For Alessia Cecchet, an Italian filmmaker who lives in Santa Cruz, CA, the process of creating the objects seen in her films is just as important as the objects themselves. Using found objects and natural fibers, she crafts everything she animates in films that combine live action with stop-motion animation. Her experimental works explore themes of memory, loss and imagination, with an environmentalist subtext.
“Through my films I to interrogate the way we look at animals once the value we see in them—the spectacle of megafauna, the cuteness of cubs and puppies, the commodification of toy pets—is gone,” says Cecchet. She hopes that through her films, viewers will begin to think about the natural world and its inhabitants in a different way.
Two of Cecchet’s films, “Onikuma” (2016) and “il sentire dell’occhio/The Hearing of the Eye” (2017), are currently being shown at festivals internationally, where they have received or been shortlisted for many awards.
“Onikuma” (2016) is a short film that follows the journey of two women as they wander in a snowy and unfamiliar environment. During their journey, the explorers face human and animal death. The film borrows its name from the bear from Japanese folklore that is known for chasing horses.
The selection of “Onikuma” for the 49th Nashville Film Festival marks the 15th official selection for the hybrid short film which will screen in Nashville May 12-13 in the “A Whole Weird World” section.