June 1, 2017

Ok, Call Me Back

Craving companionship, a woman leaves a voicemail late at night. Objects take on new meaning in a lush world of gendered icons.

OK, CALL ME BACK screened at NFFTY 2017 in the Art In Motion Screening and took home the Best Experimental Film Jury Award. 



Emily Ann Hoffman is an award-winning animator, filmmaker and artist based out of Brooklyn, NY. She is currently a 2017 Sundance Ignite Fellow, awarded for her short film OK, CALL ME BACK, (also awarded Best Experimental Film at NFFTY 2017 and an official selection of LAFF 2017), as well as a screenwriting mentee with the Sundance Institute's Feature Film Program. Her previous short film, THE ARIEL AND EMILY SHOW, won a Best Experimental Animation award in Mallorca, Spain; was screened at festivals internationally (including NOFF and LAFF nationally); and is featured on online platforms such as Vimeo Staff Picks, Boooooom and Fandor. She has recently emerged from an Emerging Artist Fellowship at the Jacob Burns Film Center where she wrote, animated and directed a short film NEVADA, currently in post-production. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2015.

"This film evolved from a series of short poems and jokes I had written in a period of longing. I wanted to tell a story of female desire in a safe space, for the woman who’s experienced the humor and frustration of loneliness and lust. This film assures it’s audience that it’s okay to experience and explore desire, and it’s okay to ask for help in doing so — it’s part of our humanity. 

I like to explore issues of gender roles, norms, and what it means to be a feminist today. We’re entering a period in which we see traditional gender identities blurring, morphing or dying. I hope my film shares a message of sex positivity and confidence. Too often female sexuality is only depicted through the male gaze. In response to this, there’s a misunderstanding sometimes in regard to feminism in which the “strong, independent, woman” gets conflated with a cold, solitary and asexual woman. I believe there is strength in vulnerability, and strength in understanding and acknowledging desires for companionship. The modern feminist can absolutely be strong and independent, but this doesn’t make her void of desire and emotion."

A Brief Interview with Emily Ann: 

Why did you decide to make this film?

I initially made this film for the Sundance Ignite "What's Next?" Challenge and because I wanted to try something new -- I had never made a film in live action before. I had been looking a lot at the work of female photographers Maisie Cousins, Juno Calypso and Prue Stent/Honey Long and was fascinated by the way they subverted traditional (i.e. male gaze) portrayals of the sexual female. I wanted to explore how I could create a an artistic, experimental film that still felt accessible and relatable. 

What was your favorite part about making it?

I honestly had so much fun making the entire piece -- the artist in me had a blast with production design -- but the best part was probably playing with fruits, vegetables and batteries! I had a really incredible DP, Russell Peborde, who didn't have much insight into the project before our shoot day. I was a little embarrassed to smother an eggplant in coconut oil at first, but he's very professional (and talented) so he went along with it and we had a lot of fun. I can't say I'd ever shoved a battery in a banana or a cucumber before that day, but it was oddly satisfying. 

 What are you working on now?

I'm just wrapping up post-production on a stop-motion animated film Nevada, about a young couple who's romantic weekend getaway is interrupted by a birth control mishap. Next up, I'm writing a feature about a young woman who gets bed bugs. It's a dark comedy in which a female bed bug and a human woman are living in parallel patriarchal societies and have to join forces to take down their oppressors. It will be a mix of animation and live-action. 

Find Emily Ann & OK, CALL ME BACK online:                                                                         

Emily Ann's website : ehoffmanportfolio.com                         
Instagram Emily Ann: @emilyannimation -- instagram.com/emilyannimation
Twitter Emily Ann: @emilyannimation -- twitter.com/emilyannimation