Anushka Naanayakkara (2019)
A BAFTA-winning animation created after director Anushka Naanayakkara set herself the challenge to tell a personal story through a surreal world, A Love Story transports you to a strange land of fabric and fluff, as we witness the lives of two entities literally becoming entwined. The tale of a relationship, told through wool, we share the initial warmth of connection as this ethereal pair become joined together, but we’re quickly reminded how messy things can get when something poisonous enters into such a personal bond.
Narratively, A Love Story feels like it is somewhat open to interpretation. What is this destructive force that has entered the relationship? An illness? Negative thought? Another person? However you read it, Naanayakkara wasn’t making a film to make you doubt love or to dissuade you to enter relationships, in fact she was just looking to bring comfort to audiences who have been through a similar experience.
Like many of the films we feature on S/W, when you unravel the story of A Love Story it isn’t tackling new ideas or themes, these are age-old issues explored since the early beginnings of storytelling. The true innovation here lies in bringing this universal yarn to the screen and making it feel fresh.
The use of wool feels ideal in illustrating the bonds that connect us through love and by choosing to set this story in this dreamlike world featuring floating beings, we are reminded of the universal nature of this emotion. At around seven minutes in length, A Love Story manages to perfectly portray a relationship in entirety and inspire us with its craft. Proof once again that a short film can achieve all that a feature can, in a fraction of the time.
Since finishing A Love Story and winning that BAFTA, Anushka has gone on to create a series of animated promos and is going into production (in 2020) on a music video for composer and pianist Dustin O’Halloran. With the impact and success of this film, let’s hope she returns to the world of shorts sometime soon.