… it’s a real gem of untarnished beauty.”
-Serafima Serafimova, Short of the Week

“Love, obsession, destruction…and a circus contortionist! Beautifully shot and perversely bittersweet…”
-Matthew Curtis, 13th Florida Film Festival

“Wooden-limbed contortionists, hard-bitten narration and a cabaret aesthetic intersect in this truly astounding short film about show business’ inability to convey authentic experience. Plain wooden faces seem to burst with emotion, and evocative klezmer music echoes through tight alleyways as love and loss transpire under the big top.”
-22nd Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival

short synopsis:
A first love is corrupted as a man recalls his affair with a beautiful circus contortionist in this stop-motion animation of wooden manikins. At its heart, Magda is an off-center parable about lost innocence and the corruptibility of human nature. Visually, the film explores the use of extreme telephoto lenses, creating enigmatic scenes that reveal themselves over time, and ghostly figures drifting in-and-out of focus. Magda is filmmaker Chel White’s third adaptation of a story by radio artist and writer
Joe Frank. (The previous films are “Dirt” and “Soulmate”.)

“This animated story finds grace and longing in the shadowy netherworld of a traveling circus populated by faceless yet infinitely expressive wooden dolls. As repetition calcifies a spontaneous expression of love into a contrived recreation of itself, White conveys the inherent difficulty of sustaining honesty and intimacy in any relationship.”
– Julia Halperin, cinematexas

principal credits:
produced & directed by Chel White
written & narrated by Joe Frank
director of photography – Mark Eifert
animated by – Jeff Riley
café scene animation – Teresa Drilling
art director – Bartek Prusiewicz
lead set designer – Aaron Brown
edited by Steven Miller & Chel White
sound design – Lance Limbocker
music – Courtney Von Drehle
music performed by Klezmocracy

selected awards and festival screenings:
Short of the Week – March 2017

World Premiere – Rotterdam International Film Festival
Best Animated Short – Florida Film Festival
The EMPA Work Life Award – Ann Arbor Film Festival
Best of Festival + Best Animated Film – Northwest Film Festival
Official Jury Selection – Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival
Official Jury Selection – Stockholm International Film Festival
Official Jury Selection – Austin Film Festival
Official Jury Selection – Nantucket Film Festival
Official Jury Selection – SXSW
Official Jury Selection – Slamdance Film Festival

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